Archive for ‘PM Narendra Modi’

23/02/2019

Time to test Pathan’s words: PM Modi on Imran Khan’s promise

At a public rally in Rajasthan, PM Modi said attacks on Kashmiri youths after Pulwama terror attack help the enemies of the country.

INDIA Updated: Feb 23, 2019 19:11 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Tonk, Rajasthan
Narendra Modi,Modi in Tonk,Pulwama terror attack
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting, in Tonk in Rajasthan on Saturday. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday denounced reported attacks on Kashmiri youths in some parts of the country following Pulwama terror attack killing at least 40 soldiers on February 14. PM Modi said Kashmiri youths should not be targeted anywhere in the country.

Speaking at a public rally in Rajasthan’s Tonk, PM Modi said, “Our fight is against terror, the enemies of humanity… Our fight is for Kashmir not against Kashmir, not against Kashmiris.”

“What happened to Kashmiri youths in the last few days…It does not matter whether the incident was small or big, such things should not happen. Kashmiri youths are victims of terror. Every child of Kashmir is with India in our fight against terror,” said PM Modi.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah welcomed the statement of PM Modi. “Thank you @narendramodi Sahib. Aaj aap ne hamaray dil ki baat keh di (you said what I have in my heart),” wrote Abdullah on Twitter soon after the prime minister made the comment at his rally.

PM Modi referred to his congratulatory phone call to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, when he assumed office after the general elections in Pakistan last year. PM Modi said, “As per protocol, I telephoned Pakistan’s new prime minister. I told him we have fought for long. Let India and Pakistan together fight poverty and illiteracy.”

“Pakistan’s prime minister told me, ‘I am the son of a Pathan. I do what I say.’ It is time to test his words,” PM Modi said at his rally in Rajasthan.

Also read: Centre moves 100 companies of paramilitary forces to Srinagar amid massive crackdown

The prime minister said incidents like these “give power to Bharat ke tukde honge gang” and their supporters. “It is the responsibility of every Indian to protect every laal (child) of Kashmir,” he said.

The prime minister served another warning to Kashmiri separatist leaders, many of whom were stripped of their security cover early this week. The Union home ministry had ordered to review the security provided by the government to the separatist leaders in the wake of Pulwama attack.

PM Modi said, “Action has been taken against separatists and more action will be taken against such people…We can’t keep silent, we know how to crush terror.”

‘Trust Modi Sarkar’

Asserting that the government has moved swiftly to “avenge” Pulwama terror attack, PM Modi said all the major institutions of the world have condemned “the terror attack that was engineered at Pulwama”.

“I am proud that our security forces sent the perpetrators (of Pulwama attack) within 100 hours to where they belong,” he said referring to encounter in Pulwama a day after the terror attack on Jammu-Srinagar highway, where a CRPF convoy carrying more than 2,500 jawans was targeted by a suicide bomber.

Also read:In crackdown in Kashmir, JLKF chief Yasin Malik, Jamaat leaders detained

“Trust the brave soldiers of the country and trust the Modi government…This time, everyone will be taken to justice and complete justice will be served,” said PM Modi adding, “Your pradhan sevak is busy finishing terror…If I am destined to put locks to the factory of terror, so be it.”

He also talked about the steps, the government has taken to put pressure on Pakistan following Pulwama attack. He said, “Pakistan is being accounted for everything that they have done. There is anxiety in Pakistan due to the steps we have taken after the terror attack.”

A day after Pulwama terror attack, the government decided at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to withdraw the most favoured nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan in 1996. The government also hiked tariff on goods to be imported from Pakistan by 200 per cent.

The external affairs ministry reached out to more than a dozen countries to corner Pakistan, which denied its hand behind the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir despite Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terror group based out of that country, claimed responsibility for the attack on CRPF jawans.

On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution condemning Pulwama terror attack. The UNSC named Jaish-e-Mohammed in its statement. The UNSC resolution was unanimously approved by all members including China, which has been shielding Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar from being declared as global terrorist by the top UN body.

In the latter half of his public speech, PM Modi sounded poll bugle throwing what appeared as an election slogan, “Modi hai to mumkin hai” (it is possible if Modi is there). He said, “People have faith in the current government because of the work done in last four years. Modi hai to mumkin hai.”

He listed out achievements of his government and talked about schemes such health insurance, One-Rank-One-Pension and electrification among others repeating the same slogan at the end. He also accused the Congress of misleading the people of Rajasthan in last year’s assembly election by making farm loan waiver promise.

