WASHINGTON: US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt Gen Stewart said bilateral ties between Islamabad and New Delhi have worsened.
“In 2016, Indian and Pakistani forces exchanged some of the heaviest fire in years along the LoC and each expelled a number of the other’s diplomats amid growing tension,” he said.
“Continued threat of high-level terror attacks in India, violence in [Indian Occupied] Kashmir and bilateral diplomatic recriminations will further strain India-Pakistan ties in 2017,” he predicted.
About Pakistan, Lt Gen Stewart said the country, in 2017, is likely to gradually move from traditional counterinsurgency actions along its western border to more counter-terrorism and paramilitary assaults throughout the country that have had success in reducing violence.
“Anti-Pakistan groups probably will respond to this sustained pressure by focusing their efforts against soft targets,” he warned.
The DIA director also told the panel that Islamabad has taken steps to improve its nuclear security and is aware of the extremist threat to its programme.