Modi warns of ‘strong reply’ to Kashmir attack as India withdraws Pakistan’s MFN status

Published: February 15, 2019


NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the country would give a ‘strong reply’ to those behind the Kashmir attack as New Delhi withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trade status given to Pakistan in the aftermath of a suicide bombing in occupied Kashmir that killed at least 44 security personnel.

“India will give a strong reply for Kashmir attack,” said the right-wing premier.

Thursday’s attack in Pulwama area of IoK was the deadliest attack on Indian occupying forces there since 2002.

MFN status withdrawn

According to reports in Indian media, the decision was taken during a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by the Indian prime minister. The high-level huddle decided to withdraw the MFN status for Islamabad and “initiate all possible steps” to ensure complete isolation of the country.

Indian security personnel on alert after the attack. -AFP

Indian security personnel on alert after the attack. -AFP

“The most favoured nation status granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn. The ministry of commerce will issue [a] necessary notification in this regard,” said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while speaking to the media.

India had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, a year after the formation of the World Trade Organisation for the promotion of international trade.

Pakistan rejects Indian allegations after occupied Kashmir attack kills 44 security personnel

Pakistan also expressed grave concern on the Kashmir attack.

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Faisal said, Islamabad has always condemned heightened acts of violence in the valley.

Indian security forces stand guard along the Srinagar-Jammu Highway. -AFP

Indian security forces stand guard along the Srinagar-Jammu Highway. -AFP

The FO spokesperson also strongly rejected the insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations.

India can’t stop freedom movement in occupied Kashmir: PM

The attack

The attack outside Srinagar, reportedly claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group, saw explosives packed inside a van rip through buses in a convoy of 78 vehicles, carrying some 2,500 members of the Indian force.

Two buses, with 35 people each, bore the brunt of the massive blast, heard miles away, around 20 kilometres from Srinagar on the main highway to Jammu.

The bombing was carried out at 3:15 pm local time on a national highway near Lethpora village in Pulwama district. Dozens of others are reported to be wounded in the attack, who “have been removed to army hospital” CRPF Inspector General Zulfiqar Hassan told the media.

Indian security forces inspect the remains of a bus following an attack on a paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy. -AFP

Indian security forces inspect the remains of a bus following an attack on a paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy. -AFP

The convoy was bringing the troopers back from leave to rejoin active service. It was unclear whether the van containing the explosives was driven into the convoy or whether it was detonated when the buses were adjacent.

After the attack, hundreds of government forces cordoned around 15 villages in the district the bomber came from and started searching house-to-house.





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Reader Comments (3)

  • Fahim
    Feb 15, 2019 - 3:06PM

    modi was loosing elections, what else he could do except to reuse their embassy in afghanistan. Or do enemies of india want modi to sit on throne? Recommend

  • Aamir Rajkhan
    Feb 15, 2019 - 3:43PM

    It’s more than a coincidence that this Indian contrived incident somehow takes place just when a top-level delegation and entourage from KSA arrives. India has been behind such incidents numerous times in the past when Pakistan’s PR was at stake.Recommend

  • Waqas Hassan
    Feb 15, 2019 - 6:32PM

    Cheap stunt by Modi to stay in power. How can a government be so insensitive towards its own peopleRecommend

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