Source: Hindustan Times

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23/02/2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take holy dip at Kumbh on Sunday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be paying a visit to the ongoing Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj on Sunday where he will take a holy dip at the Triveni Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati, considered the centre of the earth according to Hindu scriptures.

At Prayagraj, PM Modi will participate in the Swachh Kumbh Swachh Aabhaar event and interact with the “Safai Karmacharis”.

He will later address a gathering and distribute the Swachh Kumbh Swachh Aabhaar awards to safai karmacharis, swachhagrahis, police personnel, and naviks.

The Swachh Kumbh Swachh Aabhaar event is being organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.

The Kumbh Mela commenced on January 15 (Makar Sankranti) and will conclude on March 4 (Mahashivratri).

Over a period of 49 days of the mega celebration, more than 22 crore devotees have visited the Kumbh Mela.

On Friday, Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh led a delegation of around 200 delegates of more than 185 countries to the Kumbh Mela 2019. The foreign representatives took a holy bath at Sangam and witnessed cultural programmes at Sanskriti Gram.

Singh told reporters that the idea behind the visit was to make “them see that Kumbh is not just confluence of rivers but also of different religions and faiths”.

Earlier on Saturday, PM Modi interacted with foreign delegates from 185 countries at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi where he said that there is a huge potential for tourism in the country.

Source: The Statesman

21/02/2019

India withdraws security for Kashmir separatist leaders

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Jammu and Kashmir state withdrew the security details for 18 separatist leaders and 155 other opposition figures on Wednesday after an Islamist suicide bomber killed 40 paramilitary troopers last week.

The restive mountain state is currently administered by India’s federal government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party walked out a coalition with a major Kashmiri party.

The separatist leaders had been allocated security personnel to protect them from militants after they entered talks with the federal government.

In a statement, the Jammu and Kashmir state government said it “felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is a wastage of scarce state resources which could be better utilized elsewhere”.

Besides the separatist leaders, the security of 155 political figures and activists – some from mainstream opposition parties – was also withdrawn, the statement said.

“Through this (step), over 1,000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles are freed to do regular police work,” it said.

Both India and Pakistan lay claim to Kashmir and have twice gone to war over it since independence from Britain in 1947. India accuses Pakistan of fomenting decades of sporadic insurgency in its only Muslim-majority state.

Pakistan denies that, saying it only offers political support to the Kashmiri people.

Source: Reuters

20/02/2019

Ready to share intelligence, cooperate with India to destroy terrorism: Saudi Crown Prince

MoUs on tourism, cooperation in the field of housing, International Solar Alliance among others were exchanged between the two countries.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

MoUs on tourism, cooperation in the field of housing, International Solar Alliance among others were exchanged between the two countries.

On his first state visit to the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the Saudi Crown Prince saying that Saudi Arabia was India’s “close friend”.

India and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding relationship, PM Modi said adding that in the 21st century, Saudi Arabia was among India’s most important strategic partners.

The Prime Minister, in a joint press conference with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also welcomed Saudi investment in Indian infrastructure.

In a major development, Saudi Arabia also joined the International Solar Alliance, informed PM Modi adding that the two leaders also discussed how to further strengthen the defence cooperation between the two nations.

“We have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the areas of renewable energy. We welcome Saudi Arabia to the International Solar Alliance. The peaceful use of nuclear energy, especially water desalination and health, will be another dimension of our cooperation,” PM Modi said.

Speaking on the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 44 CRPF personnel, the Prime Minister said the two leaders agreed on the need to destroy the infrastructure of terror and clamp down on countries supporting terror.

“We have also vowed to increase pressure on any country that promotes terror activities,” the Prime Minister said.

This comes after Salman’s high-profile tour of Pakistan on January 17 where he said dialogue was the only way to resolve “outstanding issues” between India and Pakistan.

Addressing the joint press conference, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his country shares India’s concerns over terror.

“Terrorism is a common concern. We will cooperate with India in every way, like intelligence sharing. India has played a positive role,” he said.

He also thanked the people of India and the Government for the warm welcome.

“The relationship between India and Saudi Arabia is over thousands of years old. It is even older than history, and this relationship has grown stronger in the last 50 years. Our objectives are similar be it in energy, agriculture or technology,” he added.

