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December 30, 2001
2110 IST

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Musharraf approves strategy to 'counter' Indian attack

K J M Varma in Islamabad

Anti-aircraft guns have been deployed on all key installations, F-16 fighter aircraft started taking up positions and leave of doctors and paramedical staff suspended under a defence strategy approved by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in the event of a war with India.

During his meeting with top military officials at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi on Saturday, Musharraf approved the strategy to be followed by his armed forces to repulse any attack from the Indian forces, Urdu newspaper Ausaf said on Sunday.

It said Musharraf also called for an extraordinary joint meeting of the National Security Council and the Federal Cabinet on January 2 to analyse the repercussions of a war with India.

According to the report, anti-aircraft guns have been deployed on all sensitive installations all over the country and all concerned departments have been alerted.

The Pakistan army has also deployed sophisticated weapons at various airbases and border areas. It said F-16 aircraft have started taking positions at airbases in Nawabshah, Badin, Sukkhar and Talhar.

Other sophisticated instruments have also been deployed in these areas. Arrangements are also being made to shift people from border and other areas closer to the airports.

According to sources, vacations of doctors and other paramedical staff have been suspended and medical authorities asked to store emergency medicines.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has apprised the United States administration that in case of any Indian attack, it would not be able to continue extending cooperation to the ongoing operations in Afghanistan.

It said Pakistan has informed the US that in case of Indian attack, it would have to close its airspace and America would have to discontinue its air strikes against Afghanistan.

Apart from that Pakistan would not be able to provide logistic support to the US, it added.

PTI

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