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No proof of Indian involvement in Balochistan: Hillary to Pak

No proof of Indian involvement in Balochistan: Hillary to Pak

Author: Political Bureau
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: November 2, 2009
URL: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/Politics/Nation/No-proof-of-Indian-involvement-in-Balochistan-Hillary-to-Pak/articleshow/5187506.cms

THE US is not buying Pakistan's attempt to blame insurgency in Balochistan on India. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who was on a visit to Pakistan, said that there is no evidence to back up Islamabad's charge of Indian involvement in Balochistan. "Well, first of all, we have no evidence of that. I mean, we just have no evidence of that," Ms Clinton told a group of Pakistani editors in Lahore. Islamabad has repeatedly accused New Delhi of fomenting trouble in the province.

The US secretary of state, who had recently expressed scepticism about Pakistan's lack of knowledge over al-Qaeda, further described Balochistan as "a very volatile region" and added that she had not seen any evidence from Pakistan about India's involvement in Balochistan. "Not that I've seen...I have not seen it. I have not seen anything like that. So I can't agree with you because I personally don't have any information," she said.

Her comments are significant in the backdrop of Pakistan's renewed attempt to pin its internal troubles on India. Ms Clinton's mention that there is no evidence also pulls the carpet from under Islamabad's claim that it had "solid evidence" to prove India's involvement in Balochistan. Islamabad had even said said that it was ready to share this "evidence" of "India's interference" with New Delhi.

Pakistan's attempt to blame India for the insurgency in Balochistan is not a new accusation but had received impetus after the Sharmel Sheikh Indo-Pak joint statement, which had a reference to the troubles in Balochistan. The joint statement declared that Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani "mentioned that Pakistan has some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas."

That reference had given Pakistan a handle to slam India for its internal problems and blame Baloch insurgency on India. Even as the internal situation in Pakistan deteriorates, Islamabad has tried unsuccessfully to shift the focus to India and its role in Balochistan. In the latest fact, Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik had accused India of instigating trouble and abetting violence in Balochistan and also accused India of funding and helping the Taliban based along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Increasing the decibel level, Mr Malik said that he counted India among the "elements" that do not want Pakistan to be stable. However, Mr Malik's comments had found no takers . India also rubbished the claim with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling it "far fetched and far from truth". The prime minister had further said that the senior minister who had levelled the charge of India funding the Taliban also knew well that there was no truth in the allegation.

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