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PM reviews security with service chiefs

ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha had warned that Pakistan had already “identified targets” and “rehearsed” for an attack on India.



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A day after ISI chief warned that Pakistan had already “identified targets” and “rehearsed” for an attack on India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday met the three service chiefs.

At the meeting, Dr Singh reviewed the defence preparedness of the country in the wake of hostile comments from Pakistan and the death of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The 90-minute security review at the Prime Minister`s residence was attended by Defence Minister AK Antony, National Security Adviser (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon, Army Chief General VK Singh, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik,
Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and DRDO chief VK Saraswat.

"The Prime Minister was briefed on the overall security measures and the general preparedness of the defence forces. Issues like changing security situation in Pakistan and the situation along the Sino-Indian border were discussed," Defence Ministry officials said here.

On Saturday, the Dawn quoted Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha as saying that a contingency plan was in place, and that targets inside India had already been identified.

“We have also carried out rehearsal for it,” Pasha said during his in-camera briefing to a joint sitting of the Pakistan Parliament.

Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who had evaded capture for a decade, was killed on May 02 in a top secret US unilateral military operation involving a small team of Special Forces in Abbottabad, located 50 kilometres northeast of Islamabad and 150 kilometres east of Peshawar.

Commenting on the killing of bin Laden by an elite US task force, Indian Army Chief General VK Singh had said earlier this month that India was capable of conducting similar covert operations to bust extremist hubs across the border.

"I just want to say that if we get the chance, Indian force`s three units (Army, Air Force and Navy) are capable of doing such tasks," General Singh told reporters in Lucknow.

The Indian Army also suspects that Pakistan may sneak in more militants into Jammu and Kashmir to divert attention from its "internal problems" post bin Laden killing.

"It is quite likely that Pakistan under pressure, because of so many questions being asked (about Osama), could adopt a strategy of diverting attention which they have always done," General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army`s northern command Lt General KT Parnaik told reporters.

(With Agencies’ inputs)

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