13 May 2017

News Report: Trump Administration Official Warns India, Pakistan About Deteriorating Ties

Daniel Coats, the Director of US National Intelligence, warned that ties between India and Pakistan may deteriorate further if India is hit by a “high profile” terror attack that can be traced via cross-border links to Pakistan.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – Coats’ statement came during a US Congressional hearing. India accused Pakistan of fomenting terrorism in the Indian side of Kashmir as well as other parts of the country, including the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Coats also said without a substantial reduction in cross-border attacks and progress in the probe related to a terrorist raid on an Indian Air Force station in Pathankot, any easing of tensions between the two neighbors is unlikely.

“Islamabad's failure to curb support to anti-India militants and New Delhi's growing intolerance of this policy, coupled with a perceived lack of progress in Pakistan's investigations into the January 2016 Pathankot cross-border attack, set the stage for a deterioration of bilateral relations in 2016,” PTI quoted Coats as saying during a hearing on worldwide threats in the Senate Select Committee.

Coats’ comments are being viewed as a major shift in US strategic thinking, indicating Washington preparing to align its long-term interests with India’s in the region. Indian experts say that it strengthens New Delhi’s stance on terrorism, especially in the Indian side of Kashmir.

“We have been saying for long that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence has activated its sleeper cells and units in India,” P.K. Mishra, senior fellow with the New Delhi-based Vivekananda International Foundation and former Additional Director-General of the Border Security Force, told Sputnik.

He said the recent wave of radicalization can’t be solved with a single approach. "There can't be a single approach to the ongoing crisis in Kashmir. You need to apply both political as well as military solutions. The former would require development, job creation and other ways to pacify protesters.”

The recent months have seen an increase in incidents of artillery and mortar firing between the two sides along the Line of Control. Both sides had agreed to a ceasefire in 2003, but the recent incidents could cause an escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan, Coats said.

Coats listed Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat ui-Ahrar, al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, Daesh in Khorasan Province, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Lashkar-e Jhangvi ai-Aiami as groups posing a threat to Pakistan’s internal security as well. He said the terrorists could target the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in pursuit of their goals.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.