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India has given no proof: Pak
Afzal Khan writes from Islamabad

Pakistan on Monday refuted India’s claim that it has conveyed evidence relating to the Mumbai attack to Islamabad.

Responding to queries regarding Indian external affairs minister Parnab Mukharjee's statement that proof has been provided to Pakistan on Mumbai strikes and previous terrorist acts, foreign office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said : “The Pakistan government has so far not received any information or evidence relating to the Mumbai incident from India”. Sadiq declined to make any comment on the two-day conference of India's envoys across the world saying every country convenes such meetings for consultation. On reports that the envoys’ conference in New Delhi is meant to build international diplomatic pressure against Pakistan at a time of high tensions between the two countries, the spokesman said Pakistani diplomats are fully prepared for countering any negative campaign against the country.

He claimed that the international community has appreciated Pakistan's commitment to combat terrorism and to not allow the use of its territory for terrorist acts against any other country. Meanwhile, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi talking to newsmen said Pakistan stands for peace and settlement of all disputes through dialogue but is prepared to face any aggression.




Pak air force holds low-flight exercise
Afzal Khan writes from Islamabad

Fighter planes of the Pakistani air force (PAF) today conducted a low-flight exercise in Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar, amid escalating tension with India in the wake of Mumbai attacks and tough statements coming from the Indian leadership.

A PAF spokesman simply stated, “In view of the current environment, the PAF has enhanced its vigilance.” He declined further to comment.

Citizens in these and adjoining cities reacted with mixed feelings of concern about possible war signs and patriotic enthusiasm. In Peshawar, people came out of their houses and shouted slogans lauding the armed forces’ preparedness. Some flights at airports of Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar were delayed due to the PAF exercise.

Early this month, Indian fighter jets had allegedly crossed into Pakistani airspace over PoK and Lahore but Pakistan played down these flights as “technical incursions”. However, a week later the Indian High Commissioner was called to the foreign office and handed over a formal protest over violation of Pakistani airspace, saying these violated a bilateral agreement.

Meanwhile US joint chiefs of staff admiral Michael Mullen arrived here today afternoon. According to officials, during his visit, Mullen will meet President Asif Zardari, General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kiyani and other high ranking military and civil officials.

Army chief General Kayani called on Zardari earlier in the day and discussed with him the evolving security situation in the wake of threatening Indian statements.



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