A prominent US think tank believes that India, which is facing the ‘undeniable’ threat of another Mumbai-type attack by Pakistan-based terror groups that may act under al-Qaida’s direction, is most likely to retaliate militarily this time unlike in 2008, reported PTI.
“The threat of another Mumbai-type attack is undeniable; numerous Pakistan-based groups remain motivated and able to strike Indian targets,” Markey of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said in his latest paper ‘Terrorism and Indo-Pakistani Escalation’, report said.
Markey, an eminent South Asia expert, said that many of these Pakistan-based terror groups have incentives to act as spoilers, either to upset efforts to improve Indo-Pak ties or to divert Islamabad form counter-terror crackdown at home, said report.
“Thus the immediate risk of terrorism may actually increase if New Delhi and Islamabad make progress on resolving their differences or if Pakistan-based terrorists are effectively backed into a corner,” he was quoted as saying in his 11-page contingency planning memorandum of the CFR.
Moreover, he said that unlike past when Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed had proven themselves the most capable and motivated to execute attacks in India, this time al-Qaida could don the mantle, said report.
“Al-Qaeda has historically focussed its efforts outside India, but if the group’s leadership feels threatened in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border areas, it might direct and assist regional proxies to attack India as a way to ignite a distracting Indo-Pakistani confrontation.”
Other regional terrorist outfits, those based in Indian included, are enhancing their capacity to inflict mass-casualty violence, but due to lack of clear-cut connections to Pakistan-based organization, their strikes are far less likely to trigger another crisis between India and Pakistan, Markey was quoted as saying.