Salman also called for common planning between the two nations to tackle various issues and said that “Saudi Arabia has invested $44 billion in India”.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi and Salman held delegation-level talks on key areas of mutual interest such as trade and investment, energy, defence and security, nuclear and space, civil aviation, renewables, counter-terrorism, community welfare and regional challenges.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also met Salman and discussed ways to add further momentum to the strategic ties between the two nations besides deepening engagement in areas of trade and investment.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Saudi Crown Prince was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan by President Ram Nath Kovind.

After meeting President Ram Nath Kovind, the Saudi Arabia Crown Prince said, “Today we want to be sure that this relation is maintained and improved for the sake of both countries. With the leadership of the President and the Prime Minister, I am sure we can create good things for Saudi Arabia and India”.

Earlier on Tuesday, in a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke the protocol to personally receive the Saudi prince and welcomed him with a warm hug at the Palam airport.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that the first state visit of the Saudi Crown Prince marks a “new chapter in bilateral relations between the two countries”.

Salman’s visit comes in the backdrop of the escalating tension between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group in which at least 44 CRPF personnel were killed.

Saudi Arabia had on Friday said it stood with India’s fight against terrorism and extremism and denounced as “cowardly” the attack.

India’s bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia was USD 27.48 billion in 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia its fourth largest trading partner.

Saudi Arabia is also a key pillar of India’s energy security, being a source of 17 per cent or more of crude oil and 32 per cent of LPG requirements of India.

The Crown Prince is expected to travel to China from India.

Source: The Statesman
18/02/2019

Pulwama attack: Four Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir gun battle

Four soldiers have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir in a gun battle with militants, police say.

The clash occurred in Pulwama district, where more than 40 Indian paramilitary police were killed in a suicide attack on Thursday, raising tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

A civilian and two alleged militants were also killed as Indian troops searched for suspects.

Meanwhile Pakistan recalled its ambassador for consultations.

India had already recalled its top diplomat from Pakistan in the wake of Thursday’s attack – in which it said the Pakistani state was complicit.

Pakistan denies any role in the bombing, which was claimed by a group based on its soil – Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)

What’s happening in Pulwama?

Police say two militants who were trapped in Pinglena village were killed in Monday’s operation. Both are JeM members and one is a Pakistani national, authorities said.

Heavy gunfire has been heard, and Indian security officials are appealing to villagers to stay indoors.

Police told BBC Urdu that when they fired “warning shots” at the house where the alleged militants were hiding, they fired back. One officer critically injured was taken to hospital.

The owner of the house was killed during the exchange of fire, police added.

Indian security forces have been hunting for militants with suspected links to JeM following Thursday’s bombing, which saw a vehicle packed with explosives ram a convoy of 78 buses carrying Indian security forces.

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The suicide bomber was identified as a local Kashmiri aged between 19 and 21.

More than 20 people were detained on Sunday, according to police.

How high are tensions?

Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan since independence.

Both countries claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir but control only parts of it. They have fought two wars and a limited conflict in the region.

Thursday’s attack was the deadliest attack against Indian forces since an Islamist-led insurgency began in 1989. It sparked anti-Pakistan protests in some Indian cities and angry mobs targeted Kashmiri students and businessmen.

Mobile internet services in Indian-administered Kashmir were cut over the weekend and the Indian government has pulled security normally provided to at least five Kashmiri separatist leaders.

Isolated incidents of students from Kashmir being beaten up or evicted from their accommodation in northern Indian states have also been reported.

India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) offered help to students in need, but also warned of false reports.

In broader terms, there has has been a spike in violence in Indian-administered Kashmir since Indian forces killed a popular militant in 2016. Significant numbers of young men have joined the insurgency in recent years and the funerals of well-known militants draw huge crowds who want to pay respects to “martyrs”.

India has been accused of using excessive force to control protests with thousands of people suffering eye injuries or being blinded by pellet guns.

How might India retaliate?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is facing an election later this year, has vowed a strong response and says he will give the military free rein.

The last time an attack on Indian forces close to this magnitude occurred in Kashmir was in 2016, when 19 soldiers were killed at a base. In response to that, India carried out “surgical strikes” which involved Indian soldiers crossing the de facto border to hit Pakistani posts.

This time analysts say heavy snow in the region could make that kind of limited ground response impossible. But there are fears that going further, for example with air strikes, could lead to Pakistani retaliation and a significant escalation.

