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Indian government and military forces attend to the scene of a crashed Indian Air Force aircraft on February 27, 2019 in Budgam west of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir, India.
As the world’s largest democracy gears up for a national election, India is facing a dramatic rise in tensions with its neighbor, Pakistan…and America should be concerned.
In response to India’s airstrike on Tuesday, Pakistan shot down two Indian military jets and captured an Indian pilot. India’s foreign ministry later said that India had shot down a Pakistani fighter jet, setting the stage for a potentially larger stand-off between the two nuclear-armed south Asian nations sparring over the disputed Kashmir region and suspected terror networks operating in Pakistan.
“We have not seen a path of de-escalation but rather actions that have the potential to escalate into further conflict,” Manpreet Singh Anand, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, told CNBC.
Foreign policy experts say the brewing dispute between the two nations is not an isolated event and could have ripple effects that impact U.S. policy.
“America foreign policy leaders are very much focused on what’s happening in Vietnam and we don’t know if there is enough attention being put on the India-Pakistan issue which in my view presents a real risk of a crisis right now,” says Singh, who currently works as a senior advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group.
President Donald Trump is meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in an effort to negotiate a path to denuclearization among other issues just as tensions in India and Pakistan threaten to spiral out of control.