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India warns Pakistan it will pay 'a hefty price' for Pulwama attack

By Darryl Coote
India warns Pakistan it will pay 'a hefty price' for Pulwama attack
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan that it will pay a "hefty price" for its involvement in the Julwama attack. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan that it "is on a path to its own destruction" a day after more than 40 people were killed in a terrorist attack in the Kashmir region.

On Friday, Modi said that those responsible for the "heinous act would pay a hefty price. Those who supported it will definitely be punished," the Hindustan Times reported.

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On Thursday, a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-packed SUV into a Central Reserve Police Force bus in Pulwama, Kashmir. The bus was transporting some 40 reservists in a convoy of 78 other vehicles, the Indian Express reported.

Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is based in Pakistan and is believed to be harbored there, has claimed responsibility.

Modi said that this attack will not destabilize India as it was intended and that India's response will be proportional.

"The world is with India," he said. "I will make sure that a befitting reply is given to Pakistan. The security forces have been given a free hand to bring Pakistan to book."

Modi's warning comes as the Ministry of External Affairs has moved to diplomatically isolate Pakistan.

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Senior Cabinet Minister Arun Jaitly told journalists Friday that Pakistan had a "direct hand" in the Thursday attack and that the ministry would take "all possible diplomatic steps" to completely isolated its neighboring country from the international community, the India Express reported.

He also announced that India downgraded relations with Pakistan by revoking its "Most Favoured Nation" title, which permits non-discriminate trade between the two countries.

The MFN title was first granted to Pakistan in 1996.

The United States condemned "in the strongest terms" the attack, calling on all countries to uphold their U.N. Security Council responsibilities against harboring terrorists.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and their families, and wish a speedy recovery to those injured," U.S. Department of State spokesman Robert Palladino said in a media release. "The United States is resolutely committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all its forms. 

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