Tensions Rise in Kashmir as 7 Killed in Gunfight

A massive haunt for Kashmiri fighters is launched by Indian forces, after the Pawluma attack which killed 49 CRPF soldiers. Violence has spiked since 2016 with nearly 600 killed past year, the highest toll in a decade.

India also recalled its ambassador to Pakistan after the suicide bombing.

India has already begun efforts to isolate Pakistan on the global level.

"I just hope this all leads to some introspection, some deep thinking and engagement to do everything afresh and rethink what we all should be doing to settle issues once for all", he said. "Observers worry that blacklisting Azhar could be used by India to increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking exacerbating tensions between the two countries".

Briefing media after the cabinet meeting on Friday, Jaitley said the perpetrators of the attack would pay a "heavy price" for it.

In a tit-for-tat move, Pakistan had summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad and lodged a protest against India's allegation of its role in the terror attack.

The gun battle erupted when militants opened fire on an army contingent as search operations were being conducted in a village close to where the suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a paramilitary convoy last week. His comments come in the aftermath of a terror attack in south Kashmir's Pulwama in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.

The anti-India unrest grew especially after a popular rebel leader was killed in 2016.

Another Major and two soldiers were injured in fresh firing by militants when the security forces were searching the area after killing the two JeM militants.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, facing an election that must be held by May, has promised a strong response to the attack and says he has given the military a free hand to tackle cross-border militancy. "We hope relevant regional countries will cooperate to cope with the threat of terrorism and jointly uphold regional peace and stability", China's foreign ministry said in a statement.

One of the students who asked to be identified by only his middle name, Ahmed, due to fear of reprisals from his university, said he and his fellow students felt unsafe despite police security.

United Nations also took serious cognizance of the attack and said the perpetrators should be brought to justice.

"The Northern Command of the army tweeted its tribute to the officer and soldiers, saying: ".salute the supreme sacrifice of our fearless officer and soldiers and offer deepest condolences to the families". "To hesitate from taking action against terrorism and their supporters is also encouraging terrorism", he said.

  • Jon Douglas