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Pak to discuss Balochistan with Bush

Pak has said it will take up the issue of foreign support being received by the Baloch nationalists when Bush arrives.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 17:22 IST

With US President George W Bush making clear that he will focus on issues of terrorism and militant infiltration during his Pakistan visit, Islamabad plans to launch a counter offensive by forwarding him evidence on the "foreign hand" allegedly fuelling insurgency in Southwest Balochistan.

Without naming any country, Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said here that Islamabad would raise the issue of "foreign support" being received by the Baloch nationalists fighting for more autonomy through Afghan borders and forward evidence in this regard.

"Every terrorist in Balochistan and Karachi has a covert foreign hand involved," he was quoted as saying by media on Friday.

Musharraf in the recent months blamed India for financing the Baloch rebels who have been carrying major attacks in the province even though Pakistan has deployed large number of security forces but Islamabad has not directly taken it up with New Delhi.

Pakistan now openly blames Afghanistan for the trouble in Balochistan to counter Hamid Karzai's allegation during recent weeks that Pakistan is not seriously pursuing Taliban leaders, especially Mullah Omar, who, according to documents provided by Afghanistan, operated from Balochistan and NWFP.

Pakistan, however, said it verified the evidence provided by Kabul and found that it was not "current".

Ahead of the visit Bush also said he would discuss the Indian allegations on cross border terrorism and continued existence of terrorist camps and infrastructure.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 17:18 IST