Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Indian consulate in Iran aiding Baloch rebels: Pak

Hindustan Times:
Pakistan has asked Iran to monitor the Indian consulate in the Iranian border city of Zahidan, alleging it was aiding nationalist rebels in the southwest Balochistan province.

Islamabad has accused the Indian diplomatic office of fermenting the revolt by Baloch nationalists who have been demanding more autonomy and the dismantling of Pakistan's military garrisons in the province. READ MORE

Pakistani interior secretary Syed Kamal Shah, who returned from a visit to Iran on Sunday, made the complaint to officials in Tehran, media reports said.

Islamabad has made repeated accusations that Indian consulates in Zahidan and cities in Afghanistan are funding tribal militants in Balochistan, including the recently banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

India has countered the allegations saying both Tehran and the international security assistance force (ISAF) in Afghanistan would have known about any such assistance being provided.

The accusations, officials say, are made to discredit India's involvement in various development projects in Afghanistan as well as its close ties with Tehran.

Shah told Iranian authorities that Pakistan was facing problems dealing with militants in Balochistan because of the extreme geographical terrain of the area, the Daily Times reported.