The Pulwama Attack: The Background And Latest Updates

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On February 14th a suicide bomber who will not be named by ValueWalk carried out a suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir. The ‘Pulwama attack’ as the incident has come to be called took place in the town of Pulwama and targeted Indian paramilitary police.

Forty-six paramilitary police officers were murdered in the Pulwama attack terrorist incident. The militant terror organization known as Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) quickly took responsibility for the horrific incident. BBC gave an overview of how the organization was founded and their history of terrorist actions leading up to the Pulwama attack.

Those Behind The Attack

Jaish-e-Mohammad literally means the Army of Mohammad.  Pakistan-based Muslim cleric Masood Azhar founded the group after he was released by India in 1999. He was one of three men set free in exchange for the crew and passengers of an Indian Airlines plane hijacked and flown to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Mr  Azhar reportedly met with the former Taliban leader Mullah Omar and with al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden when he was in the country.
India blame JeM for an attack on their parliament in New Delhi in December 2001 – a claim JeM denies. JeM was officially banned in Pakistan soon after that attack but the group still operates, sometimes using the names Afzal Guru Squad, Al-Murabitoon and Tehreek-al-Furqan.

More recently, India has blamed JeM for an attack on its Pathankot airbase near the Pakistani border in January 2016, which left three security forces dead.

JeM commander Noor Mohammad Tantray was killed by Indian forces in December 2017, which was seen as a massive blow to the organization.
But the violence did not abate, and a report in the Indian newspaper The Print suggests covert Pakistani support may be the reason for its expansion. JeM has however attacked Pakistani military targets and even made an attempt on former leader Pervez Musharraf’s life in 2003, despite India’s accusations that Pakistan harbors the group.

Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Russia, United Arab Emirate, United Kingdom, United States, and United Nations have all listed JeM as a terrorist organization for their actions over the past nineteen years.  The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) official listing of JeM as a terror threat came on October 17, 2001, a little over a year after the began operations in Kashmir. The official reasoning was “terrorism, financing of terrorism, military training.” Part of the United Nations sanctions against JeM are listed below.

The subject of this notice has been designated, by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities as subject to the following sanctions:

  • ARMS EMBARGO: Prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.
  • ASSETS FREEZE: Freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities, ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available, directly or indirectly for their benefit.

The subject has the following permanent reference number on the list maintained by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities which appears in the Special Notice for this subject: QDe.019

India And Pakistan Respond To Pulwama Attack

India claims the government of Pakistan has given refuge to JeM, despite the organization being officially banned in the country. According to multiple outlets, India believes Pakistan helped orchestrate the Pulwama attack, an accusation Pakistan strongly denies.

Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley said the Ministry of External Affairs “will initiate all possible diplomatic steps which are to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan of which incontrovertible is available of having a direct hand in this act.” The strongly worded statement to reporters came after India withdrew its “Most Favored Nation” trading status with Pakistan.

Such a status is given to an international trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between all partner World Trade Organization (WTO) nations. The removal of the status revokes concessions and immunity and immunity in trade agreements as guaranteed in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Razak Dawood, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce gave tensions response to India’s move when speaking to the media, “Mr Dawood went on to say that Pakistan might take unilateral measures against India or revoke concessions under the South Asia preferential trade agreement (Sapta) and might take up the issue in the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation,” Dawn reported.

An official of the Pakistani commerce ministry told Dawn further retaliation may see the country increase the list of non-importable items from India as a punitive economic measure to restrict trade with India.

Pakistan officials have been demanding India show evidence their government had anything to do with the Pulwama attack.

Recent Developments

Also on 18 Feb the two alleged masterminds behind the Pulwama terrorist attack was killed by security forces in Pinglana, Jammu and Kashmir. However, their deaths are not likely to improve the diplomatic situation between India and Pakistan.

According to multiple reports, four Indian military personnel and one civilian were killed during a clash between JeM and security forces were killed overnight.





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