Those behind Pulwama attack will be definitely punished: PM Modi

New Delhi: Coming down heavily on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that those behind the Pulwama terror attack have committed a “grave mistake” and they will be “definitely punished”.

“If our neighbor, which is totally isolated in the world, thinks it can destabilize India through its tactics and conspiracies, then it is making a big mistake. Its plans will never succeed, they will not be allowed to succeed,” the Prime Minister said.

“I want to tell terrorist organizations and their guardians that they have done a grave mistake. Those behind the attack will be definitely punished for their actions…The blood of Indians is boiling… A strong reply will be given to this attack,” Modi said here while flagging off the Delhi-Varanasi high-speed Vande Bharat Express train.

Paying tributes to around 40 CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack, he said, “Our security forces have been given full freedom (to carry out anti-terror operations). We have full faith in their bravery.”

The Prime Minister also thanked the countries which have supported India and condemned this incident in the strongest of terms.

Modi, who was accompanied by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, observed a two-minute silence in memory of the para-military force personnel before flagging-off the train.

The Prime Minister also appealed to leaders of parties to stay away from political comments at this “sensitive and emotional time”.

“Those who are criticizing us, I understand their emotions. They have full right to do so. But I request to all my friends that it is a sensitive and emotional time, so stay away from political comments. A message that the whole country is unitedly fighting against this attack will go across the world,” Modi said.

He urged the international community to unite to wipe out the scourge of terrorism and isolate those responsible for the menace.

Earlier in the day, a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by the Prime Minister, decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan.

“The Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan stands withdrawn,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting held at the residence of the Prime Minister.

In international trade, MFN treatment is synonymous with non-discriminatory trade policy as it ensures equal trading among all WTO member nations rather than exclusive trading privileges.

“The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible diplomatic steps which have to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community from Pakistan of
which incontrovertible evidence is available of having a direct hand in this gruesome attack,” Jaitley added.

Besides the Prime Minister, the CCS comprises the ministers for Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs.

Modi also canceled all scheduled political engagements in Madhya Pradesh’s Itarsi and Dhar in the wake of the terror strike.

The CRPF personnel were killed when their convoy was targeted on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Thursday. The convoy comprised 78 buses in which around 2500 personnel were traveling from Jammu to Srinagar.

The bus was extensively damaged in the blast, which was followed by firing on the vehicle.

Soon after, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which is based in Pakistan and backed by the Pakistani administration, claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was carried out by its suicide bomber.

After the dastardly terror strike, India demanded that the UN ban JeM and it’s chief Masood Azhar who roams freely in Pakistan.

In a statement, India’s External Affairs Ministry said all UN member countries should support a proposal for proscribing Azhar as an international terrorist.

Meanwhile, arrangements are also being made to airlift the mortal remains of the soldiers who lost their lives in the attack.

In a statement, India’s External Affairs Ministry said all UN member countries should support a proposal for proscribing Azhar as an international terrorist.