Pulwama attack: India warns of backlash against Kashmiri Muslims

Shehbaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif

A limited military strike against Pakistan "is more than likely", said retired Indian general D.S. Hooda, who previously commanded the sector controlling the Pakistani border and counterinsurgency operations. Police said they recovered the bodies of two militants from the debris. It said 104 students who were staying in private accommodations in the Ambala district of Haryana had been moved to hostels of a university guarded by police. This exchange comes merely days after 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in a deadly terror attack in Pulwama.

Government data shows 91 officers lost their lives in Kashmir previous year, about 14 percent more than 2017.

Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict with most casualties civilians. "Why should they suffer for somebody else's action?"

Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator Rehman Malik on Friday said the Indian spy agency executed the Pulwama attack in a bid to weaken Pakistan's stance against its spy Kulbhushan Jadhav in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety.

Modi's government in recent years has adopted an aggressive posture in Kashmir and shelved dialogue with Pakistan to boost its popularity after accusing the previous government of being soft on militants.

Civilian resistance to New Delhi's rule has also been met with an iron fist.

A fresh encounter in Pulwama broke out on Monday morning in South Kashmir's Pulwama after the Pakistan-based outfit's Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants fired upon security forces.

About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown since 1989.

On Saturday, New Delhi said the USA expressed full support for India's right to defend itself. Islamabad denies the charge, saying it only provides diplomatic support to Kashmiris' right to self-determination.

"We have been very clear on that score. and we are continuing to be in discussions we are going to have with the Pakistanis", he said.

"India needs to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack", Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement. "Political maneuvering resulting from the Indian national elections probably will further constrain near-term opportunities for improving ties".

In the aftermath of the attack, India withdrew the "most favored nation" status given to Pakistan in trade services in 1996, which means India can now enhance customs duties on goods coming from Pakistan to any possible extent.

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