Uri terror attack: Indian Prime Minister's SAARC appearance remains doubtful

Condemning the attacks, Modi on Sunday said that the perpetrators will not go 'unpunished'. Photograph:( Reuters )

New Delhi, India Sep 19, 2016, 05.38 AM (IST)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Pakistan remains doubtful amid strained Indo-Pak ties in the wake of Uri attack in Kashmir on Sunday and ongoing unrest in the Valley. 

No decision has been taken as yet on Modi's participation in the summit scheduled to start on November 8 in Islamabad, Indian news agency ANI reported today quoting sources. 

At least 17 soldiers were killed and four militants were shot dead when gunmen attacked an Indian Army base  in Uri area of Kashmir Valley on Sunday. 

While Modi condemned the attacks and assured that the perpetrators will not go 'unpunished', Indian interior minister Rajnath Singh branded Pakistan as a 'terrorist state'. 

The ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has asserted that neighbouring country, Pakistan, will have to bear the brunt of Uri attacks in Kashmir, one of the deadliest raids on Indian Army base, that left at least 17 soldiers dead. 

Speaking to ANI, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi condemned the Uri terror attack and said:  "Today's incident of Uri is very unfortunate and painful. Now it is very clear from the observations of the military establishment that the terrorists were trained from Pakistan and they were heavily armed with well-equipped planning." 

Following the terror strike, Indian Army claimed that weapons recovered from the site had Pakistan markings on them. Initial investigations by the Indian Army indicate the role of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan based terrorist group. Pakistan, however, has denied the allegations. 

The two countries have been at loggerheads with each-other following the outbreak of unrest in Kashmir Valley after death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. 

UN chief condemns Uri attacks 

Meanwhile, the terror strike has evoked widespread condemnation.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he hopes the perpetrators of the crime will be brought to justice and all involved will work for the re-establishment of stability and prevent further loss of life.

"The United Nations is following developments closely and shares the concerns of people living in the region for peace," a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson here said.

He "hopes that all involved will prioritise the re-establishment of stability and prevent any further loss of life. The Secretary-General encourages all stakeholders to meet their respective responsibilities to maintain peace and stability," the statement said.

Expressing his "deepest sympathy and condolences" to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives and to the government of India, Ban wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as the head of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), also expressed solidarity with the people of India "who have suffered a terrorist attack.", Indian news agency PTI reported today. 

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister pays tributes to martyrs

Meanwhile, led by the chief minister of northernmost Jammu and Kashmir state Mehbooba Mufti, senior Indian Army and police officials paid tributes at the wreath laying ceremony for the 17 soldiers killed in the militant attack on an Army base in Uri.

"Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti laid wreaths on the coffins of the martyred soldiers at a somber ceremony held at headquarters of the Chinar Corps here at Badamibagh," an Army official was quoted as saying by Indian news agency PTI. 

The chief minister later visited the soldiers, injured in yesterday's attack, at the 92 Base Hospital of the Army, the official said.

Following directions of Indian defence Minister Manohar Parikkar, the Army has made arrangements for transporting the mortal remains of all the martyrs directly to their respective hometowns.

While two of the 17 soldiers hail from Jammu and Kashmir, rest of them belong to Uttar Pradesh (four), Bihar (three), Maharashtra (three), West Bengal (two), Jharkhand (two) and Rajasthan, according to the Indian news agency. 

Anti-Pakistan protests were also reported in the Jammu area of the northernmost state follow the terror attacks.

(WION with inputs from agencies)