Islamabad envoy Abdul Basit summoned, told Uri attackers came from Pakistan

Hours after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met Wednesday, the government summoned the Pakistan envoy and conveyed to him that Pakistan-based terrorists had carried out Sunday’s attack on an Army camp in Uri which left 18 soldiers dead.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit that India had recovered several items from the slain terrorists — GPS, grenades with Pakistani markings, communication equipment, food, medicines and clothes made in Pakistan. He said Delhi was ready to provide fingerprints and DNA samples of the terrorists killed in Uri and Poonch if Islamabad “wishes to investigate these cross-border attacks”.

Jaishankar, who called Basit to his South Block office, told him that even as he spoke, two engagements were going on at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. He reminded Pakistan of its commitment not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India, and said it must live up to its public commitment.

This is the third time since August that the Ministry of External Affairs has summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner — Basit had earlier been called following the capture of terrorist Bahadur Ali and over the discourtesy to the Indian envoy in Karachi.

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Jaishankar called in the Pakistan High Commissioner and reminded him that his government had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. “Persistent and growing violation of this undertaking is a matter of very serious concern,” he said.

The Uri attack, he said, only “underlines that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan remains active. We demand that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment to refrain from supporting and sponsoring terrorism against India”.

Beginning with the Pathankot airbase attack, there have been continuous attempts this year by armed terrorists to cross the LoC and International Boundary to carry out attacks in India, he said.

He said 17 such attempts have been interdicted at or around the LoC, resulting in the elimination of 31 terrorists and preventing their intended acts of terrorism. “Foreign Secretary also reminded him (Basit) that even as he spoke, two engagements at the LoC were ongoing,” he said.

“In the recent incidents, we have recovered a number of items that include: GPS from the bodies of terrorists with coordinates that indicate the point and time of infiltration across the LoC and the subsequent route to the terror attack site; grenades with Pakistani markings; communication matrix sheets; communication equipment; and other stores made in Pakistan, including food, medicines and clothes. We now expect a response from the Government of Pakistan,” he said.

Earlier Wednesday, the CCS met for the first time since the Uri attack. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, sources said, briefed the CCS on the overall security situation.

A senior official said, “Basically, the government has opened the way for the entire relationship with Pakistan to be reviewed. There will be no going back to business as usual.”

Government sources warned that the situation could rapidly change in the event of further strikes on either civilian or military targets.

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