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'Pakistan believes 'time of war' with India has passed'

world Updated: Dec 29, 2008 15:21 IST
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The Pakistani establishment now believes that the "time of war" with India is over and the recent telephonic contacts at the highest military level have led to reduction in tensions generated in the wake of troop build up following the Mumbai terror attacks.

"The time of war has gone and even India cannot dare mount surgical strikes primarily because of the uncertain response," an unnamed top official told The News daily after the Directors General of Military Operations of the two countries spoke on their hotline over the weekend.

The contacts between the DGMOs had not been suspended after last month's terrorist attacks in Mumbai and that the two officials remained in touch, officials said.

The DGMOs discussed the situation along the Line of Control and the international border and other issues, Dawn News channel reported. It quoted sources as saying that the conversation was part of "routine contacts" between the two top military officials.

Inter-Services Public Relations chief Maj Gen Athar Abbas too confirmed the talks between the DGMOs.

The DGMOs usually make contact on Tuesday on a routine basis but they spoke to each other over the weekend in an "extraordinary move", The News said.

"That was only possible with the consent of top military leaders of both the countries. Apparently, this helped lower the tension," a source told the newspaper.

It also quoted unnamed defence analysts as saying that war "never breaks out when forces on both sides of the border are prepared". Though there was "some kind of panic at the lower tiers", President Asif Ali Zardari and army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani acted "tactfully with no element of panic", the report said.

Many people also questioned the role of the US and leaders of the outgoing Bush administration, as many of them "used their influence in favour of the Indians", the report said.

"No one in Pakistan trusts the Americans and their moves... They behaved like friends of the enemy and they put their weight behind Delhi only to test our nerves," said a senior official.

Pakistan last week redeployed close to 20,000 troops from the Afghan border to the eastern frontier with India after scaling down operations against the local Taliban in the tribal belt.