Ever since India’s Central Reserve Police Force lost more than 40 jawans in a suicide bomb attack on February 14, 2019, the drums of war were set beating in the region, although nowhere near as loud or as recklessly as in a section of the Indian media. Thankfully the two sides would seem to have stepped back from the edge of the precipice for now. The following timeline recounts the events of the past three weeks, that brought South Asia closest to the brink of war since the stanodd over Kargil.
40 CRPF men killed in J&K suicide attack in Pulwama, Kashmir
At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed when a convoy in which they were travelling was attacked by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber, who rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into one of the convoy’s buses near Awantipora on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. It was the deadliest attack in terms of casualties in three decades of militancy in the State.
India revokes Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan
India announced that it had decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan and would also take all possible steps to isolate the country at the international level.
Pakistan rejects India’s claims
Pakistan said the terrorist attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama district is “a matter of grave concern” even as it strongly rejected Indian media and government’s allegations of the country’s link to the strike “without” probe.
Asserting that Pakistan has “always condemned acts of violence” anywhere in the world, it said, “We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations.”
Indian Foreign Secretary briefs envoys of 25 countries
Kicking off a global diplomatic campaign, India briefed envoys of 25 countries about the security situation following the terror attack in Pulwama. Sources said the move came after a “very strong demarche” was issued to the Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood.
Slain CRPF jawans laid to rest in hometowns
The mortal remains of CRPF jawans were laid to rest in their hometowns.
J&K government withdraws security cover of 5 separatist leaders
In the backdrop of the Pulwama attack, the Governor’s administration in Jammu and Kashmir issued orders to withdraw all security personnel and government facilities provided to five separatist leaders in Kashmir.
India raises Pulwama terrorist attack issue during bilaterals at Munich Conference
India raised the issue of the Pulwama terror attack, which left 40 CRPF men dead, during bilateral meetings with several countries, including the U.S., Germany and Russia, at the three-day Munich Security Conference that concluded on February 17
Facing threats, abuses, Kashmiri students return to Valley
Apprehending physical and verbal attacks from frenzied groups in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, around 100 Jammu and Kashmir students from various colleges across north India, mostly from Dehradun in Uttarakhand, returned to the Valley.
Pakistan briefs African, SCO envoys about situation after Pulwama attack
Pakistan briefed Ambassadors from African and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries about the situation after the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 41 CRPF soldiers.
3 Jaish men killed in Pulwama
An Army Major and three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were among the nine persons killed in an 18-hour gun battle in Pulwama’s Pinglena area, just four days after 40 CRPF jawans lost their lives in a suicide car-bomb attack in the region. The dead included three other Army personnel, a policeman and a civilian.
Pakistan recalls its India envoy for consultations
As India explored diplomatic options to pressurise Pakistan to act on terrorists on its soil, Islamabad summoned its envoy in India for consultations. “We have called back our High Commissioner in India for consultations. He left New Delhi this morning,” Dr. Mohammad Faisal, Spokesperson of Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a tweet.
Imran Khan warns against war, promises action if India gives evidence
Breaking his silence on the Pulwama terror attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned India that Islamabad would retaliate if Delhi decided to take punitive military action against it. In a televised address, Mr. Khan said, “If you think that you will launch any kind of attack on Pakistan, Pakistan will not just think about retaliation, Pakistan will retaliate.”
NIA takes over Pulwama case
The National Investigation Agency took over the probe in the Pulwama terror attack case and named Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM in the First Information Report. A senior official said Jaish chief Masood Azhar has not been named in the FIR as yet, as it was only a preliminary report and the NIA was only re-registering the case filed by the J&K police. His role in the attack is being actively investigated.
Pakistan takes administrative control of JeM headquarters
Succumbing to intense international pressure to rein in militant groups operating from its soil, the Pakistan government took over the administrative control of the headquarters of JeM.
Paramilitary forces rushed to J&K as Centre anticipates Pakistan’s ‘violent reaction’
The Centre rushed additional forces of about 10,000 central armed police force personnel and “urgently deployed” them to further fortify the Kashmir Valley amid apprehensions of a reaction from Pakistan to the multiple “indirect and direct actions” taken by the government in the wake of the Pulwama attack.
India bombs Jaish camp in Pakistan’s Balakot
Twelve days after the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammad’s “biggest” terror-training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. The operation was carried out by 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets, which unleashed five one-tonne bombs on the camp, based 70 km inside the Line of Control (LoC), in the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.