Here is a timeline of all events that have happened since 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a suicide bomb attack on February 14, 2019.
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 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 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.”
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.
The mortal remains of CRPF jawans were laid to rest in their hometowns.
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 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pakistan termed India’s cross-border air strike “uncalled for aggression” and vowed retaliation. “India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing,” Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC) said in a statement.
The Indian Army said the Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and five soldiers were injured. “Post 6:30 p.m., out of anger and frustration, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with heavy calibre weapons in 12 to 15 places all along the LoC,” said the Army.
An Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistan after a major aerial confrontation and chase between Pakistan Air Force planes, which dropped bombs in four locations of Jammu and Kashmir, and Indian Air Force jets that countered them over the Line of Control (LoC).
A day after the Indian precision air strike on a terrorist training camp in Balakot, Indian and Pakistani Air Force jets on Wednesday engaged in a chase over the Line of Control. One Indian MiG-21 Bison aircraft was lost and a Pakistani F-16 was shot. Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was arrested by Pakistan.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj blamed Pakistan’s inaction against JeM for triggering the strikes by the Indian Air Force across the Line of Control in the early hours of Tuesday, and reiterated that New Delhi was averse to any escalation of tensions with Islamabad.
Without referring to the cross-border strikes by the Indian Air Force on February 26 on a JeM training camp in Balakot, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that it was “especially important” to “eradicate the breeding grounds of terrorism and extremism”.
Pakistan suspended flight operations across major airports, including Islamabad and Lahore, for an indefinite period in the wake of the escalating tensions with India, a top civil aviation authority said. Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Mujtaba Baig told PTI that flight operations in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have been suspended for an indefinite period.
Three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the U.S., U.K and France, have made a ‘listing request’ to the UNSC on Wednesday, asking for a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze on JeM leader Masood Azhar.
Pakistani authorities suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India until further notice
Indian Railways decided to cancel operations of the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express due to drastic decline in occupancy, especially after the Pulwama terror attack, and the suspension of services from across the border, sources said.
A dossier handed over by India to Pakistan mentions nine specific instances, in the past two years, when JeM was conducting rallies and religious congregations to recruit men to the terror outfit.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, now in Pakistan’s custody, would be released on Friday. “As a peace gesture, we are releasing the captured Indian pilot tomorrow,” he told a joint session of Parliament.
Indian Air Force fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was freed by Pakistan, two days after his MiG-21 fighter jet came down in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The Samjhauta Express will leave for Pakistan from Delhi on Sunday after the two neighbours agreed to start services at their ends, a senior railway official told PTI. The announcement came a day after Pakistan released Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.