A car-bomb attack in Kashmir on Thursday afternoon killed at least 44 Indian police and left many more injured. Officials said a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives into a bus that was part of a huge convoy of more than 2,500 police.
A Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), claimed responsibility for the atrocity and quickly uploaded a video of the alleged suicide bomber, Indian authorities said.
There was an angry reaction to the atrocity in New Delhi, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as “despicable”, with fingers pointed at Pakistan. The government has withdrawn the ‘Most Favored Nation’ status accorded to its neighbor years ago and further retaliatory moves cannot be ruled out.
“I want to tell the terrorist groups and their masters that they have committed a big mistake. They have to pay a heavy price,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after an emergency cabinet meeting. “If our neighboring country thinks that it will succeed in creating instability through such acts and conspiracies in our country, they should stop dreaming.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “The Most Favored Nation status stands withdrawn and the Ministry of Commerce will issue the formal notification. India will make all available efforts to ensure Pakistan is isolated.”
Attacker and alleged mastermind named
Adil Ahmad Dar, a 22-year-old JeM operative has been identified as the man who carried out the attack. The JeM uploaded a video of Dar speaking about the impending attack. Indian security officials are now trying to trace the location where the video was uploaded.
But Indian security officials are zeroing in on Azhar’s elder brother Ibrahim as the key planner behind the bomb attack on Saint Valentine’s Day.They believe that this is a retaliatory attack after his 18-year-old son Usman, was killed by Indian security forces in October last year. Masood Azhar released a statement after Usman’s death vowing revenge against India. Incidentally, Ibrahim was also the lead hijacker of an Indian commercial flight in 1999, that led to Masood Azhar’s release.
Indian intelligence has long been hunting Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the JeM. Azhar was arrested by Indian security forces in 1994 while operating in the Kashmir Valley. In 1999, he was released in exchange for 180 passengers on board Indian Airlines flight IC 814. The flight was hijacked from Kathmandu, Nepal, and then taken to Taliban-controlled Kandahar. Azhar was one of three designated terrorists released in exchange for the hostages by the government of prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. One of the hijackers who used the code name “Burger” was later identified as his elder brother Ibrahim. He is also believed to be in Bhawalpur along with Masood Azhar.
Jaish-e-Mohammed has carried out a series of terror strikes since then, including one in December 2001, that almost led to war. JeM terrorists attacked India’s Parliament and the Vajpayee government mobilized the Indian army, which led to a nine-month standoff. While war did not break out between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors, Pakistan’s then-president, General Pervez Musharraf, agreed to a ceasefire on the Line of Control after the US pressured him to accept India’s demand for a cessation of violence. In October 2001, the JeM was also accused of a car bomb attack on Kashmir’s local parliament that left 38 killed.
Masood Azhar has reportedly been suffering from renal failure for almost two years and was housed in a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi till last year, sources in India’s security establishment told Asia Times. It is believed that he has since returned to Bhawalpur in Pakistan, but allegedly continues to depend on regular rounds of dialysis from the local military authorities. India has been pressing the UN to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, but China has vetoed such moves on three occasions since 2016.
Indian security officials posted in the Kashmir Valley have also been demanding the use of helicopters to ferry officers trapped due to inclement weather. However, Home Affairs officials have denied permission for this. Security officials on the ground told Asia Times that the lack of helicopters made them more vulnerability to attacks. “Had helicopters been made available to troops then this could perhaps have been avoided. This is not the main cause and we do have a massive intelligence failure. But this could have probably saved lives,” a senior security official said.
The rhetoric trap
The car-bombing on Thursday is the biggest terror attack in nearly three decades. It comes at a time when India is heading into one of its most important general elections in decades. Modi heads India’s first majority government since the mid-80s. In the run-up to the 2014 election he campaigned on taking tough action against Pakistan and China.
In September 2016, a terror attack by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba led to the death of 19 Indian soldiers. On September 29, Indian Special Forces carried out retaliatory raids that were described as “surgical strikes”. These were trumpeted during campaigning by the ruling BJP for elections held recently in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state.
A fictional film based on the “surgical strikes” was released this year, leading to high rhetoric. Cabinet ministers began to use key lines from the film during parliamentary speeches and election rallies in a bid to cash in on its propaganda value. Modi was being projected as a “tough leader”, whose defeat in 2019 could “throw the country into chaos”, they claimed. However, the latest attack has undermined that propaganda and suggests the government’s policy on Kashmir is flawed (see link below).
Indeed, the last five years have seen the highest levels of violence and the highest number of security officials killed in Kashmir. Official figures submitted in Parliament earlier this month show that while 47 were killed in 2014, while the death toll last year rose to 91.
Lack of security reforms
The absence of security reforms over the last five years has been given as a key cause for the latest security lapse. Experts say the last time India undertook major reforms was after the Kargil war with Pakistan in 1999. Since then, incremental changes were made after the Mumbai terror attacks in late 2008. However, India’s key intelligence agencies, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) have been mired in controversies. Last year, a fracas in the Central Bureau of Investigation saw a key senior intelligence official dealing with Pakistan named in a corruption complaint. However, no effort was taken by the government to either remove him or set up an inquiry.
