Washington | A top American think-tank has said that it is for Pakistan to take steps, including arresting militants and shutting down training camps, to defuse tensions as India weighs options to respond to the Uri terrorist attack that killed 18 soldiers.
“The ball is in Pakistan’s court to immediately defuse tensions. Only concrete steps, like arresting militant leaders and shutting down training camps, will convince India (and the world) that Islamabad is serious about preventing its territory from being used for terror attacks against its neighbors,” Lisa Curtis of The Heritage Foundation said yesterday.
Curtis warned that a military response by India could include targeted strikes on terrorist training camps inside Pakistani territory, but such strikes would almost certainly lead to military escalation and potential all-out war.
“India would have to weigh the consequences of allowing the region to devolve into India-Pakistani conflict for India’s quest to be viewed as a rising and responsible global power,” she said.
Curtis said the US had forcefully condemned the attack but should go a step further to defuse tensions by calling on Pakistan to rein in terrorist groups operating freely on its soil.
“The fact that Pakistan has failed eight years later to prosecute the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks belies its claims of not supporting cross-border terrorism,” she said.
Meanwhile, ‘The Wall Street Journal’ said a visit by its correspondent this year to Jaish-e-Mohammad’s headquarters in the Punjab town of Bahawalpur found that the group — officially banned by Pakistan in 2002 — continued to operate freely from its base.
Pakistani authorities have said there are no safe havens for terrorists in that province, it noted.
Eighteen soldiers were killed and over a dozen others injured as heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in North Kashmir’s Uri town early Sunday.
Four militants involved in the terror strike were killed by the Army.