India will exercise all options, diplomatic or otherwise, to win a decisive battle against Pakistan which is responsible for the Pulwama terror attack, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
Describing Pakistan as a “rogue state”, he said it is not acting against perpetrators of the attack, though the guilty have themselves admitted to the attack and were taking credit for it.
Referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech, Jaitley said, “the head of the government says, give me actionable intelligence. You need an actionable intelligence if it is a blind offence, but here is a man sitting in your own country who owned up to the offence. So when there is a confession…You have people sitting in your own country and admitting to the offence and saying that yes we have done it and taking credit for it”.
Pakistan leadership, he said, is “riding a tiger on this issue, and a tiger never spares its own rider”.
In his first statement issued since the February 14 attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had on Tuesday accused India of blaming his country “without evidence” and warned of retaliation against any military action by India.
44 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu-Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.
India is furious, Jaitley said, adding “In my lifetime, we have seen wars, we have seen human tragedies, we have seen prime ministers assassinated by terrorists. But the kind of anger which has been there, even on previous occasions, the one this time is unprecedented.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already stated that India will exercise all its instruments at its command, whether it is diplomatic or otherwise.
“Therefore, we have to act in a manner that this battle has to be decisively won by us because Pakistan is not willing to give up its traditional role in our neighbourhood as a rogue state,” the finance minister added.
“This is not a one-week battle. It should be undertaken in various forms,” he said while speaking at the Global Business Summit in Delhi.
Talking about India playing cricket matches with Pakistan, he said at this juncture the atmosphere is hostile and hence the country can not seen to be playing friendly or even competitive matches with them.
“The feeling of the people (on this issue) is understandable,” Jaitley added.
The Committee of Administrators or CoA running Indian cricket on Friday decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash against Pakistan, which is scheduled for June 16 in Old Trafford in England, but said it would individually urge ICC members to “sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub”.
In a meeting to address the spiralling speculation around the match, the CoA deliberated on the matter but did not take any position for now.
There is also a view that India stands to lose by boycotting Pakistan in the upcoming cricket World Cup as it will lose points, harming its prospect in the championship.
India has adopted a series of diplomatic measures adopted by India to “choke” Pakistan after the deadly Pulwama terror attack.
Immediately after the attack, India had revoked the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan in 1996 and also hiked tariff on imports from Pakistan by 200 per cent.
Earlier this week, India had announced its decision to stop the flow of its share of water from the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej to Pakistan.