Pathankot: Around 3:30 a.m. today at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot, a group of men clad in army fatigues initiated a deadly shootout, killing at least three IAF security personnels and badly injuring four others.
The Fidayeen onslaught allegedly carried out by the Jaish E Muhammed (JeM) terrorist group was contained effectively and immediately due to prior alert of the attack and because of aerial surveillance which enabled the detection of the terrorists.
This second terror attack in the past six months with its roots in Pakistan comes at a time when India and Pakistan are embroiled in talks pertaining to quell tensions between the two neighboring countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made international news last week when he decided to make a surprise visit to Lahore and personally wish Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.
“It has been agreed that we will restart the dialogue between Pakistan and India,” said the Pakistani Prime Minister, also adding that progress was being made in bilateral negotiations with India.
Though the optimism is still intact, the terror attack in Pathankot has raised a few long thought-about questions:
– Were these attacks conducted to derail Indo-Pak peace initiative or was this a sign of chronic negligence from Pakistan’s side?
– Should Prime Minister Modi still continue to pursue talks for peace despite provocations from Pakistan?
– If Pakistan looks at the graveness of the terrorist situation in the same manner as India does, will Pakistan act strictly to curb these elements?
Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh, in response to the attack, said, “Any terrorist attack on us from Pakistan, and we will give it a befitting reply.”
The Home Minister also stressed that India wanted peace from its neighbor and any counter-negative rejoinder would be dealt with a befitting response.
Omar Abdullah, former CM of Jammu & Kashmir, said in a tweet directly addressing the BJP about the futility of remaining aloof from talks with Pakistan.
“The BJP now has to sidestep its previous “terror & talks can’t go together” & insulate the Indo-Pak dialogue from such attacks. #Pathankot,” he tweeted.
The BJP now has to sidestep its previous “terror & talks can’t go together” & insulate the Indo-Pak dialogue from such attacks. #Pathankot
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) January 2, 2016
Sources also say that the recent meeting of the two prime ministers also served as a precedence for this attack because the main motive was to hinder the growing relation between the two countries and to halt positive development from taking place.
First Published | 2 January 2016 10:03 PM