Hours after India summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner and lodged a very strong demarche or diplomatic protest over the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed, Islamabad this evening summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner and protested against New Delhi's allegation of its role in the terror strike.
New Delhi had, this morning, summoned Pakistan Envoy Sohail Mahmood and told him that Pakistan must take "immediate and verifiable action" against the Jaish-e-Mohammed and that it must immediately stop and groups or individuals associated with terrorism operating from its territories.
A short video clip has surfaced showing the Indian envoy leaving Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, New Delhi has also called back the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, for consultations.
India has already decided to remove "Most Favoured Nation" privileges given to Pakistan, and said it will work to ensure the country's isolation globally. Most Favoured Nation status is given to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two nations.
On Thursday afternoon, a suicide bomber detonated a car-load of explosives next to a large convoy of 78 CRPF buses with over 2,500 personnel travelling on the highway from Jammu to Srinagar. At Pulwama, the car with 60 kg of explosives blew up, killing over 40 personnel reporting to duty after leave. The attack was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed immediately.
India had last evening appealed to all members of the international community to "support the proposal to list terrorists, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan", a clear reference to China which has been blocking all efforts to listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council.
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the attack a matter of "grave concern". But in a brief statement, it added, "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."
With inputs from PTI