India to ‘isolate’ Pakistan after suicide car bomb attack on police convoy kills 44

India to ‘isolate’ Pakistan after suicide car bomb attack on police convoy kills 44
India has threatened to completely isolate neighbor Pakistan on a global scale following a suicide car bomb attack which killed 44 paramilitary police officers in the disputed Kashmir region.

The suicide attack on a large convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was the deadliest attack on security forces in the disputed region since the 1989 insurgency began.

A car, reportedly packed with 350kgs of explosives, overtook the 78-vehicle convoy and rammed into a bus about 20km (12 miles) from the regional capital, Srinagar on Thursday.

Blood and body parts were scattered along a 100-metre stretch of road while the explosion was so powerful it was heard some 12km away. There were reportedly 2,500 personnel in the convoy, which is larger than usual, at the time of the attack.

The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility.

“We demand that Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries,” India’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Islamabad has denied allegations that it supports armed insurgents operating in the disputed area, claiming instead that it merely provides moral and diplomatic support for people within the Muslim-majority region.

“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,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded in an official statement.

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The last major attack in the region was a 2016 raid on on Indian Army camp in which 20 soldiers were killed.

The 30-year insurgency in Kashmir has strained tensions between the two regional powers since an armed revolt in 1989 in which tens of thousands were killed. There have been 10 suicide attacks in that time, though this is only the second to use a car.

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Federal Minister Arun Jaitley has accused Pakistan of failing to crack down on the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad which has been banned in Pakistan since 2002. India has called for the UN to impose sanctions against its leader Masood Azhar repeatedly in recent years though each attempt has been blocked by Pakistan’s ally China.

India is withdrawing the “most-favoured nation” status afforded to Pakistan in 1996 which granted its neighbour special trading privileges.

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