DDC polls: India tells Pak ready for all steps on terror


    Written by Shubhajit Roy
    , Arun Sharma
    | Jammu, New Delhi |

    November 22, 2020 4:28:42 am

    Security personnel inspect the site of encounter at Nagrota Ban toll plaza in Jammu (PTI)

    Expressing serious concern over “continued terror attacks” by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, New Delhi warned Islamabad Saturday that it is “firmly and resolutely committed to take all necessary measures to safeguard its national security in the fight against terrorism”.

    The Ministry of External Affairs, which summoned Pakistan’s acting envoy, lodged a protest after the latest Jaish bid to carry out terror strikes in J&K ahead of the District Development Council elections.

    It demanded that Pakistan desist from its policy of supporting terrorists and dismantle the terror infrastructure on its territory.

    Read| Nagrota encounter: India lodges protest with Pakistan over ‘attempted attack’ to derail DDC polls; it rejects charge

    The Pakistan Foreign Ministry also summoned the Indian chargé d’affaires in Islamabad to reject what it called were allegations to “implicate Pakistan in some alleged planned attack in Nagrota”.

    The Indian warning of taking “all necessary measures to safeguard its national security” came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed to cross-border terror from Pakistan and thanked security forces for having “defeated a nefarious plot” to target grassroots democracy in J&K.

    India carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads along the Line of Control after the Uri attack in September 2016, and air strikes in Balakot after the Pulwama attack in February 2019.

    In a statement Saturday, the MEA said, “A major terror attack was foiled by Indian security forces in Nagrota, Jammu and Kashmir on 19 November 2020. Initial reports indicate the attackers to be members of Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a terrorist organization proscribed by the United Nations and several countries. The Government of India expressed its serious concerns at continued terror attacks by JeM against India.”

    “JeM has been part of several attacks in India in the past, including the Pulwama attack in February 2019. The huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive material indicate detailed planning for a major attack to destabilise 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,” it said.

    “Pakistan Cd’A was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs and a strong protest was lodged at the attempted attack, which was only prevented from happening by the alertness of the Indian security forces. It was demanded that Pakistan 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.”

    “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,” the MEA said.

    “The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to take all necessary measures to safeguard its national security in the fight against terrorism,” it said.

    Meanwhile, an Army Havildar was killed and another soldier injured as Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire Saturday along the Line of Control in Rajouri district of J&K.

    Army spokesperson Lt Colonel Devender Anand said ceasefire violations from across the LoC took place in the morning and again in the evening.

    He said Havildar Patil Sangram Shivaji of Kolhapur was killed in action in the Nowshera sector. “He was a brave, highly motivated and a sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Lt Colonel Anand said.

    Officials said another soldier sustained injuries and is undergoing treatment at a military hospital. The Army, officials said, retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns.

    According to an ENS report from Pune, 38-year-old Patil of 16 Maratha Light Infantry hailed from Nigave Khalsa village in Karvir taluka of Kolhapur district. He belonged to a family of farmers. He was the second soldier from Kolhapur district to be killed in action along the LoC in over a week’s time.

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