Says News Agency

NEW DELHI, Jan. 18, Pakistan has deployed a massive number of troops along its eastern border with India, the Press Trust of India (PTI) said today.

An Indian Defense Ministry spokesman declined to confirm or deny the National News Agency’s report.

PTI, which often reflects the government’s view on sensitive issues, quoted defense analysts as saying India was closely watching Islamabad’s military moves,

India’s reaction for the present was cautious, it said, adding “But requirements of minimum military precautions will dictate some defensive measures on India’s party”.

PTI said Pakistan had in an inexplicable move stationed 14 of its 17 deployable divisions on the border and had called up some 10,000 reservists.

Each division is made up of 12,000 combat troops and backup staff including drivers, doctors and engineers.

India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, are at odds over the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir and regularly trade charges of aggressive military intentions.

Last November, India’s Defense Ministry denied reports in Indian and Pakistani media that it had massed troops near the Pakistani border for large-scale military man oeuvres.

The ministry’s spokesman then said exercises were routinely held in winter and Pakistan would be told if any major man oeuvre was to take place near the border.

PTI said Islamabad had moved forward what it called “its offensive reserves”.

“In another inexplicable move, Pakistan has moved ammunition and mines, at least fifty per cent in excess of normal needs, to forward dumps and made up critical deficiencies of stores including tanks and guns from Central Reserve stock”, PTI said.

Pakistan had also suspended all military leave, posting orders of officers and routine tum over of units.

All these steps significantly reduce the warning period India normally expects for any large scale troop movement across the border, the news agency said quoting defense analysts.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 23, 1987