Indian must exercise caution after a car bombing in Jammu and Kashmir which killed over 40 Indian CRFP troopers. This was stated by a retired Indian military commander who called Delhi to show restraint.
The attack called the worst terror attack on government forces in Kashmir’s history, killed at least 44 Indian troops near in Pulwama, close to the capital Srinagar. India, which regularly accuses neighboring Pakistan of supporting militants in Kashmir, swiftly pointed the finger of blame at Islamabad and promised a “crushing response.”
US national security adviser John Bolton swam into the fray, expressing support for New Delhi’s tough talk which risked a fresh escalation of tensions in the region.
In a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, the hawkish US official “vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan cease to be a safe haven” for terrorist groups.
Lieutenant General D.S. Hooda, however, urged caution as he expressed hope for “rethinking and reconciliation” from all sides of the conflict.
The former general was in charge of the Indian army’s northern command at the frontier with Pakistan in Kashmir and oversaw India’s “surgical strikes” in September 2016 after militants raided a military base that killed 19 Indian soldiers.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday, Hooda did not predict a major flare-up, saying that “some kind of limited military strike against Pakistan is more than likely.”
His remarks came after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the terrorist groups had committed a “big mistake,” and that they would have to pay “a heavy price.”
Hooda said that considering the state of affairs in Kashmir, he wasn’t surprised by the bombing. “I just hope this all leads to some introspection, some deep thinking and engagement to do everything afresh and rethink what we all should be doing to settle issues once for all,” he said.