Even as India comes to terms of the massive attack on security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, which claimed lives of 44 soldiers, latest reports hint at role of an Afghan war veteran behind the well-coordinated attack. According to a Times of India report, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, the Afghan war veteran may have played a crucial role in carrying out the attack. The report also says that apart from Jaish-e-Mohammed’s core group another relatively new group known as Afzal Guru Squad could have played an important role. This Squad had carried out attack on the Sunjuwan Army Camp in February last year.
What is more startling is that the ‘chatter’ or the surveillance input gathered by the intelligence officials registered a disturbing message the Pulwama attack. “Bada hona chahiye, Hindustan rona chahiye,” read one of the transcripts. Ghazi is known as an IED expert who infiltrated in India in December last year. Later he travelled on foot to reach this town in southern Kashmir.
Earlier, it was reported that Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar has sent Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, an Afghan war veteran, to Jammu and Kashmir to avenge the 2017 killing of his nephews. The terrorist is an IED expert, who has also been tasked to train young recruits. Ghazi infiltrated from Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the month of December last year. Usman and Talha Rasheed were gunned down by the security forces in an anti-terror operation in 2017. The dreaded terrorist has been hiding in Pulwama ever since than.
The terrorist attack, which has direct footprints inside Pakistan, poses the first major challenges to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said Riedel, who is now a scholar at the Brookings Institute think-tank.
"This will be a real challenge for Imran Khan, the first serious challenge of his administration," he said. Anish Goel, a former National Security Council official in the previous Obama administration, said the horrific attack highlights just how actively Pakistan-based terrorist groups still operate in Kashmir.
“By claiming such quick credit for the attack, Jaish-e-Mohammed is clearly indicating that they will continue to cause trouble in the region and stoke tensions between Pakistan and India,” he said.