Fresh 26/11-type terror attack will see India unleash wrath on Pak: Think-tank

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11 April 2017

In case of another 26/11-type attack by Pakistan-based terror groups, it would be difficult for India to show restraint, says Brussels-based think-tank International Crisis Group in a recent report analysing US policy pertaining to terrorism in South Asia.

It says the two main anti-India groups that enjoy considerable patronage in Pakistan - Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad - also pose grave threat to the US.

"Though neither has formal links to al-Qaida, their fighters rub shoulders with other militants and global jihadis in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The gravest danger they pose for Pakistan and the US is another strike on India.

''Prime Minister Narendra Modi's response to attacks last year on Indian forces in Kashmir suggests his reaction would be calibrated carefully, and public opinion would weigh only so far on that calculation.

''But it would be difficult to show restraint in the event of an attack like the one which killed large numbers of civilians in Mumbai in 2008," it states.

Days after the attack on an Indian Air Force base in Uri in September, Indian soldiers carried out a surgical strike across the Line of Control, destroying several terror launchpads and killing many terrorists.

The report titled 'Counterterrorism Pitfalls: What the US Fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda Should Avoid' states that the main challenge for the US is to persuade Pakistan's military establishment to push the Taliban toward talks and rein in anti-India groups.

"Inducements to military leaders, including strategic dialogue and extra aid in the early years of the Obama administration, did not shift its strategic calculation.

''Wielding a larger stick, for which there is some support in Congress, would be a new tactic, though US military leaders would likely have little appetite to exert significant pressure on Pakistani counterparts.

''Blank checks in the past, however, have produced at best selective counter-terrorism cooperation," it says.

It says the US also needs the cooperation of China to press and persuade Pakistan to do more against its militant proxies.

The report says Pakistan's jihadi problem is largely of its own making and is "deeply entrenched".

"That Afghan Taliban leaders who talk to the US or Afghan government without Pakistani blessings are promptly jailed or disappear showing how the military can clamp down," it says.

It says "only a strategic rethink of relations with India would lead it to dismantle the LeT's and Jaish's infrastructure".





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