Terror strike in India could spark war with Pakistan: top US official

Antony Blinken's remarks come days after the NSAs met in Bangkok for talks, weeks after a planned summit in Delhi broke down.

Written by Praveen Swami | New Delhi | Updated: December 9, 2015 12:27 pm
antony blinken, india pakistan war, india pakistan relations, india pakistan nsa talks, india news, latest news File photo of Antony Blinken. (Source: Reuters)

The United States is worried that a terrorist attack in India could spark off a large-scale conflict with Pakistan, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told The Indian Express on Tuesday.

“It remains a matter of real concern. The only thing worse than an intentional conflict is an unintentional conflict where an incident sparks something and it spirals out of control,” he said.

Watch Video: Terrorism Could Spark Off India-Pakistan War, Warns Top US Official

The prospect of conflict, he said, “is one of the reasons why it is so important, in our judgment, that India and Pakistan find ways to communicate, to reduce tensions, and ultimately to find a more cooperative relationship”. His remarks come days after the NSAs met in Bangkok for talks, weeks after a planned summit in Delhi broke down amid India’s insistence that the Pakistani delegation not meet Hurriyat leaders and Kashmir is kept out of the agenda.

Blinken, a former lawyer and journalist who serves as Secretary of State John Kerry’s principal deputy, also underlined US concerns about nuclear-weapons environment in South Asia, noting that “questions of strategic stability matter to us, to India, to Pakistan, to the entire world. So it is important to be engaged with Pakistan on that basis as well”.

In recent months, several experts have expressed fears over Pakistan’s fast-growing arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads — small, light weapons designed to be deployed in battlefield, which raise the prospect of accidental use in a conflict.

Blinken said Pakistan had taken significant actions against terrorism, “in North Waziristan, in particular, and they have done it at some significant cost to themselves, most notably the horrific attack on a school that claimed lives of over 150 schoolchildren”.

In meetings with US officials, he added, “their leadership, including [army chief] Gen Raheel Sharif, has said terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it is coming from. That is an important statement, and one we are urging Pakistan to act on”. The US, he said, had “raised concerns about Lashkar-e-Taiba, also about Haqqani Network and the Pakistani Taliban.”

In reply to a question why the US had failed to take tougher action on Pakistan for not acting against these groups, he said, “I think it goes to the incredible complexity of the problem, and the challenge in dealing with it.”

Headed to Islamabad Wednesday to attend the multinational Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan, Blinken said, “the investment that has already been made needs to be sustained, because it sends a message to the Taliban that, if they have in their heads the idea that they can somehow wait out the government or security forces, they are wrong”.

He said the US was not told by Pakistan’s intelligence that Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar had died some years ago. In reply to a question on whether news of his demise was a surprise, he replied: “Yes, it was”.

