Sunday , 18 November 2018
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WASHINGTON:  US’ top military commander on Thursday  feared of a repeat of a Mumbai-style attack by militants in India, which he said, would push nuclear-armed India and Pakistan into a war.

LeT emerging as global threat: US

WASHINGTON:  US’ top military commander on Thursday  feared of a repeat of a Mumbai-style attack by militants in India, which he said, would push nuclear-armed India and Pakistan into a war.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, who was on his way to New Delhi, said that he was focusing on efforts to ensure that it does not happen.
“I worry a great deal about a repeat attack, or something like that,” Adm Mullen told reporters on board his special plane.
Referring to 26/11, he said the attack demonstrated that a small group of terrorists could have a “strategic impact” and possibly take India and Pakistan to war.
“One of the things that struck me then and is still of great concern how 10 terrorists could drive two nuclear armed nations closer to conflict,” he said, according to Pentagon.
“It didn’t bring them to the brink (of war) but it brought them closer,” he said.
The admiral said: “There is the possibility of some kind of miscalculation in response to an attack such as the one in Mumbai.”
He said Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the Mumbai attacks, was starting to emerge as a “larger global threat”.
The FBI arrested Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American in May in a botched Times Square bombing plot. Shahzad has admitted that he was trained by the LeT in Pakistan to carry out the terrorist act in the US.
“One of the things I’ve watched in the FATA, in the region between Pakistan and in Afghanistan is the merging of these terrorist organisations,” he said.
Adm Mullen lauded India for showing restrain in the face the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead, including American nationals. Adm Mullen recalled his visit to New Delhi days after the terror attacks and said he was impressed by Indian restraint during and immediately after the attacks.
“The US and India have shared interests that are tied specifically to counter-terrorism. Working together to blunt and to end the terrorist threat is one impetus to working together” the admiral said.
Adm Mullen’s visit coincides with a tour to New Delhi by special US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mr Richard Holbrooke. Both men said combating the LeT was a top priority.
Mr Holbrooke said the LeT was just one of a number of regional militant groups, along with the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, looking to destabilise South Asia.
“They seem to be growing closer together … (and) their long-term objective is the same: to create the maximum number of problems between India and Pakistan … to create a crisis,” Holbrooke said.
Mr Holbrooke, who met the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday  evening to give his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, said India has a “vitally important role” to play in the peace and stability in that country and insisted that the US was not trying to “diminish” that scope.
Adm Mullen lauded India for showing restrain in the face the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead, including American nationals. Adm Mullen recalled his visit to New Delhi days after the terror attacks and said he was impressed by Indian restraint during and immediately after the attacks.
“The US and India have shared interests that are tied specifically to counter-terrorism. Working together to blunt and to end the terrorist threat is one impetus to working together” the admiral said.
Asserting that military-to-military ties had grown “dramatically” in the past 20 years, the highest ranking US military official said the forces of the two countries should “take a big new step to the next level…..And carry out more complicated manoeuvres”.
The US military chief who is to meet  Dr Singh and hold discussions with the three service chiefs, the national security advisor and political leaders said Indians “are also very focused on how we share what we have learned”.
Elaborating on building up military cooperation, Adm Mullan said maritime exercises predominate, but there have been air exercises and last year saw the first US Army unit training with the Indian Army in India.
Adm Mullen said his talks with Indian military leader would focus on cyber domain, as he described India as a rising cyber power.
The US military chief will follow his visit to India with one to Pakistan, saying that America wants to remain engaged with both the nations.
“Certainly there is an opportunity to have discussions across the region and we will work our way through to a much more stable future,” he said.
 

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