New Delhi, May 12, 2017: The Donald Trump government has on Thursday criticised Pakistan for deteriorating bilateral relations with India and said that terror groups in Pakistan will continue a pose a “sustained threat” to US, India and Afghanistan.
“Pakistani-based terrorist groups will present a sustained threat to the US interests in the region and continue to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan,” Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence told members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a Congressional hearing on Worldwide threats.
“The threat to US and the West from Pakistani-based terrorist groups will be persistent but diffuse. Plotting against the US homeland will be conducted on a more opportunistic basis or driven by individual members within these groups,” he added.
He further said that strained relations between India and Pakistan are a result of the Pathankot and Uri attacks of 2016, carried out by terrorists crossing into India from Pakistan and terror incidents along the Line of Control might further deteriorate relations between the India and Pakistan.
“Islamabad’s failure to curb support to anti-India militants and New Delhi’s growing intolerance of this policy, coupled with a perceived lack of progress in Pakistan’s investigations into the January 2016 Pathankot cross-border attack, set the stage for a deterioration of bilateral relations in 2016,” Coats told US lawmakers.
India has reiterated that Pakistan must stop supporting terror groups if it wants to continue bilateral talks, which was supported by the senior Trump Administration official.
“Easing of heightened Indo-Pak tension, including negotiations to renew official dialogue, will probably hinge in 2017 on a sharp and sustained reduction of cross-border attacks by terrorist groups based in Pakistan and progress in the Pathankot investigation,” Coats said.