"The threat of another Mumbai-type attack is undeniable; numerous Pakistan-based groups remain motivated and able to strike Indian targets," said Daniel Markey of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in his latest paper 'Terrorism and Indo-Pakistani Escalation'.
Markey, who is a prominent South Asia expert, also revealed the the terror threat will be higher if Delhi and Islamabad decide to work on the bilateral ties, as the terror outfits ultimately want to disrupt the Indo-Pak ties.
He added that terrorists are likely to act under the leadership of al Qaeda, as opposed to the usual Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed known for carrying out attacks in India.
"Al Qaeda has historically focused its efforts outside India, but if the group's leadership feels threatened in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas, it might direct and assist regional proxies to attack India as a way to ignite a distracting Indo-Pakistani confrontation," the expert said.
Even though terror groups based in India have grown capable of launching attacks, they lack connections to Pakistan-based outfits, and therefore their attacks are far less likely to spark another crisis between the two countries, he stated.
On India's reaction, he said that the more clear it is that the attack was launched from Pakistan, then it is more likely that India would retaliate. And if there are series of attacks, the cumulative effect would further diminish India's restraint.
"Prime minister Manmohan Singh has been a strong voice against Indian military retaliation, but his voice could be silenced by a future attack or otherwise drowned out by domestic political pressures," Markey added.