New Delhi: A redrawn map of South Asia that appeared in The New York Times showing a truncated Pakistan, reduced to an elongated sliver of land, has sparked fear among military planners in Islamabad.
Many in Pakistan fear that India and Afghanistan are colluding to destroy the only nuclear powered-Muslim nation with the US help, a media report said on Sunday.
The New York Times published a map of Pakistan which it claimed was in wide circulation among sections of the Pakistani establishment.
The map not only shows Baluchistan as independent, it also shows the North West Frontier Province as part of Afghanistan, reducing Pakistan to a thin sliver of virtually indefensible territory.
The map was published in the US Armed Forces Journal in 2006 and is known to reflect thinking at that time in neo-conservative circles.
The New York Times quoted unnamed Pakistani diplomatic sources as saying the map indicated Islamabad's uneasiness with US policy and doubts about its intentions.
It's not clear why the Pakistanis are worried about the map now, while the original version published in the US Armed Forces Journal showed vast parts of the Islamic world sliced up including US allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
The map, first circulated as a theoretical exercise in some American neoconservative circles, has fueled a belief among Pakistanis that what the United States really wants is the breakup of their country, The New York Times reported.
That notion, it says, may strike Americans as strange coming from an ally of 50 years but as the incoming Barack Obama administration tries to coax greater cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against militancy, it can hardly be ignored.
Pakistan, says The New York Times, is upset over the Indo-American civilian nuclear deal as also big investments made by New Delhi in Afghanistan.
In this context, the paper makes special reference to the Iranian border road which, it says, would ultimately provide access to India to Iranian port of Chabahar, circumventing Pakistan.
(With inputs from PTI)