India summons Pakistan officials over Nagrota encounter

India summons Pakistan diplomat, protests over JeM's attempts to carry out major attacks

The ministry is said to have registered a strong protest against the attempted attack

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Credit: PTI File Photo

India on Saturday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over the latest attempt by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) – a terrorist organization based in the neighbouring country – to carry out a major attack in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

The Chargé d'Affaires of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in South Block, where the senior officials conveyed to him that the Government of India was firmly and resolutely committed to take all necessary measures to safeguard its national security in the fight against terrorism.

The JeM’s plan to carry out a major attack was foiled when its four terrorists, who had sneaked into India from the territory controlled by Pakistan, were killed in an encounter with the security forces on Thursday. The terrorists were hiding in a truck and they had a three-hour-long encounter with the security forces near Nagrota on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway before all of them were killed. Two policemen were injured during the encounter. A large number of weapons, including 11 AK-47 rifles, three pistols and 29 grenades, were recovered from the possession of the slain terrorists. The driver of the truck however managed to escape from the scene.

New Delhi suspects that the terrorists had come from Pakistan to India to carry out a major attack.

The MEA conveyed to the acting head of the High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi, Aftab Hasan Khan, that the initial investigation revealed that the four slain terrorists had been members of the JeM, and proscribed by the United Nations and several countries.

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New Delhi conveyed to Islamabad its serious concerns at continued terror attacks by the JeM against India.

The JeM has been responsible for several attacks in India, including the February 14, 2019 killing of the 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive material indicate detailed planning for a major attack to destabilise the peace and security in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, in particular, to derail the ongoing democratic exercise of conduct of local District Development Council elections,” the MEA stated in a press release issued on Saturday.

The senior officials of Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran division of the MEA conveyed to Khan that the JeM’s plan for a major attack was only prevented from happening by the alertness of the security forces of India. They told Islamabad’s envoy to New Delhi that Pakistan must desist from its policy of supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from its territory and dismantle the terror infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries, including India.

“India reiterated its long-standing demand that Pakistan fulfil its international obligations and bilateral commitments to not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner,” Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the MEA, said.