Militant groups supported by Pak will continue to conduct attacks on India, Afghanistan: US intelligence report

File photo of Taliban. Photograph:( Reuters )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 30, 2019, 09.26 PM (IST) Sidhant Sibal

A United States intelligence report has warned terror attacks in India and Afghanistan due to "safe havens" provided to militants by Pakistan. 

The "worldwide threat assessment of US intelligence community" report released by "The office of the director of national intelligence" said, "militant groups supported by Pakistan will continue to take advantage of their "safe haven" in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests."

Coming out strongly against "Islamabad’s narrow approach to counterterrorism cooperation" by "using some groups as policy tools and confronting only the militant groups that directly threaten Pakistan", the report said, will certainly "frustrate US counterterrorism efforts against the Taliban."

The report comes even as the US has been engaged with Taliban for a pact that will see American troops leave Afghanistan after 17 years. On the situation in Afghanistan, the report assesses a stalemate between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the coming year in terms of making any gains "if coalition support remains at current levels."

Lauding the Afghan forces, it said it has been able to "secure cities and other government strongholds" but the Taliban has "increased large-scale attacks".

Indo-Pak ties

The 42-page report doesn't see a major breakthrough in India-Pakistan ties. It listed "cross-border terrorism, firing across the Line of Control (LoC), divisive national elections in India, and Islamabad’s perception of its position with the United States relative to India" as the main factors that is contributing to "strained" Indo-Pak ties at least till May, 2019 when India's elections get over.

It further adds,"continued terrorist attacks and cross-border firing in Kashmir" has hardened "each country’s position" and "reduced their political will to seek rapprochement".

In November last year, both countries agreed to build Kartarpur corridor so that Indian pilgrims can visit the holy Gurudwara at Kartarpur, where the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak stayed for 18 years. It is expected to be opened this year to celebrate the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji.

India-China ties

On India-China ties the report was gloomy saying that relations will remain tense despite "efforts on both sides to manage tensions." It said "misperceptions of military movements or construction" might result in tensions "escalating into armed conflict."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met four times in 2018 starting with the famous Wuhan Summit in April. In 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India for the second informal summit. 2017 was a tense year for Sino India ties as the Chinese army sought to build a road in the Doklam area of Bhutan which was repelled by the Indian Army leading to a 73-day standoff.

Indian elections

The report also spoke on the Indian general elections saying that if the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) stresses on "Hindu nationalist themes" it might result in "the possibility of communal violence". It added, communal clashes "could alienate Indian Muslims and allow Islamist terrorist groups in India to expand their influence."

Story highlights

On India-China ties the report was gloomy saying that relations will remain tense despite "efforts on both sides to manage tensions."