Narendra Modi said terrorist organizations who committed the attack and their backers have made a ‘very grave mistake’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the security forces have been given a free hand in the wake of the Pulwama attack in which 37 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force lost their lives, ANI reported. Modi said the government will give a strong reply to the perpetrators.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the terror attack.
“The forces behind this act of terrorism and those responsible for it will be definitely be punished,” he said at the inauguration of the Vande Bharat Express in New Delhi. “I thank all the nations who have supported us and condemned this incident in the strongest of terms. A strong reply will be given to this attack.”
Modi said those responsible for the attack had made a huge mistake. “If our neighbour, which is totally isolated in the world, thinks it can destabilize India through its tactics and conspiracies, then it is making a big mistake,” he said, referring to Pakistan.
Modi offered tributes to the jawans who had sacrificed their lives. “I understand the anger the people of India are feeling,” he added. “The government has given full freedom to the security forces to act as they see fit.”
The prime minister said he is sure that nationalist-minded people will provide correct information to police and security forces, so that terrorism can be defeated. “I want to tell terrorist organisations and their backers that they have committed a very grave mistake,” he said. “They will pay a heavy price for it.”
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier announced that the government was withdrawing the “Most Favoured Nation” status accorded to Pakistan, which has denied any involvement in the attack.
'Opposition united with govt'
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday extended support to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 37 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force in Jammu and Kashmir.
Gandhi described the incident as “a terrible tragedy” and said the violence against the security forces was “absolutely disgusting”. “The aim of terrorism is to divide this country and we are not going to be divided,” he said. “The entire opposition will stand together with our jawans and our government.”
“Those who have done this should not feel that they can harm the country, it is a time of mourning,” Gandhi added.
India summons Pakistani envoy
India on Friday summoned Pakistan’s envoy and lodged an official protest over the deaths of at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in a suicide bomb attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on Thursday, PTI reported. The Jaish-e-Mohammed extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Sohail Mahmood on Friday. Gokhale told the Pakistan high commissioner that Islamabad must take “immediate and verifiable” steps against Jaish-e-Mohammed, and “must immediately stop groups or individuals associated with terrorism operating from its territories, ANI reported citing sources.
Gokhale also rejected the Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s statement issued on Thursday. Pakistan had condemned the attack, but rejected any involvement in it. “We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
Pakistan rejects links to attack in Kashmir
Pakistan said a suicide bomber attack in Indian controlled Kashmir that killed at least 44 paramilitary police on Thursday was a "matter of grave concern," but it rejected India blaming the attack on Pakistan, reports Reuters.
"We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on its website early on Friday.
A suicide bomber rammed a car into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on Thursday, killing 44 of them in the deadliest attack in decades on security forces in the disputed region, raising tensions with Pakistan.