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Will give evidence of Indian role in Balochistan: Gilani

November 26, 2009 17:04 IST

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Thursday that Pakistan will produce evidence of India's alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in the tribal areas and Balochistan when there is a need to do so.

"We are not silent on the issue. When we talk about such evidence, the timing and forum to make them public have to be determined. When there is a need, we will produce the evidence at that time," Gilani told a news conference at his official residence. He was responding to a question on when Pakistan would make public the evidence it has of India's alleged interference in Balochistan and the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

Gilani did not give details of the evidence that Pakistan has purportedly gathered. Over the past few weeks, Pakistani civil and military officials have claimed that evidence of India's alleged role in fomenting unrest has been found by security forces and intelligence agencies. Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have dismissed the charges and said Pakistan has nothing to fear from India.

In response to another question, Gilani said he had taken up the issue of an alleged Indian role in Balochistan during his meeting with Singh in Egypt in July.  A joint statement issued after that meeting had said India was willing to discuss all "core issues", including Kashmir and Balochistan, Gilani said. The news conference was organised so that Gilani could present his government's views on a new package of constitutional, administrative and economic reforms that was recently unveiled to tackle the insurgency in Balochistan. The package is aimed at stabilising Balochistan and foiling the "intentions of those trying to destabilise" the province, the premier said.Gilani said he was in contact with a lot of Baloch nationalist leaders, including those living outside the country, and the government is ready to do everything within the ambit of constitution to resolve the problems of the province.

Replying to a question, Gilani said the US should consult Pakistan on a planned troop surge in Afghanistan as the move could affect the security situation in Balochistan. "Therefore Pakistan should be taken into confidence," he said. The US administration should consult Pakistani intelligence and defence officials before any "paradigm shift or any new policy" on Afghanistan so that "we can formulate strategy accordingly", he said.

If more US troops are sent to Afghanistan, the Taliban militants could sneak into Balochistan and this can destabilise the region, Gilani said.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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