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First Published on: December 9, 2015 2:18 am
  1. G
    Goswami
    Sep 30, 2016 at 5:38 am
    Good reply
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    1. F
      Fabian
      Oct 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm
      US sucks !! ledem pull off their pants and give their ... to s...
      Reply
      1. R
        Ranjit Bal
        Sep 28, 2016 at 1:44 am
        Inaction by self proclaimed global policeman has led to situation deteriorate where war or global isolation of stan remains sole solution.... Cost of terror in form of loss of human lives, resources diverted, religious issues, burden on economy is immense on a developing country like india where majority of potion doesn't even has basic needs of life, it's time america acts tough on stan to avoid a probable nuclear Holocaust.
        Reply
        1. R
          Raju
          Dec 9, 2015 at 6:52 pm
          Indis is terrorists country .the world must take action against indian terrorists organisations RSS dian govt killing innocent muslims , sikhs and poor cast hindus .my best wishes with all them who are suffering in terror india.
          Reply
          1. R
            Rojik
            Dec 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm
            The United States can go to any extent in order of its capitalists interests. They did this in the WWS, in 9/11, Iraq & now ISIS. A war between India and stan is like a mouth watering situation for them. It would benefit the Defense Industry of the US immensely, to be precise. And secondly India's rapidly growing economy would be hurt drastically. So I would not be surprised if any terrorist attacks happens on Indian cities in the near future, say 2-3 years.
            Reply
            1. B
              Bhupen
              Dec 9, 2015 at 2:42 am
              Right essment Next terrorist attack on India will surely start full fledged WAR If it does not then PM MODI is of no use to India Unfortunate reality of history is without going to war no county has become RICH and Powerful - look at rich country list Also look at UNSC member list World respect power which comes thru strength Demonstrated in wars ! USA is super power because it is n perpetual war each day !!!!
              Reply
              1. V
                Venkatraman Shenoy
                Dec 9, 2015 at 5:54 am
                Whether it is Mullah Omar or Osama Bin Laden, stan has continuously deceived the US and they have shown that US is willing to be duped. It is clear from this article that India has left nobody in doubt that any terror attack anywhere in India will be treated as aggression and will be replied to as an act of war.
                Reply
                1. S
                  safi
                  Dec 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm
                  R u stupid or what???
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Deepak Ghanvatkar
                    Dec 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm
                    Sir, Why does US lecture India about what stan will do or how dangerous stan is pampered to become? I remember Bush Jr state- we will bomb stan to stone age if another terror attack is traced to stan. Now after 14 people were killed in stan what has US done? Lecture India??? Plant such stories and pressure Modi? HA HA HA
                    Reply
                    1. D
                      Dushyant Parikh
                      Dec 9, 2015 at 1:08 am
                      India should be ready in all respect for the war, continuing meetings/talks/negotiation/dialogue with stan and not rely on USA or Russia or China. All are behaving like Monkey and India and stan are two Cats for them. Dushyant Parikh.
                      Reply
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                        FARMAN KHAN
                        Dec 9, 2015 at 9:19 am
                        best day of celebration in stan and India .New Chapter of India and stan are start without and conflict and come on dialog table.it is wish of every patriotism of India and stan country
                        Reply
                        1. F
                          FARMAN KHAN
                          Dec 9, 2015 at 9:20 am
                          i am from STAN
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Mohandas Gandhi
                            Dec 9, 2015 at 6:13 am
                            US funds stan with billions of $$ for weapons & then plays a double role !! Same is happening in middle-east, find some dumb brains to play with, sell some weapons & then earn in name of war !!
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              Mohandas Gandhi
                              Dec 9, 2015 at 6:10 am
                              When was this threat not there !! When Russia was against IS, US said it was premature; Media start owing some responsibilities instead of being biased. Paid Media/US stop building agitation everywhere.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sumit
                                Dec 9, 2015 at 5:24 am
                                We are waiting for any such mischief..........
                                Reply
                                1. G
                                  gopal
                                  Dec 9, 2015 at 6:17 pm
                                  ''Part of the reason stan commands so little respect in the world of diplomacy and international relations is that the self-appointed custodians of the national interest are inveterate liars. But the outside world is fully aware of the lies, and it does hurt stan in ways perceptible and imperceptible. Nobody believes it. Not the Americans, not the Europeans, not the Arabs, not even the Taliban. Mullah Zaeef has memorably said: “stan … is so famous for treachery that it is said they can get milk from a bull. They have two tongues in one mouth, and two faces on one head so they can speak everybody’s language; they use everybody, deceive everybody.” What was once an establishment in denial has become a country in denial. And where previously we were lying to outsiders, now we are lying to ourselves. '' DAWN …………………………………………………………………..
                                  Reply
                                  1. G
                                    gopal
                                    Dec 9, 2015 at 6:20 pm
                                    America sponsors terrorism, it is silent on stan and Saudi Arabia, the two most corrupt sponsors in terror.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      M M
                                      Dec 9, 2015 at 8:14 am
                                      Ask yourself. sometimes they talk nonsense. But do they behead, shoot, bomb anybody?
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        M M
                                        Dec 9, 2015 at 5:32 am
                                        Donald Trupm is 100% right. The so called liberal Muslims and Muslim religious/ political leaders in India and other countries are not making any visible effort to stop or even to criticize the Muslim terror groups. So the world leaders rather than beating around bush, should take tough actions against Islam itself so that the Muslim leaders are forced to act against terrorists.
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          M M
                                          Dec 9, 2015 at 6:09 am
                                          terror is islam - islam is terror
                                          Reply
                                          1. J
                                            Jay Kotek
                                            Dec 9, 2015 at 10:45 am
                                            The problem with stan can never be solved with dialogues....stan is behind all terrorist attacks around world....they finance and support terrorism officially...ternational community is supporting stan because of their vested interests in geo politics....unless and until stan become a desert India can stay in peace...sane theocratic leaders have no concern for its people living there, than exporting and manufacturing terrorists....stan is ruled by a bunch of crooks....
                                            Reply
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