February 16, 2019 2:55:50 am
A day after the single-worst strike attack in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said there is “incontrovertible evidence” about Pakistan’s “direct” involvement in the attack that killed 40 paramilitary personnel.
Jaitley also said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh will call for an all-party meeting on Saturday, where the parties are likely to be briefed about Thursday’s attack, and the situation arising out of it.
The government on Friday decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan and sought “immediate and verifiable action” from Islamabad against Jaish-e-Mohammad, the perpetrator behind Pathankot (January 2016), Uri (September 2016), and now Pulwama terror attacks. The decision was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence.
After the meeting, Jaitley said, “The MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) will initiate all possible diplomatic steps which have to be taken to ensure…complete isolation from international community of Pakistan, of which incontrovertible evidence is available of having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist incident.”
Jaitley said all efforts will be made to ensure that perpetrators of the attack are brought to book. “The Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan stands revoked,” he said.
The CCS was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Jaitley. After the CCS, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood at 2 pm and issued a “very strong demarche”. Gokhale is learnt to have told Mahmood that Pakistan must take “immediate and verifiable action” against the Jaish-e-Mohammad.
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