Pakistan moves troops toward Indian border

In a sign that tensions may be rising in southwest Asia, Pakistan is moving tens of thousands of troops away from the tribal regions where they had been carrying out operations against terrorists and toward the Indian border:

Analysts said the redeployment was likely meant as a warning to India not to launch missile strikes against militant targets on its territory, a response that some have speculated is possible.

"It is a message to India that if you think you can get away with strikes, you are sadly mistaken," said Talat Masood, a retired general and military analyst based in Islamabad.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two over Kashmir, a Muslim majority region in the Himalayas claimed by both countries.

They came close to a fourth after suspected Pakistani militants attacked India's parliament in 2001. Both countries massed hundreds of thousands of troops to the disputed Kashmir region, but tensions cooled after intensive international diplomacy.

It would be unwise for Pakistan to attack India so this move is more for demonstration purposes than any outright threat. But with India demanding that Pakistan attack the problem of terrorism more vigorously and Pakistan saying it is doing all it can, the risk is apparent that internal pressure will build on the Indian government and they might be forced to launch a retaliatory strike of some kind.

Meanwhile, this maneuver makes it easier for the Taliban to infiltrate across the border into Afghanistan as many of the troops were patrolling the lawless region in the Northwest Frontier Provinces where the enemy operates.