Pakistan calls back High Commissioner from India for consultations

"No amount of scapegoating Pakistan will change that reality".

Since 2016, soldiers from India and Pakistan have often traded fire along the frontier, blaming each other for initiating the skirmishes that have resulted in the deaths of dozens of soldiers and civilians on both sides in violation of a 2003 cease-fire accord.

This comes after a horrific terrorist attack, for which Pakistan-based and backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has claimed responsibility, on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama claimed the lives of around 40 CRPF personnel on 14 February.

However, incidents such as the recent terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama are bound to be shaking the nation to its core, causing outrage in every sphere.

The timing can not be more ominous as it comes just ahead of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's visit to Islamabad, from where he would fly into India after two days.

New Delhi has blamed the suicide attack on Pakistan, whom it accuses of harboring groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammad that carry out terror strikes in India.

However, earlier Pakistan had refuted the allegations by India and has condemned the attack.

The Confederation of All India Traders called for a nationwide strike to protest against the attack, and footage from Reuters partner ANI showed shuttered shops in several states on Monday.

According to the Times' piece, China had reason to cautiously handle the issue as "observers worry that blacklisting Azhar could be used by India to increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking exacerbating tensions between the two countries".

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"Pakistan's offer of dialogue and the Kartarpur initiative are a clear evidence of this", she was quoted as saying.

The soldiers killed in the operation belonged to the 55 Rashtriya Rifles.

The attacks are believed to be of Indian origin, sources within the Pakistani foreign ministry told DawnNewsTV.
"There is heavy security and we are forced inside our homes", said 50-year-old Abdul Hamid.

It is the deadliest attack to target Indian security forces in the disputed region since the insurgency broke out in late 1980s.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed "befitting reply" to the "perpetrators of the heinous attack and their patrons", in an oblique reference to Pakistan.

In Pulwama, the Kashmiri freedom fighters hit a convoy of Indian reserve police by blowing an explosives laden van, killing 44 paramilitary soldiers and injuring dozens others.

The Indian chapter of the human rights group Amnesty International urged India's federal and state governments to "ensure that ordinary Kashmiri women and men do not face targeted attacks, harassment and arbitrary arrests" following Thursday's suicide bombing.

"All the rhetoric of war in the Indian media would do no good, instead it is time for introspection for the Modi government and it must move towards finding a solution of Kashmir by engaging with real stakeholders namely Pakistan and Hurriyat", tweeted Hassan Raza from Pakistan.

  • Sonia Alvarado