WASHINGTON, October 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
The South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) was pleased to participate in a high level conference in the US Congress on Friday, September 30th, sponsored by Congresswoman ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN. Prior to the conference, Paulo Casaca, Executive Director of SADF, personally briefed Members of Congress on the escalation of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan into India. He was able to articulate policy recommendations, enlighten Members of Congress with his detailed knowledge of cross-border terrorism, counterterrorism protocols and nuclear threats stemming from the region.
He presented SADF's latest Policy Brief titled "Pakistan's cross-border terrorism. The Pathankot attack" The Pathankot Attack was a unique terror attack because it had a clear military goal and complex coordination. The recent cross-border raid by India has sparked an unusual and deadly threat from Pakistan in which it explicitly threatened the use of nuclear arms on India.
"It is remarkable because their threats are never so direct. Such threats are predictable, but not usual. And tension like this has been building to a boiling point due to lack of international concern. We have to intervene to avert catastrophe", said Paulo Casaca.
Thomas G. McInerney, retired United States Air Force Lieutenant General, who served in top military positions and reported to the Secretary of Defense and the Vice President of the United States, told the audience that the chances of nuclear arms getting into the hands of radical Islamists are high and that the West has to be sensitive to what is happening in Pakistan.
"The recent attack has evolved into a dangerous threat of nuclear force not to be taken lightly. We've seen these on and off crises over the years, but this one is particularly dangerous", said Thomas G. McInerney. He emphasized that "moderate Islam has allowed this to grow and metastasize".
Lastly, Walid Phares, globally renowned terrorism expert who chaired the meeting, concluded that there is a lack of international attention to the India-Pakistan conflict and suggested that the US be the mediator between India and Pakistan on the nuclear issue.
Concerning the fight against radical Islam he said, "We have a lot of moderate forces pushing back".
Briefed on the report, U.S. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) stated:
"It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to learn further details of cross-border terrorism issues from Paulo, which must end in order for peace to be discovered in South Asia. This is in the interests of regional stability."
Rules Committee Chairman, U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) stated:
"I was pleased to meet with Paulo Casaca and glean critical information from his briefing and organization. We reject cross-border terrorism, and support a de-escalation of violence to discover incremental steps towards a pathway to peace in the region".
While the Pathankot attack did not inflict considerable damage to the air logistics of the Indian armed forces, the Pakistani military establishment was successful in its strategic objective to derail the Indo-Pakistani diplomatic dialogue.
The South Asia Democratic Forum strongly believes that the international community must have an absolutely clear position of condemnation of Pakistan's policy of cross-border terrorism, and that all international cooperation with Pakistan should be conditional to its end.
SOURCE South Asia Democratic Forum