Citing U.S. Precedent, India Mulls Pre-Emptive Strike on Pakistan

| April 2003

The Indian defense minister yesterday said the U.S. invasion of Iraq provided a precedent for a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan.

Georges Fernandes told a meeting of war veterans in the northern Indian city of Jodhpur that Pakistan was ?a prime case? for pre-emptive invasion, but he stopped short of threatening such a strike, reports Agence France Presse. ?There are enough reasons to launch such strikes against Pakistan,? Fernandes said, ?but I cannot make public statements on whatever action that may be taken.?

The comment echoes the views of Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha, who recently noted that his country had ?a much better case for pre-emptive action against Pakistan than the United States has in Iraq,? because Pakistan is known to have weapons of mass destruction and harbors terrorists.

Fernandes? statement came only hours after Secretary of State Colin Powell said the United States would work to cool tensions between the two countries, which have fought three wars since 1947.

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