India on Friday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood and lodged a strong protest over the Pulwama terror attack that claimed the lives of 45 CRPF troopers in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale summoned Mahmood to the MEA at 2 p.m. and issued a "very strong demarche" in connection with the terror attack on Thursday that also left 38 troopers injured.
Gokhale conveyed that Pakistan must take immediate and verifiable action against the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), which claimed responsibility immediately after the attack, and that it must immediately stop any groups or individuals associated with terrorism and operating from Pakistani territory.
He also rejected the statement made by the Pakistan Foreign Ministry denying any involvement in the suicide attack, that has been called the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy began there in 1989.
The JeM, a Pakistan-based outfit, claimed responsibility for the attack in which a suicide bomber on Thursday rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a Central Reserve Police Force bus that was part of a large convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway around 3.15 p.m., killing 45 troopers and leaving the security establishment stunned.
India has also called its High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajya Bisaria to New Delhi "for consultations" in the wake of terrorist attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama, sources said on Friday.
India on Friday also announced, after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), that it has withdrawn most favoured nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan and would work to isolate the western neighbour internationally.
The External Affairs Ministry in a statement on Thursday called upon the international community after the attack to support its bid to get the JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar declared a "designated terrorist" by the United Nations.