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'Pak terror groups have strategic intent to strike India'

world Updated: Jan 05, 2010 21:15 IST

Pakistan-based terror groups have a "strategic intent" to launch major new attacks on the Indian soil to trigger a conflict between the two countries, according to a US intelligence and security think-tank.

In its annual forecast released today, Stratfor predicted that 2010 might see the US intensifying its drone strikes in Pakistan as the bulk of the al-Qaeda leadership is believed to be hiding there.

As the nature of the war shifts to Pakistan, Stratfor said, there is a strong jihadist strategic intent to launch a major attack against India in order to trigger a conflict between India and Pakistan.

"Such an attack would re-direct Pakistani troops from battling the jihadists in the country's west, towards the Indian border," the think tank Stratfor said in its security forecast for South Asia in 2010.

But the think tank said both Washington and New Delhi were well aware of such tactics and since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, India and the US had garnered better intelligence on groups with such goals, making success less likely.

"But that hardly makes such attacks impossible," the Stratfor said.

The Mumbai terror attacks, orchestrated by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2008, left Indo-Pak relations severely strained and stalled the composite dialogue process.