Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said security forces will be given a free hand to deal with terrorists. (PTI)
Ever since 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives in a suicide attack by a Jaish-e-Mohammed man in Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14, India has been taking all possible steps to expose Pakistan, the terrorist organisation and its leader Masood Azhar. On the global platform, India has launched an all-out diplomatic effort to isolate Pakistan. It has already taken several steps which may further cripple economically-weak Pakistan.
On Thursday, JeM suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar rammed his explosive-laden vehicle in the bus carrying CRPF jawans on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The bus was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 paramilitary personnel to Kashmir from Jammu. Most of them were joining duty after coming back from leave.
Here are the steps taken by government since Pulwama attack:
India on Friday announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Pakistan, following the deadly terror attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from Pakistan with immediate effect on Saturday. India's decision would significantly hit Pakistan's exports to India, which stood at USD 488.5 million (around Rs 3,482.3 crore) in 2017-18 as it would drastically increase the prices of its goods. "India has withdrawn the MFN status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200 per cent with immediate effect," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a tweet on Saturday.
The two main items imported from Pakistan are fruits and cement, on which the current customs duty is 30-50 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively. Slapping an import duty of 200 per cent effectively means almost banning the imports from Pakistan, official sources said in New Delhi.Items which Pakistan exports to India include fresh fruits, cement, petroleum products, bulk minerals and ores, finished leather, processed minerals, inorganic chemicals, cotton raw, spices, wool, rubber product, alcoholic beverages, medical instruments, marine goods, plastic, dyes and sport goods.
The total India-Pakistan trade has increased marginally to USD 2.41 billion in 2017-18 as against USD 2.27 billion in 2016-17. India imported goods worth USD 488.5 million in 2017-18 and exported goods worth USD 1.92 billion. During April-October 2018-19, India's exports to Pakistan stood at USD 1.18 billion, while imports were USD 338.66 billion.India mainly exports raw cotton, cotton yarn, chemicals, plastics, manmade yarn and dyes to Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said security forces will be given a free hand to deal with terrorists. He said Pakistan cannot weaken India by orchestrating attacks and those responsible will pay a "very heavy price". "I want to tell the terror outfits and those aiding and abetting them that they have made a big mistake. They will have to pay a very heavy price for their actions. Let me assure the nation that those behind this attack, the perpetrators of this attack will be punished," Modi said at a function to flag off the Vande Bharat Express, India's fastest train from Delhi to Varanasi.
In a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the Pulwama terror attack, India held a briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including from P5 nations— US, China, Russia, the UK and France — to highlight Pakistan's role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy. Before the briefing, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood to his South Block office and issued a very strong demarche over the attack in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Kashmir's Pulwama district. Pakistan must take "immediate and verifiable action" against the JeM and that it must immediately stop any groups or individuals associated with terrorism operating from its territories, Gokhale told the envoy.
Hours after vowing to isolate Pakistan diplomatically in the wake of the attack, the government undertook the exercise of reaching out to the international community, most of which has univocally condemned the attack by the UN-proscribed Pakistan-based JeM terror outfit. China expressed deep "shock" over the Pulwama terror attack carried out by a Jaish suicide bomber, but did not give an assurance to India that it will back New Delhi's appeal to list the UN-proscribed Pakistan-based terror group's chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. Apart from the envoys of the P5, Gokhale met the envoys of key countries in Europe and Asia such as Germany, South Korea, Japan, as well as Australia, they said.
"All the Heads of Missions were left in no doubt about the role played by Pakistan based and supported JeM in the terrorist attack and our demand that Pakistan ceases forthwith all support and financing to terror groups operating from areas under their control. The foreign secretary also highlighted the role played by Pakistan in using terrorism as an instrument of its state policy," a source said.
India's High Commissioner to Pakistan called back for consultations
The government called back its High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria for consultations in the wake of the dastardly terror attack on CRPF convoy which left at least 40 troopers dead and several critically injured. News agency ANI quoted sources as saying that Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria has been called to Delhi for consultations in the wake of Thursday's attack.
The security cover of six separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was withdrawn. Besides the Mirwaiz, the security cover of Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi, Fazal Haq Qureshi and Shabir Shah has been withdrawn. While there was no categorisation of security for these leaders, the state government in consultation with the Centre had provided them ad hoc security, keeping in mind the threat to their lives from some militant groups. Militants of Hizbul Mujahideen had killed Umar's father, Mirwaiz Farooq, in 1990 and Abdul Gani Lone in 2002.
No security was provided to pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and JKLF chief Yaseen Malik. According to the order, all security and vehicles provided to the separatists will stand withdrawn by Sunday evening. No security forces or cover will be provided, under any pretext, to them or any other separatists. If they have any other facilities provided by the government, they are to be withdrawn forthwith. Police will review if there are any other separatists who have security or facilities and they will be withdrawn immediately, the officials said.
All-Party meeting condemns Pulwama terror attack
The all-party meeting has strongly condemned Thursday's dastardly terror attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed support to the government in its fight against terrorism. The meeting held in New Delhi condemned terrorism in all its forms and the support being given to it from across the border.
In a resolution, the meeting said terrorism in India is being actively encouraged by the forces across the border and India has displayed both firmness and resilience in dealing with these challenges. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who chaired the meeting said the government has given a freehand to the Security Forces to deal with terrorists and their perpetrators. Singh said the government has followed a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism from the beginning and the cowardly attack on CRPF personnel reflects desperation among terrorists.
(With PTI inputs)