So far India has focused on retaliation by economic and diplomatic means. It has revoked Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation trading status, raised customs duties to 200% and vowed to isolate it in the international community.

Presentational grey line

Despite tensions Pakistan is calm

By Secunder Kermani, BBC Pakistan correspondent

The threat of Indian military action has not provoked widespread concern amongst the general public in Pakistan. Previous attacks by militants like JeM, believed to have close links to the intelligence services, have been seen as attempts by the Pakistani military to prevent the civilian government developing too friendly a relationship with India.

However, since Imran Khan was elected as prime minister here, many have begun to believe both the army and his administration were united in wanting to improve cross border ties.

Whether Pakistan was involved in the attack or not, it seems unlikely concerted action will now be taken against JeM. Its leader has been in “protective custody” since another attack in 2016, but still regularly releases audio messages to followers.

The group has in the past been a useful tool for Pakistan’s intelligence services wanting to foment unrest across the border, and authorities may now be reluctant to confront them, in case they turn against the Pakistani state as some of their members have done in the past.

Source: The BBC

17/02/2019

India high speed train breaks down on first trip

PM Modi flags off the Vande Bharat ExpressImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionPM Narendra Modi flagged off the Vande Bharat Express on Friday

India’s fastest train has broken down on its first trip, a day after it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi.

The Indian-built semi high-speed Vande Bharat Express was returning to the capital Delhi from the city of Varanasi after its first outing when brakes in a carriage reportedly jammed.

Indian media quoted a railways spokesperson as saying the train may have struck cattle on the line.

The train reached a speed of 180km/hr (110mph) during trials.

Soon after the brakes failed, the drivers noticed smoke in the last four coaches and power was lost in all compartments.

Those on board, mostly railway officials and journalists, had to take another train to get back to Delhi.

Despite the railway ministry’s suggestion that the train may have hit a cow, NDTV reported that there were no signs of damage on the front of the train after the incident.

The new train service is expected to start its commercial run from Sunday. It is expected to reduce the travel time between Delhi and Varanasi by six hours.

Source: The BBC

17/02/2019

Kashmiri Muslims evicted, threatened after deadly attack on Indian forces

SRINAGAR (Reuters) – India has warned against rising communal tensions across the country as Kashmiris living outside their state faced property evictions, job suspensions and attacks on social media after a suicide bomber killed 44 policemen in the region.

The car bomb attack on a security convoy on Thursday, claimed by Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad and carried out by a 20-year-old Kashmiri man, was the worst in decades of insurgency in the disputed area, which is claimed in full by both the nuclear-armed neighbours but ruled in part.

As the bodies of the paramilitary policemen who died in the attack were returned to families across India this weekend, passionate crowds waving the Indian flag gathered in the streets to honour them and shouted demands for revenge. Pakistan has denied any role in the killings.

Kashmiri Muslims, meanwhile, are facing a backlash in Hindu-majority India, mainly in the northern states of Haryana and Uttarakhand, forcing the federal interior ministry to issue an advisory to all states to “ensure their safety and security and maintain communal harmony”.

Aqib Ahmad, a Kashmiri student in Uttarakhand capital Dehradun, said the owner of the house he was staying in had asked him to move out fearing an attack on his property. Rates for air tickets to Kashmir have sky-rocketed as tensions escalate, he said.

Two other students in Dehradun said they also had been asked to vacate their rooms immediately.

 

Local media reported that some Kashmiri students were assaulted by members of Hindu right-wing groups in Uttarakhand, while a Kashmiri man had been booked by the police in the southern city of Bengaluru under a colonial-era sedition law for a post allegedly backing the militants. Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports.

Police in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state said they were providing temporary accommodation to people returning to Kashmir. The police urged Kashmiris to contact their hotline for “speedy assistance in case they face any difficulties/harrasment”.

“TRAITOR”

Fear has engulfed Kashmiri students in Haryana’s Ambala district after a video on social media showed a village headman asking people to evict Kashmiri students in the area.

“In case it is not done, the person in whose residence such students are living will be considered as a traitor,” the man says in the video, whose authenticity Reuters has not been able to independently verify.

 

Police said they were investigating the matter.

Since the video surfaced on social media on Saturday, at least half a dozen Kashmiri students have been shifted to the hostel of a university campus in Ambala.

A Facebook user named Anshul Saxena, meanwhile, has claimed credit for getting people fired or suspended for posts he calls “anti-national”.

