In a playbook adopted after the Uri and Pulwama terror attacks, New Delhi on Monday began a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan over the four Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists killed in Nagrota district of Jammu while reportedly on their way to Kashmir to disrupt the coming District Development Council (DDC) polls. Sources said the Foreign Secretary briefed envoys on “the implications of the November 19 incident on security, diplomacy and the battle against terrorism”.
Given the Covid-19 situation, the Ministry of External Affairs will be holding several small briefings for envoys, and the first batch included Heads of Missions of the US, UK, Russia and Japan, among others.
Sources said the foreign envoys were provided “a detailed information docket giving details of the incident as well as the list of items and munitions that were recovered from the terrorists, clearly indicating their Pakistani origins”, and also about the discovery of an underground tunnel that is believed to have been used by the four to come across the border.
“Preliminary investigations by the police and intelligence authorities, markings on the recovered AK-47 rifles and other items lead us to believe that the terrorists belonged to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e- Mohammad,” the sources said.
India has blamed the Jaish for the Uri and Pulwama attacks as well, and the envoys were given details of the terror outfit’s involvement in similar incidents. The DDC polls, starting November 28, mark resumption of political activity in J&K after the scrapping of its special status, and officials said they believed that the plan was to sabotage the polls and carry out “the biggest terror attack in India since Pulwama in February 2019”, coinciding with the anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
The envoys were “sensitised about our concerns regarding Pakistan’s sustained efforts to destabilize the situation in J&K and to subvert local elections and democracy”. “It was pointed out how the incident is part of Pakistan’s ongoing terror campaign in J&K and that in 2020 itself we have seen 200 incidents of terrorist violence and neutralisation of 199 terrorists,” a source said.
The four men were intercepted and killed in an early morning encounter on November 19 on the outskirts of Jammu city, by a joint team of the J&K Police, CRPF and Army. The police said 11 AK-47 rifles, three pistols, 29 grenades, explosives and other devices, including mobile phones and medicines, with Pakistani markings, were recovered from them, making it one of the largest such hauls in recent years in Jammu.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had praised security forces for foiling the “nefarious plot” to target democracy in J&K, while on Saturday the MEA had summoned Pakistan’s acting envoy to lodge a protest.
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