Monday, December 31, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Musharraf approves war strategy

Islamabad, December 30
Anti-aircraft guns have been deployed on all key installations, F-16 fighter aircraft are taking up positions and the leave of doctors and paramedical staff has been suspended under a defence strategy approved by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in the event of a war with India.

During his meeting with top military officials at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi yesterday, he approved of the strategy to be followed by his armed forces to repulse any attack from the Indian forces, Urdu newspaper Ausaf said here today.

It said he also called for an extraordinary joint meeting of the National Security Council and the Federal Cabinet on January 2 to analyse the repercussions of a war.

According to the report, anti-aircraft guns had been deployed on all sensitive installations all over the country and all departments concerned had been alerted.

The Pakistan army had also deployed sophisticated weapons at various airbases and border areas. It said F-16 aircraft had started taking positions at airbases in Nawabshah, Badin, Sukkhar and Talhar.

Other sophisticated instruments had also been deployed in these areas. Arrangements were also being made to shift people from border and other areas closer to airports.

According to sources, vacations of doctors and other paramedical staff had been suspended and the medical authorities asked to store emergency medicines.

Pakistan had apprised the US Administration that in case of an Indian attack on Pakistan, it would not be able to continue extending cooperation to the ongoing US operations in Afghanistan.

It said Pakistan had informed the USA that in case of an attack, it would have to close its airspace and the USA would have to discontinue its air strikes against Afghanistan. Apart from that, Pakistan would not be able to provide logistic support to the USA, it added.

Officials were not immediately available to comment on the report. However, Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar told the media here yesterday that the government would take a decision at an appropriate time to ask the USA to vacate three airbases. PTIBack

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