Saxena uploaded a screengrab of a suspension letter handed out to a Kashmiri employee of a pharmaceutical company who had allegedly written in favour of the attack.

The attack on India’s paramilitary police follows the deadliest year in Kashmir for security personnel since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power nearly five years ago.

44 killed in worst Kashmir attack in decades
Government data shows 91 officers lost their lives in Kashmir last year, about 14 percent more than 2017. Thousands of people, including militants and civilians, have died since the insurgency began in late 1980s.
Political leaders from Kashmir appealed to the government to ensure security of Kashmiris across India, while many people on Twitter said their homes were open to Kashmiris seeking shelter.
“Understand the pain and anguish,” Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister of J&K, said in a tweet. “But we must not allow such mischievous elements to use this as an excuse to persecute/harass people from J&K. Why should they suffer for somebody else’s action?”
Source: Reuters
16/02/2019

U.S. backs India’s right to self-defence over Kashmir attack – Indian government

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The United States supports India’s right to self-defence against cross-border attacks, India’s foreign ministry said on Saturday after a deadly car bombing in disputed Kashmir raised tensions with rival neighbour Pakistan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a strong response after a Pakistan-based militant group claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on a military convoy on Thursday that killed 44 paramilitary policemen.

India’s government said it had evidence the group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), had the backing of Pakistan and demanded Islamabad take action. Pakistan has condemned the attack and rejected India’s allegations.U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Friday night, promising to help bring those behind the attack to justice, the foreign ministry said in a readout of the phone call.

“The two NSAs vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan cease to be a safe haven for JeM and terrorist groups that target India, the U.S. and others in the region,” the foreign ministry said.

“They resolved to hold Pakistan to account for its obligations under U.N. resolutions,” it added.

India has for years accused Muslim Pakistan of backing separatist militants in divided Kashmir, which the neighbours both claim in full but rule in part.

Pakistan denies that, saying it only offers political support to the Himalayan region’s suppressed Muslim people.

Modi, who is facing an election in the next few months, has called a meeting of political parties on Saturday to build support for action against Pakistan.

Indians have poured onto social media to vent their fury over the suicide bombing in Kashmir, with many of them calling for swift retribution against Pakistan as TV news shows hosted jingoistic debates.

When he swept to power at the head of a Hindu nationalist-led alliance in 2014, Modi vowed to pursue a tough line with Pakistan. The two countries have gone to war three times since independence from Britain in 1947, twice over Kashmir.

The attack comes at a difficult time for Pakistan, which is struggling to attract foreign investment and avert a payments crisis, with its swiftly diminishing foreign currency reserves at less than $8 billion, equivalent to two months of import payments.

Source: Reuters

15/02/2019

Pulwama attack: India will ‘completely isolate’ Pakistan

India has said it will ensure the “complete isolation” of Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 46 soldiers in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Federal Minister Arun Jaitley said India would take “all possible diplomatic steps” to cut Pakistan off from the international community.

India accuses Pakistan of failing to act against the militant group which said it carried out the attack.

This is the deadliest attack to hit the disputed region in decades.

Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir but only control parts of it.

An insurgency has been ongoing in Indian-administered Kashmir since the late 1980s and there has been an uptick in violence in recent years.

How will India ‘punish’ Pakistan?

India says that Jaish-e-Mohammad, the group behind the attack, has long had sanctuary in Pakistan and accuses its neighbour of failing to crack down on it.

It has called for global sanctions against the group and has said it wants its leader, Masood Azhar, to be listed as a terrorist by the UN security council.

Although India has tried to do this several times in the past, its attempts were repeatedly blocked by China, an ally of Pakistan.

Mr Jaitley set out India’s determination to hold Pakistan to account when speaking to reporters after attending a security meeting early on Friday.

He also confirmed that India would revoke Most Favoured Nation status from Pakistan, a special trading privilege granted in 1996.

Pakistan said it was gravely concerned by the bombing but rejected allegations that it was in any way responsible.

But after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a speech that those behind the attack would pay a “heavy price”, many analysts expect more action from Delhi.

After a 2016 attack on an Indian army base that killed 19 soldiers, Delhi said it carried out a campaign of “surgical strikes” in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, across the de facto border. But a BBC investigation found little evidence militants had been hit.

However analysts say that even if the Indian government wants to go further this time, at the moment its options appear limited due to heavy snow across the region.

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How did the attack unfold?

