A US think-tank has forecast a ‘large-scale war’ between India and Pakistan over the next five years. It has also predicted the possibility of India and China ‘slipping into a conflict’.
India and China began disengaging troops, tanks and artillery from the northern and southern banks of the Pangong Lake on February 10, after a tense nine-month standoff. India and Pakistan agreed to adhere to a 2003 ceasefire on February 24 this year after one of the largest number of border firing incidents over the past year. Tensions between the three nuclear-armed rivals, however, remain mainly over the world’s largest disputed boundary.
The five-year regional outlook was released by the Strategic Futures Group, a think-tank of the National Intelligence Council, on April 7. It warns that India and Pakistan may stumble into a large-scale war neither side wants, ‘especially following a terrorist attack that the Indian Government judges to be significant.’
The report outlines that the ability of Pakistan-based terrorists to conduct attacks, New Delhi’s resolve to punish Islamabad after such an attack and Islamabad’s determination to defend itself are likely to persist and may increase.