Attack on India by Lashkar, JeM will undermine US' efforts in Afghanistan

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Washington, Jan.28 (ANI): Repeat strikes on India by extremist groups like the Laskar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) will pose the biggest threat to the US' interests in Afghanistan, a leading expert has warned.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee about Al Qaeda and US policy, Pulitzer Prize-winner journalist and writer, Steve Coll underlined the expanding threat posed by the terror groups like Lashkar.

Coll said LeT has been recruiting highly educated people such as doctors and other postgraduate professionals in order to provide new and wider dimensions to its nefarious aims.

"If one of these sub-networks did carry out a spectacular attack, the overwhelming likelihood is that it would be directed against India, which would again raise the specter of disruptive military conflict, undermining U.S. efforts in Afghanistan," Coll said.

"The potential of these India-focused groups, with or without clandestine collaboration by Pakistani security forces to repeat or exceed the scale of the provocative attack carried out in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, presents, in my judgment, one of the most serious current threats to U.S. interests in the complex of risks and dangers posed by Al Qaeda," he added.

Coll also pointed out that despite repeated appeals from the US to take on the militants harder, the Pakistan Army is unlikely to act, as it lacks the will to do so.

"The Army also has a clear historical record of lacking the will to abandon its policies of using dangerous Islamist militias, including some affiliated with Al Qaeda, as proxies in its regional competition with India," Coll, who is currently the president and CEO of the New America Foundation, said.

"A risk facing the Obama Administration is that, in its anxiety to avoid aggravating the Pakistan Army and political establishment by making demands about Kashmir- and India-focused groups it may leave relatively unmolested the very regional networks that the evidence suggests have the talent, time and space to carry out ambitious violence, whether it is in India or elsewhere," the former Washington Post managing editor underlined. (ANI)

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