WASHINGTON: A senior US official has warned that a terrorist attack in India could spark off a war with Pakistan.

In an interview to The Indian Express newspaper, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the possibility of an unintended war between India and Pakistan was a cause of concern for the United States.

“It remains a matter of real concern. The only thing worse than an intentional conflict is an unintentional conflict where an incident sparks something and it spirals out of control,” he said.

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The prospect of such a conflict, he said, was “one of the reasons why it is so important — in our judgment — that India and Pakistan find ways to communicate, to reduce tensions, and ultimately to find a more cooperative relationship”.

Mr Blinken, a former lawyer and journalist who serves as Secretary of State John Kerry’s principal deputy, also underlined US concerns about nuclear-weapons environment in South Asia, noting that “questions of strategic stability matter to us, to India, to Pakistan, to the entire world”.

Also read: Pak-India tensions: US warns against speculations about nuclear conflict

That’s why “it is important to be engaged with Pakistan on that basis as well”, he said.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2015