Pakistan is developing new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical ones, that bring more risks to the region, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Tuesday, 13 February.
Pakistan continues to produce nuclear weapons and develop new types of nuclear weapons, including short-range tactical weapons, sea-based cruise missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, and longer-range ballistic missiles, he added.
These new types of nuclear weapons will introduce new risks for escalation of dynamics and security in the region, Coats said, reflecting on the risks involved in developing such types of nuclear weapons.
He also warned that Pakistan-supported terrorist groups would continue to carry out attacks inside India, thus risking escalation of tension between the two neighbours.
Coats' remarks came days after a group of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists struck the Sunjwan Military Camp in Jammu on Saturday, killing seven people including six soldiers.
Pakistan, in fact, will continue to threaten US interests by deploying new nuclear weapons capabilities, maintaining its ties to militants, restricting counter- terrorism cooperation, and drawing closer to China, Coats said in his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"Militant groups supported by Islamabad will continue to take advantage of their safe haven in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests." - Dan Coats during the hearing on ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment’ of the US intelligence community
He said Pakistan’s perception of its eroding position relative to India, reinforced by endemic economic weakness and domestic security issues, almost certainly will exacerbate long-held fears of isolation and drive Islamabad's pursuit of actions that run counter to US goals for the region.
Without specifically referring to any terrorist incident by Pakistan-based groups, Coats told the lawmakers that he expects tension between the two Asian neighbours.
"Relations between India and Pakistan are likely to remain tense, with continued violence on the Line of Control and the risk of escalation if there is another high-profile terrorist attack in India or an uptick in violence on the Line of Control." - Dan Coats
(This article has been published in an arrangement with PTI.)
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