December 6, 2008diplomacyForeign AffairsIndialevitymilitaryPakistan

Hello, this is Pranab Mukherjee speaking

A prank of unlikely innocence

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

This looks like it is out of GreatBong. Because it can’t get more bizarre than this—Dawns Zafar Abbas reports that someone claiming to be the Indian foreign minister called Asif Ali Zardari late on November 28th, and threatened military action. And this sent the Pakistani government in a tizzy, and they alerted the air force and the army threatened to pull 100,000 troops away from the war they don’t want to fight anyway.

The fake Pranabda then tried calling the US Secretary of State, but the Americans saw through the hoax. To top it all, the Pakistanis are convinced the source of the mischief was someone in the Indian external affairs ministry.”

Seriously! How credulous can the good people in Islamabad be? That apart, what is disturbing in the whole story—if indeed it is true—is that it reeks of an attempt to use the aftermath of the terrorist attacks to trigger off a military crisis.

Update: Just over ten years ago, after India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif received intelligence inputs suggesting that India and Israel were planning a pre-emptive strike against Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. Bruce Riedel, then a senior official in the US State Department recalls that he had the Israeli Chief of Staff deny categorically to the Pakistani Ambassador in Washington any such plan the night before the tests but that fact mattered little to Islamabad.”



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