The attack on the military station at Sunjuwan in Jammu was carried out by Jaish-E-Mohammad and the perpetrators were assisted by Pakistan, said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. Addressing a press conference over the security situation in Jammu, the minister said Jaish-E-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was the mastermind of the attack but added that there was also local support to the attack.
“Terrorists belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, sponsored by Azhar Masood residing in Pakistan and deriving support from there in,” said the minister. Directly blaming Pakistan for the attack in which five Indian soldiers were killed, the minister said, “Intelligence inputs show that terrorists were controlled by their handlers from across border. Evidence are being scrutinised by NIA. Pakistan is expanding the arch of terror to areas south of Pir Panjal and resorting to ceasefire violations to assist infiltration.”
On a question of government’s action against Pakistan following the attack, the minister said, “All the evidences collected have been compiled. Definitely they will be given to Pakistan. Even after giving dossiers after dossiers Pakistan has not taken any action.” She added, “Giving the evidences to Pakistan will be a continuous process. It will have to be proved over and over again that they are responsible. Pakistan will have to pay for this misadventure”
Earlier in the day, Sitharaman met J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who has pitched for dialogues with Pakistan to end the ‘bloodshed’ after the Jammu terror attack and recent incidents of cross border firing. Saying that war is not an option for the two countries, Mufti tweeted, “Dialogue with Pakistan is necessary if we are to end the bloodshed. I know I will be labelled anti-national by news anchors tonight but that doesn’t matter. The people of J&K are suffering. We have to talk because war is not an option.”
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 12, 2018
The Sunjuwan Military Station in Jammu came under attack by terrorists before dawn on Saturday. Five soldiers and civilian were killed in the attacked carried by JeM. In the counter operation launched, the army gunned down all terrorists.
Late on Sunday night, the Army launched a “clearing” operation, firing mortar shells at the vacated residential quarters at the military camp, setting them ablaze. “The Army has launched a fire assault as a part of a sanitisation and clearing operation. There was no exchange of fire,” PTI quoted a Jammu-based Army public relations officer as saying.