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India under Modi more likely to respond with Military; says US intelligence report on Pak Provocations

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The US Intelligence annual report on Monday predicted a military escalation between India and China after strained ties post 2020 Galwan clash and Narendra Modi’s government retaliation against Pakistan in the event of unrest in Kashmir or terror attack in India by Islamabad supported terrorist groups.

The US Director of National Intelligence in its annual threat assessment report has predicted that India-China ties will remain strained after the 2020 Galwan clash and raised fears about an Indian retaliation against Pakistan in the event of a terrorist attack on India or a “violent unrest in Kashmir” orchestrated by Pak-based terrorist groups.

This report is quite critical amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. This unclassified report mentions that India’s potential conflicts with Pakistan and China could create an adverse situation with unimaginable repercussions that may attract immediate attention of the United States and the rest of the world.

It noted that Russia-Ukraine war has been changing and redefining the geo-political equations and national characteristic of the current era. The assessment also suggested that China has developed a capability to directly attempt to change the rules-based global order, and it can push the global norms and pose threatening posture against its neighbors.

The report highlighted the expanded military postures by both India and China along the disputed border, the report warned about the elevated risk of armed confrontation between the nuclear powers that “might involve direct threats to U.S. persons and interests, and may demand for U.S. intervention.”

“Previous standoffs have demonstrated that persistent low-level friction on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has the potential to escalate swiftly,” it said.

India-China relations are virtually frozen

Here it is important to note that relations between India and China have virtually frozen ever since the eastern Ladakh military standoff between the two countries in May 2020. India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas. On the other hand, China is using a tactic where it keeps on provoking India every now and then by its highly suspicious movements across the LAC.

India-Pakistan relations are non-existent

Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained over the Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan. India has always maintained that talks and terrorism cannot go together and Pakistan must shun the terrorism and provide a conducive atmosphere for the resumption of any sort of dialogue or confidence building measure.

According to the report, the crises between India and Pakistan are of particular concern because of the risk of an escalatory cycle between two nuclear-armed states. New Delhi and Islamabad probably are inclined to reinforce the current calm in their relationship following both sides’ renewal of a ceasefire along the Line of Control in early 2021.

“However, Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-India militant groups, and under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations. Each side’s perception of heightened tensions raises the risk of conflict, with violent unrest in Kashmir or a militant attack in India being potential flashpoints,” it said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and the US have held a round of counterterrorism dialogue that included discussions on counter-terrorism cooperation at multilateral forums, assessment of the regional counterterrorism landscape, cyber security and countering violent extremism.

The report comes at a time when India strongly criticised Pakistan after its foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, brought up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) debate on women, peace and security.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador, Ruchira Kamboj, called Zardari’s remarks “baseless and politically motivated” and said that it was “unworthy” to even respond to such “malicious and false propaganda”.

In her response, Kamboj dismissed Zardari’s remarks as “frivolous” and said, “Before I conclude, let me dismiss the frivolous, baseless and politically motivated remarks made by the delegate of Pakistan regarding the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”

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