A day after 40 security personnel were killed in a devastating vehicle-bomb, the Indian government has blamed Pakistan and vowed retribution. Islamabad has already condemned the attack and denied links at any level to the deadliest militant attack ever carried out in the Kashmir region.
"The terrorists have made a big mistake and they will have to pay a very heavy price", Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in a televised address on Friday morning. He also pledged to ensure the "complete isolation" of Pakistan at the international level.
The attack ensued when an SUV packed with 350 kg of explosives rammed into a convoy and obliterated a bus packed with around 70 troops belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force.
"We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations", the statement issued by the Pakistani government after the attack read.
As pressure is piling through public discourse on the Indian government to retaliate in wake of the attack, Modi, who is seeking a second term in less than 100 days, has declared that India's security forces have been given "complete independence".
"A befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the heinous attack and their patrons. No force will succeed in disturbing peace, progress and stability of India", Narendra Modi said.
A grateful nation bows to the martyrs of Pulwama.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 15, 2019
A befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the heinous attack and their patrons.
No force will succeed in disturbing peace, progress and stability of India. pic.twitter.com/hFq0pUByVJ
The Pulwama attack is the most serious in Kashmir in recent years. A previous JeM attack occurred in September 2016 near Uri, where terrorists, armed with hand grenades, broke into an Indian Army base and killed at least 19 people.
New Delhi has repeatedly accused Islamabad of sponsoring militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir; however, Pakistan has denied its involvement in the attacks.