Pulwama Attack: PM Narendra Modi Vows to Give Befitting Reply to JeM Strike, Says 'Army Given Free Hand'
PM Narendra Modi - Visual from Pulwama attack site (Photo Credits: ANI-IANS)

New Delhi, February 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India's security forces will give a befitting reply to those behind the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking at an inaugural event of Vande Bharat Express, earlier known as Train 18, PM Modi said the Army is given a free hand and warned Pakistan of dire consequences.

"I understand that the nation is angry. We trust the Indian Army's valour and courage. I want to tell you that the forces responsible for the attack will be punished. We will crush terrorism. Forces have been given full freedom," PM Modi said. Without naming Pakistan, the prime minister said the neighbouring country is making a mistake if it thinks India would be torn apart by such attacks. Jaish-e-Mohammed Carried Out Pulwama Attack to Avenge Killings of Maulana Masood Azhar's Nephew?

"Our neighbouring country, which is experiencing a major economic crisis, thinks that it can ruin India, by making such a catastrophe. Their plans will never be fulfilled," he said. "I thank all the nations who have supported us and condemned this incident in the strongest of terms. A strong reply will be given to this attack," he added. PM Modi also welcomed political criticism following the Pulwama attack and urged for unity.

"I am also understanding the feelings of those who are criticizing us. They have their full right. But I want to request my colleagues that this is a very sensitive and emotional time, so stay away from political splinter groups. The country is fighting unitedly, this tone should go to the world," he said.

Before flagging off the Vande Bharat Express, PM Modi observed two-minutes silence for CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the Pulwama terror attack.

Video of PM Modi observing a two-minute silence for martyrs:

The government has initiated diplomatic actions against Pakistan following the Pulwama attack. After a meeting Cabinet Committee on Security earlier today, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on announced that the "Most Favoured Nation" status which was granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn. Jaitley also said the Ministry of External Affairs will intensify its diplomatic efforts to corner Pakistan on the international level.

The decisions were taken a day after the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, when a suicide bomber on Thursday rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a Central Reserve Police Force bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing at least 45 troopers, injuring 38 and leaving the security establishment stunned.