TERROR & KASHMIR: India withdraws Most Favoured Nation status given to Pak; PM Modi promises tough response

NEWS / KASHMIR / ATTACK
NEW DELHI: In what could be the first in a series of measured steps, India has withdrawn the Most Favoured Nation status that it had accorded to Pakistan in trade and other deals, after a dastardly attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in Kashmir Thursday by Pakistan’s Jaish terror outfit, which killed nearly 40 security personnel in one go.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that met here to take stock of the situation in the aftermath of the attack — the latest incidents in a series spread over years — and decided also to give full freedom to the security forces to deal with the new situation. The CCS also decided to engage in a diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan at UN and other fora, though this does not mean much in view of the support Pakistan gets from China at diplomatic and other levels. Notably India does not get a matching support from the US, for the reason the Americans have a line with Pakistan as well.

Notably, while the US condemned the incident, while China maintained a studied silence. China is known to have a direct line with Jaish and is supporting it when calls came at UN for action against this terror outfit. China has some glee when it finds Jaish organises terror attacks on India frequently in the name of supporting the cause of Kashmiri Muslims.

The Modi government has called an all-party meet to discuss the situation and plan adequate response. The Congress party, in a reaction on Friday, offered full support to the Jawans and the Indian government in facing this situation.

Complicity of Pakistan’s military and political establishments in the terror acts of Jaish is well-known. Its leaders are moving around freely in Pakistan and even contesting elections with their own party flag. A change of PM, from one to another, leading up to Imran Khan now, made little difference to this scenario.

Prime Minister Narenda Modi, in an address after the Pulwama attack, said he understood well that the nation was angry. “Pakistan bahut badi galati kar chuka hai.” Adequate response would follow, he said, but there is skepticism over this as the Modi government had not acted in a strong manner against Pakistan even after some of the military establishments were attacked in Uri and Pathankot during the five-year-term of the Modi government. 

Similarly, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA governments too did not act firmly even when the Mumbai terror attacks took place. India’s hesitation in acting tough against Pakistan is encouraging Jaish and other Pakistan-based anti-India terror outfits to repeatedly train its guns on India.

Jammu and Kashmir state is currently under President’s rule — or central rule — after the BJP-PDP alliance government headed by Mehbooba Mufti collapsed in June 2018. This happened after the BJP pulled out of the alliance and withdrew support to the government. BJP did this on the ground that the Mehbooba Mufti government is not acting firmly against terrorist elements.

Union Home Minster Rajnath Singh is heading for Srinagar this afternoon to take stock of the situation and hold official-level meetings. Reports say reducing security at check posts, upon orders from state governor Satyapal Malik, also might have helped facilitate the terrorist act on Thursday. –IHN-NN

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