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India’s Unity in Distress: Pulwama Attack of 2019

The recent Pulwama terror-attack that took place on the 14th of February in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India has highlighted the bond of unity that India is capable of displaying. The Pulwama terror attack is the deadliest terror attack on Indian personnel that has taken place in Kashmir since 1989. It has instigated nation-wide protests against Pakistan.

Briefing about the attack that took the lives of 40 Indian security personnel, it was a planned terrorist attack whose responsibility was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). 

A flank of 78 vehicles carrying 2500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) travelling from Jammu to Srinagar on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a suicide bomber. India lost 40 CRPF personnel when a vehicle carrying lethal explosives rammed into the convoy on the highway. Many others who were injured by the attack were moved to the army base at Srinagar for treatment.

A local Kashmiri 22-year old boy, Adil Ahmad Dar, was the assailant of the attack as reported by a video released by the JeM. Dar was last spotted by his family in Kakapora in March 2018, when he left the house on a bicycle one day, never to come back again. The vehicle that Dar was driving is said to have carried more than 300 kilograms of explosives such as RDX (high explosive) and ammonium nitrate.

The responsibility of the attack was publicly claimed by the Islamist group JeM, but the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan asked the Indian government to provide evidence regarding the Pakistan Government’s involvement with the attack. In the meanwhile, the leader of JeM, Masood Azhar, is moving freely within Pakistan. 

PM Imran Khan also conveyed the message to Hindustan that Pakistan will have no choice but to retaliate in case India initiates a war with Pakistan. By the looks of the PM, he seemed to be against the idea of war, given the loss of 70,000 Pakistanis since the Indian crackdown of 1989.

Meanwhile in India, the public is showing signs of unity never witnessed before. The Congress party is, only for the second time in PM Narendra Modi’s reign, in alliance with the ruling party. Gandhi said that the Congress Party will fully support the decision of Modi’s government regarding this matter. Congress also announced that they will be halting all political discussions for a couple of days until the matter of Pulwama attack is resolved by the ruling Government.

Many communities, regardless of their religious views, are marching down the streets of India declaring war with Pakistan. The protests are ongoing both online and offline. The criticisms are mainly focused towards the ethnic Kashmiris, Pakistan and JeM. In some cities of Patna, Dehradun and Hyderabad, extremist Hindu mobs are showing violence towards Ethnic Kashmiris by vandalizing their trades and threatening them.

On the other hand, Hindustani Muslims are showing that they stand united by protesting against Pakistan in various areas in India, mostly Mumbai and Jammu. Despite religious and political differences, India is showing solidarity during this time of distress, which brings hope of unity among people in India. If in times of emergency, people from all over India can come together against a cause, it shows that India is on the path of unifying among diversity.

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