India to mount all-out offensive

Last Updated 18 September 2016, 20:22 IST
The Centre on Sunday directed security forces to mount an all-out offensive against terrorists operating in the Valley.

The direction was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had to cancel his visits to Russia and the US, starting Sunday. 

“Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of the terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits,” he said. India did not mince words in calling Pakistan a “terrorist state” that has to be “identified and isolated”, with security establishments believing that JeM aided by ISI carried out the attack.

Official sources said the attack was carried out by a group of freshly infiltrated terrorists, who could have entered Kashmir through Salamabad Nallah. They said the strike, eight months after the attack on the Pathankot airbase in January, has come as a shock, but was not unexpected.

New Delhi’s anger against Islamabad was amplified in no uncertain terms by Singh, who said he was “deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support” to terror.

“There are definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators of the Uri attack
were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped. Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such,” he said.

Sources said the Uri attack was part of Islamabad’s plan to ensure that the fire in Kashmir is not doused. The government had accused Pakistan of fuelling unrest in the Valley, following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July. Pakistan had supported the protests, likening them to a “freedom struggle”.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar and other senior officials of the army and paramilitary forces briefed Singh on the situation following the terror strike. Singh said he had already instructed the home secretary and other senior officers in the ministry of home affairs to closely monitor the situation. The chiefs of the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing along with directors general of military operations and military intelligence also attended the meeting.

Singh also spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Mehrishi will fly to Srinagar on Monday to take stock of the situation.
(Published 18 September 2016, 20:22 IST)

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