The bomber used a vehicle packed with explosives to ram into a convoy of 78 buses carrying Indian security forces on the heavily guarded Srinagar-Jammu highway about 20km (12 miles) from the capital, Srinagar.

“A car overtook the convoy and rammed into a bus,” a senior police official told BBC Urdu.

It stands as the deadliest militant attack on Indian forces in Kashmir since the insurgency began in 1989.

The bomber is reported to be Adil Dar, a high school dropout who left home in March 2018. He is believed to be between the ages of 19 and 21.

Soon after the attack Jaish-e-Mohammad released a video, which was then aired on the India Today TV channel. In it, a young man identified as Adil Dar spoke about what he described as atrocities against Kashmiri Muslims. He said he joined the banned group in 2018 and was eventually “assigned” the task of carrying out the attack in Pulwama.

He also said that by the time the video was released he would be in jannat (heaven).

Dar is one of many young Kashmiri men who have been radicalised in recent years. On Thursday, main opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said that the number of Kashmiri men joining militancy had risen from 88 in 2016 to 191 in 2018.

India has been accused of using brutal tactics to put down protests in Kashmir – with thousands of people sustaining eye injuries from pellet guns used by security forces.

What’s the reaction?

“We will give a befitting reply, our neighbour will not be allowed to de-stabilise us,” said Prime Minister Modi.

Mr Gandhi and two former Indian chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir all condemned the attack and expressed their condolences.

The attack has also been widely condemned around the world, including by the US and the UN Secretary General.

The White House called on Pakistan to “end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil”.

Pakistan said it strongly rejected any attempts “to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations”.

What’s the background?

There have been at least 10 suicide attacks since 1989 but this is only the second suicide attack to use a car.

Prior to Thursday’s bombing, the deadliest attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir this century came in 2002, when militants killed at least 31 people at an army base in Kaluchak near Jammu, most of them civilians and relatives of soldiers.

At least 19 Indian soldiers were killed when militants stormed a base in Uri in 2016. Delhi blamed that attack on the Pakistani state, which denied any involvement.

The latest attack also follows a spike in violence in Kashmir that came about after Indian forces killed a popular militant, 22-year-old Burhan Wani, in 2016.

More than 500 people were killed in 2018 – including civilians, security forces and militants – the highest such toll in a decade.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars and a limited conflict since independence from Britain in 1947 – all but one were over Kashmir.

Who are Jaish-e-Mohammad?

Started by cleric Masood Azhar in 2000, the group has been blamed for attacks on Indian soil in the past, including one in 2001 on the parliament in Delhi which took India and Pakistan to the brink of war.

Most recently, the group was blamed for attacking an Indian air force base in 2016 near the border in Punjab state. Seven Indian security personnel and six militants were killed.

It has been designated a “terrorist” organisation by India, the UK, US and UN and has been banned in Pakistan since 2002.

However Masood Azhar remains at large and is reportedly based in the Bahawalpur area in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

India has demanded his extradition from Pakistan but Islamabad has refused, citing a lack of proof.

Source: The BBC

15/02/2019

Kashmir attack: Pak envoy summoned, ‘verifiable’ action against JeM sought

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the high commissioner that Pakistan must take “immediate and verifiable action” against the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack in Kashmir.

INDIA Updated: Feb 15, 2019 15:12 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi Jhansi,Modi Pulwama attack,Pulwama attack
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(PTI file photo)

India on Friday summoned Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood to lodge a strong protest over the suicide bombing in south Kashmir’s Pulwama by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the high commissioner that Pakistan must take “immediate and verifiable action” against the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack in Kashmir.

A Jaish suicide bomber on Thursday rammed a car packed with explosives into a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The CRPF has confirmed 38 deaths in the suicide bombing, counted among the bloodiest in Kashmir. Initial reports, quoting security officials, had said 44 jawans were feared to have been killed in the attack.

The foreign secretary also told Pakistan that it must “immediately stop” groups or individuals linked to terrorism operating from its territories.

In the hours after Thursday’s attack, New Delhi had issued a strong statement that accused Pakistan of giving “full freedom” to the terror group to operate and expand its terror infrastructure to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity.

Islamabad responded with a two-line statement that said it had “always condemned heightened acts of violence” in Kashmir. Pakistan also said it will “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”.

Foreign Secretary Gokhale rejected this statement by the Pakistan foreign office.

Source: Hindustan Times

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