‘India under Modi more likely to retaliate on Pakistan’: US intelligence report

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is more likely to retaliate against ‘perceived or real Pakistan provocations’ with military force, a US intelligence report has said.

“Under the leadership of Modi, India is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations, and heightened tensions raise the risk of conflict between the two nucleararmed neighbours, with violent unrest in Kashmir or a militant attack in India being potential flashpoints,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said in its annual Threat Assessment Report, which was presented to the US Congress.

The report adds that crises between the two neighbours are likely to become more intense though a general war is unlikely.

It also says that tensions between the nucleararmed neighbours remain a concern for the world. Ties between the two countries saw a downward spiral after India abrogated Article 370.

Recently, there have ice breaking moment s between the two countries with the DGMOs issuing a joint statement reiterating their commitment to strictly enforce the 2003 ceasefire.

India has maintained that it the onus of creating conducive atmosphere for talks rests with Pakistan.

India has said it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence and that the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment free of terror and hostility.

According to the ODNI report, the fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria has a direct bearing on US forces, while tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan remain a concern for the world.

The iterative violence between Israel and Iran, the activity of foreign powers in Libya, and conflicts in other areas, including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, have the potential to escalate or spread, it said.

On Afghanistan, the ODNI report assessed that prospects for a peace deal will remain low during the next year.

“The Taliban is likely to make gains on the battlefield, and the Afghan Government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support. Kabul continues to face setbacks on the battlefield, and the Taliban is confident it can achieve military victory,” it said.

“Afghan forces continue to secure major cities and other government strongholds, but they remain tied down in defensive missions and have struggled to hold recaptured territory or reestablish a presence in areas abandoned in 2020,” the report said.

(With PTI Inputs)