Two years of Pulwama Terror attack

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Vinod Sharma

The most cowardly and ghastly terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in South Kashmir’s Pulwama by Pakistan-backed terrorists, martyring 40 valiant security personnel, continues to haunt the psyche of an average Indian even after two years of its occurrence as people are finding no words to recall the bravery and supreme sacrifice of the martyrs as well as to curse and condemn belligerent neighbour for aiding and abetting terrorism against India.
February 14, 2021 marked two years of Pulwama terror attack when 40 brave hearts were martyred after a suicide bomber rammed an IED-laden vehicle into the security convoy carrying them. The attack took place in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district when a 22-year old suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into one of the 78 convoy buses, carrying around 2,500 security personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.
Remembering supreme sacrifice of the brave hearts on 2nd anniversary, netizens took to social media to pay homage to CRPF personnel, who laid down their lives for the cause of the nation. “The day when India lost 40 CRPF men. 2 years of the attack: We will never forget and never forgive”, wrote a twitter user while another user said that the brave hearts were attacked from behind.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, paying glorious tributes to the martyrs, said, “India will never forget their service to the nation and their supreme sacrifice. I pay homage to those brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in 2019 Pulwama terror attack. We continue to stand with their families, who had to suffer due to this attack”.
To immortalise the memory of the valiant soldiers, a memorial having names of all 40 jawans martyred in the attack was inaugurated on February 14, 2020 at CRPF’s Training Centre at Lethpora camp in Pulwama, inscribing names of all 40 troopers along with their photographs and the motto of the CRPF ‘Seva and Nishtha’ (Service and Loyalty).
A handiwork of the Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohmmed led by UN Designated Global Terrorist Azhar Masood Alvi, the pernicious attack is a horrible reminder of Pakistan’s continuous misadventures to disturb peace and tranquillity in India, especially in Jammu & Kashmir.
Surprisingly even after lapse of two years of the attack, Pakistan has miserably failed to either arrest Masood Azhar and his kin, the masterminds of the attack, or to cooperate with Indian authorities to prosecute and punish perpetrators despite substantive evidence of their involvement and persistent pressure from international community as well as from Financial Action Task Force (FATF). On the other hand, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which submitted a 13,500 pages charge-sheet in the case naming Masood Azhar and 18 others in a Jammu court, is hoping against hope that Pakistani authorities will honour red notices and take action against the terror masterminds.
It may be mentioned here that apart from Azhar, red notices or global arrest warrants have been issued against his brothers Rauf Asghar and Ibrahim Athar, and his cousin Ammar Alvi. However, as per latest reports, Azhar and his brother live freely in Pakistan despite killing hundreds of innocent people with no punitive action taken against them by Pakistani authorities.
In this scenario, the FATF has begun a series of online meetings that will review Pakistan’s actions to counter terror financing amid signs that Islambad is yet to completely implement the multilateral watchdog’s action plan, a newspaper report said, adding that the crucial plenary meeting during February 22-25 will take a call on Pakistan, which is in ‘grey list’.
Notably, India has also prepared a formal judicial request, or Letter Rogatory, seeking information on Azhar. Rauf, Athar and Alvi, and three Pakistani nationals who came to India to execute Pulwama attack. Athar’s son Umar Farooq and JeM commander Kamran, both killed in encounters with security forces, and one Ismail alias Saifullah, are the three others on whom the Union Home Ministry will seek information, a report suggested.
. Meanwhile, making a strong case against Pakistan-based terrorist, the NIA, in its charge-sheet, said an attempt was made to attack a convoy on February 6, 2019 also but it did not succeed due to heavy snowfall. “JeM sent its cadres to the joint training camps of ‘Al-Qaeda-Taliban-JeM’ and ‘Haqqani-JeM’ in Afghanistan to get expertise in explosives and other terrorist tactics”, the NIA stated in its charge-sheet.
Investigations have revealed that the Pakistan-based JeM leadership led by Azhar, Rouf Asghar and AmmarAlvi were giving directions and guidance to the Pakistani terrorists both before and after the Pulwama attack. “They had also planned to carry out another suicide attack but could not execute it due to Balakot air strikes and killing of Farooq by the security forces. Further, due to international pressure, Pakistan lay low”, the NIA further stated.
India, in its strong retaliation to Pulwama attack, carried out air-strike in Balakot area of Pakistan on February 26, 2019 as twelve Mirage 2000 jets destroyed a JeM training camp across the border, killing over 300 Pakistani terrorists. This act was highly admired and appreciated by the people, who hugely complimented the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking bold initiative to teach Pakistan a lesson of life. This brave act further contributed in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regaining overwhelming majority in 2019 Lok Sabha elections with popularity of Prime Minister further grew exponentially after the strong retaliatory action.
Recalling, since 2015, Pakistan-based terrorists in Kashmir have had increasingly taken to high profile suicide attacks against security forces. In July 2015, three gunmen had attacked a bus and police station in Gurdaspur of Punjab. Early in 2016, four to six gunmen had attacked Pathankot Air Force Station. In February and June 2016, terrorists had martyred nine and eight security personnel respectively in Pampore. In September 2016, four assailants had attacked an Army brigade headquarters in Uri, martyring 19 soldiers. On 31 December 2017, the Commando Training Centre at Lethpora was also attacked by terrorists martyring five security personnel. All these attacks had taken place in the vicinity of the Jammu Srinagar National Highway.
Notwithstanding, the NIA vigorously pursuing all cases of terror attacks internally as well as externally to punish the perpetrators, Pakistan’s non-cooperative attitude and its dilly-dallying tactics in taking any concrete action against Masood Azhar and his aids, has always been a dampener. Pakistan needs to handover all the terrorists, involved in different terror attacks in India from time to time, to the Indian authorities so that justice is done to hundreds of martyred soldiers, their families and other innocent common masses, who suffered heavily because of these mindless terror activities.
There is no denying the fact that after the abrogation of Article 370 and conversion of Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory by another far-reaching and bold decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the bordering state no longer remains a ‘safe haven’ for separatists, terrorists and their mentors sitting across the border who want to unleash terror and mayhem in J&K to disturb peace and tranquillity. Rather, a new, speedy and unprecedented phase of all-round development is making way in Jammu and Kashmir, which suffered for decades under the dark days of terrorism.
It is high time that the international community, especially the super powers, the United Nations and the FATF must exercise utmost pressure on Pakistan to take stern, concrete and strong action against global terrorists like Masood Azhar and stop funding and financing terror activities in India through its intelligence agency ISI, though India is capable and competent enough to repeat retaliatory actions like Balakot with its defence prowess to teach a lesson and further isolate Pakistan in the international community. However, India has already taken back the status of ‘Most Favoured Nation’ from Pakistan in the wake of Pulwama attack, which caused a huge dent on its image.
In nutshell, prosecution of the perpetrators would be a befitting homage to all those martyred soldiers and other innocent people, who were martyred in different terror attacks including Pulwama, Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri, Parliament and several others. However, India is proud of its brave soldiers, who don’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives to safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

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