Days after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad carried out an attack on Sunjuwan military camp in the heart of Jammu city, the United States intelligence head has came out with a warning that militant outfits will continue to target the Indian military establishment. America has also indicated that such attacks may lead to escalation of tension between the two neighbours.
America’s intelligence inputs came a day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came out with a strongly worded reaction to Sunjuwan Army camp attack, saying “Pakistan will pay” for the attack by militants from across the border.
The Indian military too is apprehensive about more attacks similar to Sunjuwan, citing not enough snowfall in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir during this winter. This has been a cause of concern for the security agencies, as the number of militants, sneaked into Indian territory from the higher passes, might have gone up drastically. As per a military estimates, there are more than 300 militants active in Kashmir Valley, of which half are foreign nationals.
This year, as many as ten militant initiated incidents have already taken place, compared to 131 incidents of militant attacks in 2017.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, during his testimony before Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said, “Militant groups, supported by Islamabad, will continue to take advantage of their safe haven in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests.” Coats said this during the hearing on ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ of the US intelligence community.
Without specifically referring to any militant incident by Pakistan-based groups, Coats told the lawmakers that he expects tension between the two Asian neighbours. “Relations between India and Pakistan are likely to remain tense, with continued violence on the Line of Control and the risk of escalation if there is another high-profile militant attack in India or an uptick in violence on the Line of Control,” Coats added.