International community condemns attack but China doesn't budge on shielding Pak-based terrorist leader
As pressure on India mounted after Thursday's suicide terrorist attack at Pulwama in Kashmir in which 38 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asserted the security forces have been given permission to choose the timing, place and nature of their response. Modi said every Indian is angry and he wanted to assure the 130 crore people of India that he sacrifices of CRPF soldiers will "not go in vain". The Prime Minister made made these comments while laying the foundation stone of a defence industrial corridor at Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Prime Minister cancelled all political meetings in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist killings and chaired Cabinet Committee on Security meeting with his top ministers and the security establishment to review the situation after the incident. India withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan, summoned Pakistan's envoy to issue a strong demarche, and recalled its own high commissioner to Islamabad to New Delhi for consultations.
After the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack, India on Thursday demanded that Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from its territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries."We strongly reiterate our appeal to all members of the international community to support the proposal to list terrorists, including JeM Chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan," a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs read.
China condemned the incident but did not respond to India's appeal to declare Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar a UN-designated terrorist. It stuck to its old position, where it blocked such a designation by using its Security Council veto
Condemnation of the terrorist attack poured in from the international community, but Pakistan continued to be denial, and its principal supporter China did not relent in its efforts to shield UN sanctions against Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Pakistan termed the Pulwama attack "a matter of grave concern" but rejected accusations that it was responsible for the attack, demanding a probe. India charged Pakistan with giving Masood Azhar "full freedom to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity" and demanded that "Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries".
China condemned the incidenr but did not respond to India's appeal to declare Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar a UN-designated terrorist. It stuck to its old position, where it blocked such a designation by using its Security Council veto. "As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organisations..,.JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner," a Chinese Foreign Office spokesman said.
The United States condemned the Pulwama attack in the "strongest terms". "The United States is resolutely committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all its forms. The UN designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad has claimed responsibility for this heinous act. We call on all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists," a US spokesman stated.
Russia stressed the need to combat such "inhuman acts" with decisive and collective response without any double standards.
"We denounce terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterate the need to combat these inhuman acts with decisive and collective response without any double standards," a Russian Embassy statement said.
"The United States is resolutely committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all its forms. The UN designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad has claimed responsibility for this heinous act. We call on all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists," a US spokesperson stated.
French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said France most firmly condemns the heinous attack. "France has always been and always will be by India's side in the fight against terrorism in all its forms," he said.
Germany TOO strongly condemned the attack, saying stands by its strategic partner India.
Canada also offered support. "Canada remains steadfast in its support of the global fight against terrorism. We stand in solidarity with the government and the people of India in the fight to prevent radicalization and defeat terrorism in all its forms," its foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said.
Australia, Turkey and Czech Republic also condemned the horrific terror attack.
India's neighbours Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives also expressed solidarity and vowed to combat the menace of terrorism jointly.
"I strongly condemn the deadly terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir today killing at least 40 people. We send our thoughts and prayers to those affected. The Maldives will continue to work with India and the international community to combat terrorism in our region and the world at large," Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih said.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a message through the country's High Commission, said her country remains steadfast in its commitment against terrorism of all forms and manifestations and maintains a zero tolerance policy against any kind of terrorist activities.
"Deeply saddened by the news of the horrific terrorist attack in Kashmir. Bhutan strongly condemns terrorist attack of any nature. Our prayers are with the grieved family and we are following the situation closely," Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena expressed sadness, saying the world must condemn such brutal terrorist attacks and take effective action to prevent such incidents in future.
This is the worst terror strike in Kashmir since the October 1, 2001 attack in whuch, three terrorists rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the main gate of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly complex in Srinagar, killing 38 people. In 2016, the Indian Army carried out a cross-border surgical strike and destroyed several terror launch pads after 19 of its soldiers were killed in an attack on the Uri Brigade Headquarters.