A day after the suicide attack by a Pakistan-sponsored terrorist killed at least 40 soldiers in Pulwama
, Jammu and Kashmir, the world closed ranks behind India. Even as Pakistan found itself internationally isolated, especially with a defensive China, the country’s biggest ally, also falling in line, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an unprecedented action, authorized the Indian security forces to fashion a response on their terms and at a timing of their choice.
Significantly, Modi made these remarks at a public rally. “The sacrifice of our jawans will not go in vain. The armed forces have been given the permission to plan, decide the place, time, and nature. Our neighbouring country is forgetting that this is a Bharat of nayi niti (new policy) and nayi reeti (new convention). The horrendous nature of the attacks will be accounted for,” he told the rally in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, on Friday.
The terrorist who carried out the attack on Thursday belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), an extremist group based out of Pakistan and headed by Maulana Masood Azhar. JeM terrorists were also responsible for the attack on Parliament in 2001 and the strike at the army camp in Uri in 2016.
Earlier, Modi had chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the most powerful committee on national security.
Effectively, India, at a time when the nation is seething with anger over the attack, is signalling a paradigm shift in its approach to its relations with Pakistan, which, for the most part of the last seven decades, have been testy. The form and shape of this broader response is likely to unravel over the next few weeks and months.
Significantly, the government has also convened an all-party meeting, signalling its intent to forge a national consensus on India’s response to what has been the worst terror attack in the Kashmir Valley.