Kashmir nonetheless seen as ‘potential flashpoint’ for India-Pakistan battle – World

WASHINGTON: The US intelligence group, in its annual menace evaluation, has warned that heightened tensions between India and Pakistan might result in a direct battle between two nuclear-armed nations, with the disputed valley of Kashmir listed as a possible ‘flashpoint’.

The 40-page intelligence report, introduced to Congress this week, was additionally mentioned at a US State Division information briefing, the place an Indian journalist requested if the US had raised this problem eventually week’s counterterrorism convention in Islamabad.

As a substitute of showing the contents of the counterterrorism assembly, Spokesperson Ned Value defended Washington’s determination to remain engaged with Islamabad on this and different points. “The purpose of a steady and safe South and Central Asia, free from terrorism, relies on the energy of, largely, our partnership with Pakistan,” he mentioned.

The State Division’s response and the US menace evaluation mirror Washington’s new strategy to the South Asian area. Because the intelligence report exhibits, the US continues to see China as a significant menace to its international pursuits and desires to maintain India on its facet on this battle.

However as an alternative of focusing solely on India, the brand new strategy additionally recognises Pakistan as a key regional participant and indicators Washington intent to work with it on all main points so far as it appears potential.

US intelligence menace evaluation report notes need for peace between neighbours, fears such efforts could also be derailed by perceptions of heightened pressure

In doing so, the US additionally acknowledges Pakistan’s shut relationship with China and isn’t asking Islamabad to decide on between Beijing and Washington, as Mr Value has been at pains to level out on earlier events.

The 2023 menace evaluation additionally mentions the rocky India-Pakistan relationship and its affect on the area. “Crises between India and Pakistan are of explicit concern due to the chance of an escalatory cycle between two nuclear-armed states,” it warns.

However inside the battle, the report notes an inclination in direction of peace as properly: “New Delhi and Islamabad most likely are inclined to strengthen the present calm of their relationship following either side’ renewal of a cease-fire alongside the Line of Management in early 2021”.

But, the US intelligence group doesn’t rule out the opportunity of different elements undermining the need for peace. “Pakistan has a protracted historical past of supporting anti-India militant teams, and beneath the management of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is extra possible than previously to reply with navy power to perceived or actual Pakistani provocations,” it warned.

In a state of affairs like this, “all sides’s notion of heightened tensions raises the chance of battle, with violent unrest in Indian-held Kashmir or a militant assault in India being potential flashpoints.”

The US menace notion on this explicit problem just isn’t removed from that of Pakistan, which has lengthy underlined the opportunity of Indian-held Kashmir changing into a flashpoint for one more conflict between two nations who now additionally possess nuclear weapons.

At a State Division briefing this week, an Indian journalist requested Mr Value to sentence, what he claimed, was Pakistan’s continued help for numerous militant teams.

However as an alternative of doing so, Mr Value strengthened the necessity for continued dialogue with Pakistan.

The US-Pakistan counter-intelligence dialogue, he mentioned, “gives a possibility for the United

States to convey our willingness to work with Pakistan to handle terrorist threats and counter violent extremism.“

Such talks, he mentioned, lined all threats, together with people who involved the area in addition to people who had “the potential to transcend the area as properly,” including that the US and Pakistan “have a shared curiosity in combating threats to regional safety.”

Speaking concerning the claims made within the intelligence report on the weekly press briefing, Pakistan’s International Workplace Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch mentioned Pakistan had advocated constructive engagement and end result oriented dialogue with India on all excellent points, together with the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. “Sadly, India’s unabated hostility and retrogressive steps have vitiated the regional setting and impeded the prospects for peace and cooperation.”

She additionally accused India of propagating terrorism in opposition to Pakistan and referred to as on the worldwide group to induce India to introspect, change course and take essential steps to create an enabling setting for peace in South Asia for the welfare of the folks of this area.

Printed in Daybreak, March eleventh, 2023

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