A convoy of Central Reserve Police Force carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber on 14 February at Lethpora (near Awantipora) in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. 44 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were martyred in the attack, which Jaish-e-Mohammed took responsibility for. The attacker was identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, a local from Jammu and Kashmir, and a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed. Most of you would be knowing this piece of grievous news about the Pulwama attack. The following are some of the major events that have taken place after the Pulwama attack.
- 15 February 2019: Post the Pulwama attack, PM Narendra Modi gives a free hand to the forces to act.
- The customs duty on all Pakistani goods imported to India was raised to 200%.
- Protests, bandhs and candlelight marches were held across India. There were violent protests in Jammu resulting in a curfew being imposed starting 14 February.
- Indian broadcaster DSport said it would no longer broadcast Pakistan Super League matches. The All Indian Cine Workers Association announced a ban on Pakistani actors and artists in the Indian film industry and stated that strong action would be taken on any organisation violating it. The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association also announced a ban on Pakistani artists in films and music produced in India.
- Following intelligence inputs, in the early morning hours of 18 February, a joint team comprising 55 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Special Operations Group of India killed two terrorists and two supporters in an anti-terrorism encounter operation in the ensuing manhunt for the perpetrators in Pulwama. One of them, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi alias Kamran, was identified as a Pakistani national and was considered the mastermind of the attack and a commander of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). In addition, local JeM recruit Hilal Ahmed, along with two sympathisers who housed Ghazi and Ahmed to evade capture, was also shot dead in the encounter.
- 18 February 2019: In the wake of the tensions that prevail after the Pulwama attack, Cricbuzz and Dream 11 ban Pakistan Super League from their platforms, leading to an uproar from the Pakistani fans.
- 26 February, Balakot airstrikes: On 26 February, India stated that the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted airstrikes with the use of twelve Mirage 2000 jets flown from different airbases. India claimed the jets flew deep into Pakistan-administered Kashmir, crossing the Line of Control in Kashmir, and dropped several 1,000-kilogram bombs on terror training centres and launch pads.
- 26 February 2019: Heavy exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian forces occurred along the Line of Control on 26 February, with small arms and mortar fire being exchanged.
- 27 February 2019: Throughout 27 February, heavy exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani forces continued along the Line of Control. The Pakistan Army reportedly used tanks across the LOC and engaged in cross-border firing and mirror shelling, which resulted in 10 Indian soldiers being injured and two residential houses damaged.
- 27 February 2019: On 27 February, Pakistani military officials announced that Pakistan had carried out an airstrike against multiple targets in Jammu and Kashmir. A military spokesman said that two aircraft were shot down and it was also claimed that Pakistan Army had captured two Indian pilots, but later, it was revised to one plane and one pilot. The pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, is a Wing Commander and a MiG-21 Bison pilot. Subsequently, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that an Indian pilot was missing in action after a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane was lost while engaging with Pakistani jets after they violated Indian airspace.
- 27 February 2019: On 27 February, Pakistan canceled all commercial flights and closed its airspace until the midnight of 28 February. Indian Air Force has asked airlines to stop operations at key airports in view of the rising tensions with Pakistan. Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Pathankot, Dharamshala and Dehradun airports were on Wednesday, closed for civilian air traffic.
- 28 February 2019: On 28 February, a picture of aircraft wreckage in Pakistan administered Kashmir was claimed by IAF sources as the wreckage of the PAF F-16 shot down by the IAF Mig-21.
- 28 February 2019: Samjhauta Express, a train that runs twice weekly between India and Pakistan, was suspended by the governments of Pakistan and India.
- Also, on 28 February, Pakistan announced that it would release the captured Wing Commander on 1 March as a “gesture of peace”. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is expected to enter India on 1 March.
The Author’s Take:
Post the Pulwama attack, It’s high time for Pakistan to realise and accept that it’s breeding terrorists. They should realise the need to eliminate them instead of blaming India for false allegations on it. Counter-terrorist operations should be taken up on war-footing and Pakistan should, in fact, support countries like India and the US which have helped in destroying terrorist training camps. It is also expected that the Indian government would take crucial and sensible decisions in the days which lie ahead.
Article contributed by Debabrata Malik