India warns Pakistan of ‘strong response’ to Kashmir attack
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a "strong response" to a car bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed at least 42 paramilitary personnel, with New Delhi calling for "the complete isolation of Pakistan" for harbouring the armed group behind the devastating attack.
"We will give a befitting reply," Modi said in a speech on Friday, soon after he called his security advisers to consider a response to the worst attack on Indian security forces in decades.
"Those who committed this heinous act will pay a heavy price. Those who supported it will definitely be punished," he was quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper.
"If our neighbour thinks it can destabilise India, then it is making a big mistake."
Thursday's attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) soon after a Kashmiri rebel rammed an explosive-laden car into a bus carrying personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
The bombing has ratcheted up the tension between the two South Asian neighbours, which rule parts of Muslim-majority Kashmir while claiming the entire territory as their own.
Pakistan has denied any involvement and warned India against linking it to the attack.
However, Arun Jaitley, India's finance minister, said there was "incontrovertible evidence" that Islamabad had a "direct hand in this gruesome attack".
He told reporters India would ensure "the complete isolation of Pakistan from the international community". The first step, he said, would include India removing most-favoured-nation (MFN) privileges given to Pakistan under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
Meanwhile, as outrage and demands for revenge flooded Indian social media, the country's Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Pakistan's envoy Sohail Mahmood and served a diplomatic notice demanding Islamabad take action against JeM.