The lack of credible special forces and special operations capabilities has also haunted the government for years. While there were reports of setting up a Special Operations Division along the lines of the US Special Operations Command, nothing substantial came of this idea. India’s defense budget allocation this year is also the lowest since 1962, when India lost a war with China.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has officially denied any role in yesterday’s attack and must now be under pressure to take a harder line against terror groups on its soil, as many countries have spoken out against the latest atrocity. “The US condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack today on an Indian Central Reserve Police Force convoy in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” a State Department spokesman said in an official statement.
Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, let alone the content!
Someone essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish extraordinary. Fantastic job!
I think the admin of this web page is truly working hard in support
of his website, as here every stuff is quality based information.
This post presents clear idea designed for the new visitors of blogging, that in fact how to do running a blog.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about how to download minecraft free.
hi!,I like your writing very much! percentage we keep up a correspondence more approximately your
post on AOL? I require an expert in this space to solve
my problem. Maybe that is you! Taking a look ahead to peer you.
Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this post i thought i could also make comment due to this
I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you make this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my very own website and would love to find out where
you got this from or exactly what the theme is named.
My brother recommended I may like this website. He was once totally right.
This publish truly made my day. You can not consider just how so
much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!
It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
Since the admin of this web site is working, no question very soon it will be renowned,
due to its quality contents.
I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are wonderful! Thanks!
Usually I do not read post on blogs, however
I wish to say that this write-up very compelled
me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed
me. Thank you, very nice post.
Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
I am sure they will be benefited from this website.
I simply could not leave your website before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info
a person provide to your visitors? Is gonna be back
continuously to check out new posts
I precisely wanted to thank you so much once again. I’m not certain what I might have used without the suggestions documented by you concerning such topic. This has been an absolute horrifying circumstance in my circumstances, however , looking at a well-written mode you processed that forced me to jump with gladness. Now i am thankful for the guidance and thus hope you are aware of a great job you happen to be undertaking instructing people by way of your web blog. I am sure you haven’t encountered any of us.
Throughout the grand scheme of things you secure a B+ just for effort and hard work. Exactly where you actually confused me personally was first on all the specifics. You know, as the maxim goes, the devil is in the details… And it couldn’t be much more accurate in this article. Having said that, allow me reveal to you precisely what did deliver the results. The text is definitely rather persuasive and this is probably the reason why I am taking an effort to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. 2nd, although I can easily notice a jumps in reasoning you come up with, I am not necessarily sure of just how you seem to unite the ideas which inturn produce the conclusion. For the moment I will, no doubt yield to your position however wish in the future you link your facts much better.
Hey There. I found your blog using msn. That is a very neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will definitely return.
Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
Extremely helpful info specifically the last part :
) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this
particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.
Thank you for another excellent post. Where else could
anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal manner
of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am
on the search for such info. plenty of fish natalielise
I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house
. Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site.
Reading this information So i’m glad to exhibit that I have
an incredibly good uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed.
I most definitely will make sure to don?t fail to remember this website and give it
a look on a relentless basis.
Your way of explaining everything in this article is in fact fastidious, all be capable of effortlessly know it,
Thanks a lot. plenty of fish natalielise
I’ve learn some good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking
for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to
make one of these wonderful informative website.
This is my first time go to see at here and i am truly
impressed to read all at one place.
Fantastic article post.Thanks Again. Awesome.
Hi to all, it’s truly a pleasant for me to pay a visit
this site, it contains helpful Information.
You’ve made some really good points there.
I looked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with
your views on this site.
Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article.
Many thanks for providing this info.
Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.
I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.
Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
Hi this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!
Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for
something completely unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but
I had to ask!
I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this web site. I’m hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own website now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.
My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right.
This post truly made my day. You cann’t believe just how much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!
As I web site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.
Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues.
It was really informative. Your website is very helpful.
Thanks for sharing!
My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!
Hello. magnificent job. I did not anticipate this. This is a splendid story. Thanks!
Absolutely composed content , appreciate it for information .
Appreciate you sharing, great blog. Really Cool.
I really like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve included you guys to my blogroll.
Awesome post. I’m a regular visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a frequent visitor for a really long time.
Somebody essentially assist to make seriously articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I amazed with the research you made to make this actual post amazing. Fantastic process!
I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.
Thanks for sharing your ideas here. The other issue is that every time a problem comes up with a personal computer motherboard, people today should not have some risk regarding repairing that themselves for if it is not done correctly it can lead to permanent damage to an entire laptop. It is usually safe just to approach any dealer of a laptop for your repair of that motherboard. They’ve already technicians who’ve an knowledge in dealing with mobile computer motherboard challenges and can make right diagnosis and undertake repairs.
naturally like your web site however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth however I will definitely come again again.
F*ckin’ tremendous things here. I’m very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i am looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?
Ⅿy partner ɑnd I stumbled ⲟѵｅr here coming from a different page ɑnd thought I miցht as
I appreciate you sharing this article post. Really looking forward to read more. Great. It’s tough to find outstanding writing like your own nowadays.
Leave a comment