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Thursday, February 21, 2019, 23:05
Pakistan PM authorizes use of force in case of Indian attack
By Agencies
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 23:05 By Agencies

Indian security forces personnel are on manoeuvres as a gunfight with militants has happened that killed 4 soldiers, in South Kashmir's Pulwama district, some 10 km away from the spot of recent suicide bombing, on Feb 18, 2019. (STR / AFP)

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI — Pakistan's prime minister has authorized the armed forces to "respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure" by India, as tensions soar between the nuclear-armed rivals.

India has vowed a "jaw-breaking response" to a suicide bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last week that killed 40 Indian soldiers.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the order in a government statement released after a meeting of his National Security Committee. The statement said Pakistan was not involved in the attack, which was "conceived, planned and executed indigenously."

READ MORE: Pakistan recalls envoy as India says attack masterminds killed

Kashmir is split between Pakistani and Indian zones of control but claimed in its entirety by both countries, which have gone to war twice over the Himalayan territory. India has long accused Pakistan of supporting Islamic militants who attack its forces in Kashmir.

Terrorism financing list 

 Indian government officials said India is pressing for Pakistan to be kept on a terrorism financing watchlist following the attack

Meanwhile, Indian government officials said on Thursday that India is pressing for Pakistan to be kept on a terrorism financing watchlist following the attack.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body created to counter terrorism financing and money laundering, has been meeting in Paris this week and Pakistan has been hoping to get off a "grey list" of nations with inadequate controls over such activities. 

But two Indian government officials dealing with the issue said new information had been provided to the FATF relating to Pakistan after the car bombing last week. 

The Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack. A third Indian official said details relating to the militant group's operations were provided to the FATF. 

"It was a post-Pulwama brief," said one of the officials when asked about the information provided to the watchdog. The officials declined to be named as the talks were still underway in Paris 

Pakistan has been on the grey list since June, making it harder for it to access international markets at a time when its economy is stumbling. While there are no direct legal implications from being on the list, it brings extra scrutiny from regulators and financial institutions that can chill trade and investment and increase transaction costs, experts say. 

ALSO READ: Kashmir blast: Pak PM urges talks, warns India against attack

Pakistan has demanded India provide evidence for its claims that it supports militant groups and warned of retaliation if India attacks. 

The FATF said it would release the results of its review after a meeting of the group's decision-making body. 

India has also decided to stop the flow of water to Pakistan from its share in the rivers under the Indus Water Treaty regulating river flows between the two nations, a government minister said on Thursday. 

"Our government has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan," Nitin Gadkari, India's transport and water resources minister, tweeted. 

India will divert water from eastern rivers and supply it to its people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, he said. 

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