New Delhi: The cabinet committee on security, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met on Wednesday to deliberate on the future course of action and review the security situation along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan following Sunday’s terrorist attack in Uri.
The meeting was attended by finance minister Arun Jaitley, home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, a government official said.
“It’s a sensitive matter, something must have gone wrong...won’t let this happen again.” Parrikar told reporters. “I’ll take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Later Wednesday, foreign secretary S. Jaishankar summoned Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit over the Uri terrorist raid. Basit was reminded that “Pakistan had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 to not allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India,” a foreign ministry statement said.
Basit was given Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates recovered from the terrorists showing the point and time of infiltration. “The persistent and growing violation of this undertaking is a matter of very serious concern,” it said.
“The latest terrorist attack in Uri only underlines that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan remains active,” the statement said, adding “We demand that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment to refrain from supporting and sponsoring terrorism against India.”
Jaishankar also pointed out that there was another attack against India on 2 January that targeted the Pathankot Air Force station. Besides these, there were numerous and “continuous attempts by armed terrorists to cross the LoC (Line of Control de facto border) and International Boundary in order to carry out attacks in India. Seventeen such attempts have been interdicted at or around the LoC, resulting in the elimination of thirty one terrorists and preventing their intended acts of terrorism,” the statement said.
Jaishankar told Basit that Indian security forces had recovered Global Positioning System (GPS) sets from the bodies of the terrorists with coordinates that indicate the point and time of infiltration across the LoC and the subsequent route to the terror attack site, grenades with Pakistani markings, communication equipment and stores made in Pakistan, including food, medicines and clothes, the statement said.
“If the government of Pakistan wishes to investigate these cross-border attacks, India is ready to provide finger prints and DNA samples of terrorists killed in the Uri and Poonch incidents,” it added.
On Sunday, four terrorists stormed an Indian Army battalion headquarters in Uri in northern Jammu and Kashmir, close to the LoC, killing 18 soldiers and injuring another 18.
Two days after the terror attack in Uri, Indian soldiers on Tuesday foiled infiltration attempts by terrorists attempting to cross over from Pakistan to the Indian side of the LoC in Kashmir, killing at least 10 of them. The infiltrators, an Army official told the Press Trust of India, were aided by Pakistani soldiers who fired at an Indian post from the other side of the LoC to provide cover.
The Army on Wednesday continued combing-cum-search operations in Uri and Naugam sectors along the LoC where the infiltration bids took place. The bodies of the slain terrorists are, however, yet to be recovered.
“The bodies of the terrorists are so close to the LoC that army might not be able to recover them,” an Army official told PTI in New Delhi.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Uri strike, currently has a six-member team stationed in Uri to collect evidence including blood samples, finger prints, Global Positioning Systems and weapons recovered from the dead terrorists.
The NIA filed a first investigation report in the Uri terror case on Tuesday.