A panel of Indian parliament has severally criticised the government over its failure to stop a brazen attack on an airbase in the Indian Punjab’s bordering Pathankot area on January 2.
Seven Indian troops had died in the attack, which India later claimed, was carried out by four operatives of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group and their ‘handlers’ in Pakistan.
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In its report, the parliament’s standing committee on defence said India’s anti-terrorism institution failed to counter the attack while the airbase’s security was also not strong enough. The committee also called into question the role of Indian Punjab’s police.
The panel said it was beyond comprehension as to how militants managed to enter the high security airbase despite an alert about possibility of an attack.
The security agencies could neither prepare themselves nor could properly respond to the attack in spite of the fact that they had solid information in the shape of militants’ conversation with their handlers and the statement of a police official, who was kidnapped and subsequently released by the attackers.
Pathankot attack: Pakistan dismisses Indian allegations as unhelpful
The committee said it believed the country’s counter terrorism institution was facing severe issues.
The panel observed that during its visit to Pathankot, it witnessed that there was no road around the airbase, while there were large trees and shrubs within its premises which provided shelter and camouflage to the militants and made it difficult for the security forces to carry out operation.
It claimed that the conversation of the militants with their ‘handlers in Pakistan’ proved that they belonged to the JeM militant group. The panel alleged that Pakistan’s security forces were hand in glove with the militants and claimed that without Pakistani force’s support the four attackers could not cross into India with such ease.
Pakistan has been denying Indian allegation and following the attack launched a crackdown against the JeM. It also formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which also visited the Indian airbase in March to probe the involvement of JeM in the attack.
Courtesy : Express Tribune