`Post 26/11, Kayani told US Pak will respond to Indian attack`

Pak Army Chief had told the US that his Army would respond to Indian attack.

Washington: As Indo-Pak tensions escalated
post-26/11 amid mounting evidence of involvement of Pakistani
establishment in the Mumbai strikes, Pakistan`s army chief Gen
Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had told America that his force "would
respond to an Indian attack," according to leaked US cables.

Four days after Barack Obama took over as President,
Kayani, during a meeting with US Central Command chief Gen
David Petraeus in Islamabad on January 24, 2009, claimed that
Pakistan was exercising restraint in the aftermath of the
Mumbai terrorist attacks, said a US embassy cable from
Islamabad, released by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

The United States, which has charged the WikiLeaks with
indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these
cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of
the documents.

"Kayani said he was going to exercise restraint with
India, but would respond to an Indian attack," the cable said.

During the meeting, Petraeus said "the most important
threat to Pakistan was on the western border and internally.

Terrorists were an existential threat to Pakistan. Kayani
agreed.

"However, Kayani observed that he had postponed a missile
test. The Indians, he said, in contrast, had conducted one
just a few hours before," according to the cable.

Kayani said he had no intention to resume missile testing
as long as the current tensions persisted and promised to be
transparent with allies about his plans, it said. He had also
briefed the US about the move of 6,000 troops to the Indian
border.
"He recounted that he had taken no action the evening
that (the then) Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab
Mukherjee had supposedly called President (Asif Ali) Zardari
and threatened to declare war," the cable said.

It later came out that Mukherjee never made such a call.

"Kayani asked to be alerted if the US had any warning of
another attack - he understood that the Indians had been
warned about the Mumbai attack. He mentioned that discussion
of the consequences of a follow-on attack made both India and
Pakistan hostage to extremists and increased the likelihood of
an attack," the cable said.

"If there is any clue about another attack," he said,
"please share it with us."

PTI

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