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TERROR: PAKISTAN UNMASKED AGAIN

The Editorial covers GS paper 3 [Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.]

Pulwama Terror Attack: Pakistan about to be unmasked soon, NIA likely to  file chargesheet today

Context

  • Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla briefed a select group of heads of missions on the planned terrorist attack in Nagrota district in Jammu, which was foiled on November 19. 

  • In what will be the first of several briefings to be conducted by the MEA in small groups in view of the pandemic, Shringla explained the implications of the incident on security, diplomacy and the battle against terrorism. 

What is the Background?

  • The decision to brief the envoys was taken last week at a security review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

  • The envoys were provided with a detailed information docket giving the details of the incident as it transpired as well as a list of items and weapons recovered from terrorists “clearly indicating” their Pakistani origins. 

  • The government believes the incident is part of Pakistan’s ongoing terror campaign in J&K. 

  • In 2020, there have been 200 incidents of terrorist violence and killing of 199 terrorists.

What was the incident?

  • On February 14, 2019, India lost 40 of its brave young soldiers in an attack by terrorists from the Pakistan side. 

  • 40 jawans were martyred in the terror attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy. 

  • The attack was claimed by Pakistani terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. 

  • It is, therefore, clear that the charge sheet filed is set to include the name of JeM members. 

  • After this charge sheet, Pakistan will once again be unmasked as having a 'direct connection' to the terrorists it shelters and to the terror attacks in India.

  • On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora (near Awantipora) in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. 

  • The attack resulted in the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and the attacker. 

  • The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. 

  • The attacker was Adil Ahmad Dar, a local from Pulwama district, and a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed. 

  • India has blamed Pakistan for the attack, while Pakistan has condemned the attack and denied any connection to it.

What are the highlights?

  • During the investigation, NIA had arrested several suspects believed to have been involved in planning the attack. 

  • The charge sheet could also name Abdul Rashid Ghazi, Hilal Ahmed (Shah Ahmed) of the Pakistani terror outfit Jaish e Mohammad. 

  • Hilal Ahmed was later gunned down in Pulwama by the security forces. 

  • Besides these, it is also being suspected that there was a woman involved, who had helped Dar bring the plan of attack to fruition. 

  • Notably, three terrorists involved in the attack have already been killed. 

  • The name of the remaining eight may be included in the charge sheet. 

Conclusion

  • The NIA investigation has so far identified the mastermind of the attack, the suicide attack mastermind, and the car driver. 

  • India had retaliated by doing an airstrike on Balakot, Pakistan, in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack. Several militants were reportedly killed in the airstrike.