New Delhi:Notwithstanding an attempt being made by Pakistan to deny its involvement in the dastardly Pulwama attack, government sources and also analysts say the manner Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) owned up the responsibility of the attack shows there ought to be 'ISI hands'.
"It is a case of ISI role in supporting the masterminds of this operation. JeM making the claims about the incident within hours make it obvious that they got the logistic support from across the border," a key source said here on Friday even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security.
The episode has yet again underlined the 'failure' in the role of international community vis-a-vis Pakistan's defiance or rather 'helplessness' in dealing with the terror groups operating in that country.
"There have been apparent failure on the part of the US administration and other stake holders to persuade Pakistan to 'take serious action' against the terror groups," said the source adding it is also time to ponder on whether there is need to explore on alternative pressure tactics to force Pakistan act differently.
There have been reports of Jaish-e-Mohammad trying to emerge a key player in the militancy drills in Jammu and Kashmir over last few months and the Thursday's attack suggests they would be persuading with more such acts in near future, sources said.
"In 2018-19, Jaish has been responsible for at least a dozen terror and militancy related acts in Jammu and Kashmir," the source said.
"By claiming credit, it is obvious Jaish-e-Mohammed still remains confident creating of tensions in Jammu and Kashmir and also spark and escalate conflicts between Pakistan and India," he said adding this attack yet again highlights the 'split' in Pakistan governance.
This will be perhaps the "first and one of the biggest challenges to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan" vis-a-vis his supposed attempts to present a new image of 'Naya Pakistan', an analyst said.
Quoting Moeed Yusuf from the US Institute of Peace in Washington and other experts overseas, a BJP source said the attack in Pulwama came at a time when Taliban has drawn closer to negotiating tables in one way of other.
"This attack has yet again brought India-Pak relations back in focus but the underlining theme is the damage it brought to Indo-Pak ties," the source said.Pakistan in a statement has said it has "always condemned acts of violence" anywhere in the world.
"We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations," it said.Meanwhile, Overseas Friends of the BJP in the US in a statement demanded that United Nations designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist.
"Pakistan is a pariah nation anyhow and if it wants to exist in the real world, it should not play games, resort to lies, and abet terrorism. It should get rid of all terrorist organisations from its soil," it said.
In addition to strong statement from the US Department of State, urging Pakistan to act firmly, US lawmakers have also expressed solidarity with India."We call on all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists", Robert Palladino, US Department of State Deputy Spokesperson said in a statement.
Number of US lawmakers have taken to social media calling for strict action against the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and its sponsors.Senator Robert Menendez said the Pulwama attack was "one of the deadliest in the region since 1989".
Jammu and Kashmir was witness to escalated violence in 1989-90. "I strongly condemn the terror attack in Kashmir. The United States stands with our friends in India, and I send heartfelt condolences to the families that lost loved ones," Senator Chuck Schumer of Democratic Party tweeted.
"My heart is with the victims of the Kashmir Terror Attack. The United States stands with our Indian allies against those behind this heinous act of terrorism," wrote Senator Mark Warner, who is Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intelligence. (UNI)