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‘Security challenges to grow due to elections in Afghanistan, India’

‘Security challenges to grow due to elections in Afghanistan, India’

Jan 30, 2019 - 18:09

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): US Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats has said challenges facing the South Asian region to grow in 2019 due to elections in Afghanistaninfo-icon and India.

In a public testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday, he shared his views on large-scale Talibaninfo-icon attacks and "Pakistaninfo-icon’s recalcitrance in dealing with militant groups".

 Coats, in his threat assessment report said in the coming year, "militant groups in Pakistan will continue to take advantage of their safe haven there to plan and conduct attacks in neighbouring countries and possibly beyond."

Coats' report holds Pakistan responsible for supporting and providing terrorists safe haven "to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests". It also accuses Islamabad of "using some groups as policy tools and confronting only the militant groups that directly threaten Pakistan".

The report claims that Pakistan's "narrow approach to counter-terrorism cooperation [...] almost certainly will frustrate US counter-terrorism efforts against the Taliban".

Coats in his remarks before the Senate committee had said: "We remain concerned about Pakistan's continued development control of nuclear weapons," but did not express any concern about India's nuclear programme, although the report notes that India had, in 2018, conducted its first deployment of a nuclear-powered submarine armed with nuclear missiles.

The 2019 report mentions that "Pakistan continues to develop new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer range ballistic missiles."

A 2016 Harvard Kennedy report on prevention of nuclear terrorism states that India's nuclear security measures "may be weaker than those of Pakistan". However, the risk of theft across the border "appears to be moderate", while in Pakistan it "appears to be high".

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