The Trump administration made it clear that it was Pakistan to blame for the deteriorating relations with India. The US also said that the ties could worsen if the another high-profile attack on India is carried out by Pakistan.
Islamabad's failure to curb support to anti-India militants and New Delhi's growing intolerance of this policy, coupled with a perceived lack of progress in Pakistan's investigations into the January 2016 Pathankot cross-border attack, set the stage for a deterioration of bilateral relations in 2016," Daniel Coats, director of National Intelligence, told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing.
While testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence along with top intelligence officials, Coats said the relations between India and Pakistan became more tense following two major terrorist attacks in 2016 by militants crossing into India from Pakistan.
They might deteriorate further in 2017, especially in the event of another high-profile terrorist attack in India that New Delhi attributes to originating in or receiving assistance from Pakistan," Coats said in his testimony before the Senate committee on worldwide threats.
Supporting India's pre-condition for bilateral talks on Islamabad stopping support to cross border terrorism, Coats said increasing numbers of cross-firing along the Line of Control, including the use of artillery and mortars, might aggravate the risk of unintended escalation between the two countries.
Easing of heightened India-Pak tension, including negotiations to renew official dialogue, will probably hinge in 2017 on a sharp and sustained reduction of cross-border attacks by terrorist groups based in Pakistan and progress in the Pathankot investigation, he also said.
Coats said Pakistan is concerned about its international isolation due to its dwindling position against India's rising international status, expanded foreign outreach and deepening ties with the US.
Pakistan will likely turn to China to offset its isolation, empowering a relationship that will help Beijing to project influence into the Indian Ocean," he also said.