NEW DELHI / SRINAGAR: A day after a suicide bomber killed over 40 CRPF personnel in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday dropped hints that India would retaliate when he said security forces would decide the “timing, place and nature of response”.
“I know there is deep anger, your blood boils looking at what has happened,” Modi said.
The PM’s comments came soon after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security where it was decided to withdraw the most favoured nation status to Pakistan.
After the CCS meeting, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said the Ministry of External Affairs would launch an all-out effort to isolate Pakistan.
Later, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood and issued a demarche.
India also asked its High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, to return to Delhi for consultations.
Gokhale also met 25 heads of missions of the P-5 countries, South Asian countries and important partners such as Japan, Germany, Republic of Korea and others, and briefed them on Pakistan’s “use of terror as an instrument of state policy.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who flew to Srinagar soon after the CCS meeting, said civilian vehicles would be stopped during the movement of a convoy of security forces.
“I have given all the necessary directions to the officers. The morale has not taken a hit. We will see this fight against terrorism to the end,” he said.
The Opposition pledged support to the government, which has called an all-party meeting on Saturday to brief the leaders about the situation and build a consensus on the course of action.
Officials of the National Security Guard and the National Investigation Agency arrived in Pulwama to assist in the investigation.
In a startling revelation, CRPF and NSG sources said 50-80 kg of high-grade RDX was used in the attack.
The last time RDX was used in such high quantity in India was during the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke to chiefs of all security forces and intelligence agencies and asked them to be on alert in the wake of the terror attack.