A Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist – Adil Ahmed Dar – in a civilian vehicle laden with 300kg of explosives rammed into the second bus (bearing registration number HR 49 F 0637) of a convoy carrying Indian CRPF forces to Kashmir. As a result 44 CRPF jawans died in this suicide attack and two dozen were injured. The deadly attack happened at around 3:15 pm in Lethpora area on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway (NH-44) in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The bus that was targeted belonged to 76th Batallion of CRPF and 44 personnel from 92, 17 and 54 battalions were traveling in it. Another CRPF truck was also blown away and two more buses badly damaged. The injured were moved to Badami Bagh Base Hospital in Srinagar, where many succumbed to their injuries. This is the list of the Brave-hearts who gave their lives for India.
Due to bad weather, the personnel had not been moved to the Srinagar region. Usually, the convoys have much lesser personnel, but in this they had 2,547 personnel.#PulwamaAttack: Mat Chuke Chauhan - time for 'Hits' is long gone #PulwamaRevenge #PulwamaTerrorAttack Click To Tweet
There was a local intelligence input talking about possible Fidayeen attack which came after JeM had issued a threat on social media that it was planning to carry out a major blast.
“The chatter inputs revealed that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit has hinted to carry out IED attacks along the routes of security forces across Jammu and Kashmir. A video uploaded by the outfit was also shared with all concerned. It is as such suggested that security forces need to be put on alert to thwart any such attempt by terrorists”, read the input that was shared with the security forces across Jammu and Kashmir.
In the video that was uploaded along threat message showed a truck carrying troops in Somalia blown up in a power IED blast. In the message, the JeM had warned similar type of blast in Kashmir. (source)
Meanwhile, NIA team with forensic experts and Black Cat commando force NSG are joining in the investigations into the attack.
Pakistan’s link to Attack – narrative coming from US
The influential Brookings Institute scholar, Bruce Reidel, has stated that this attack – which was done by JeM, which has links to ISI, poses a serious threat to Imran Khan’s government.
“The self-proclaimed involvement of JeM in the attack raises serious questions about the role of the ISI in supporting the masterminds of this operation,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst, told PTI (source)
Also, Anish Goel who was in Obama’s National Security Council, made some interesting observations.
“By claiming such quick credit for the attack, JeM is clearly indicating that they will continue to cause trouble in the region and stoke tensions between Pakistan and India,” he said.
“In the wake of this attack, there will likely be increased pressure on Prime Minister Modi to take action against all militant groups still active in Kashmir,” Goel told.
What this means is that once JeM’s link is clear to the world, everyone knows that ISI and the Pakistani establishment cannot be far behind. And, the official press release from the US underscores that clearly.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the heinous terrorist attack by a Pakistan-based terrorist group that killed over 40 Indian paramilitary forces and wounded at least 44 others,” Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Thursday night.
“The United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence and terror in the region,” her statement said.
“This attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counter-terrorism cooperation and coordination between the United States and India,” the White House statement warned.
This will only strengthen India’s stand when the Government undertakes a strong military or other action.
These statements and sentiments across the board – Riedel is a democrat – shows that the view point of Pakistan being behind the attack is shared. This reduces the options that Pakistan has and greatly increases the leeway that India can exercise against Pakistan without international repercussions! Modi’s international visits and foreign diplomacy initiatives will finally become critical now!
Narratives within US think-tanks: the Churn
Meanwhile, there is a churn that is going on within the US think-tanks and thinkers. Specially those who have an eye on South Asian matters.
While, Michael Kugelman was busy playing “subtle games” of propaganda with this tweet, others were calling out the obvious behind his statement.
Today Kashmir was hit by one of its deadliest terror attacks in years. Implications for India-Pak ties, as India has blamed JeM. #Pulwama
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) February 14, 2019
And then he was called out.
So this proclaimed Pak expert @MichaelKugelman states that India has "blamed" JeM for this attack. Poor choice of words and exposes his obvious slant/bias when JeM themselves are crowing about their role @CChristineFair