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News Analysis - India Presses Pakistan on Terrorism but Finds Its Own Options Limited - NYTimes.com

NEW DELHI -- Even as Indian officials on Thursday lambasted Pakistan as the "epicenter" of terrorism and dismissed its crackdown on extremist groups as inadequate in the wake of last month's attacks in Mumbai, they all but ruled out the prospect of a military confrontation.

Rather, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told members of Parliament that it would take time for India to turn off the tap of support for militant groups operating across the border, and that war was "no solution."

"We shall have to patiently confront it," he said. "We have no intention to be provoked."

His words signaled India's delicate and somewhat circumscribed options. If it were to carry out even limited military strikes against Pakistan, it would be likely to lose the support of its allies, namely the United States, which fears that Pakistan would then divert troops from its western border with Afghanistan to its eastern one with India.

Second, India confronts a weak civilian government in Pakistan, which, as Indian officials have long acknowledged privately, has little muscle to counter the powerful military and spy agency.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 12th, 2008 at 04:32:49 AM EST
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