New Delhi: The Standing Committee of Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday pulled up the Centre for the January 2 Pathankot terror attack. The Parliament Panel report on Pathankot raises questions on the Pathankot attack and the available intelligence input that was actually ignored.
As per the report, the security agencies were actually ill-prepared to anticipate these threats in time and counter them swiftly and decisively. It is being said that available intelligence was ignored.
Chairman of the Standing Committee Pradeep Bhattacharya has raised questions as to why the Punjab police failed to arrest the intruders. He urged the Government of India to take the Parliament Standing report seriously and take appropriate steps so that the security of the country can be safe and secure.
“The committee is unable to understand how terrorists managed to reach the Pathankot airbase in spite of terror alerts being sounded well in advance. The security agencies were ill-prepared to anticipate the threats in time and counter them swiftly,” Bhattacharya claimed.
“We had a long interaction with officers at the Pathankot airbase. They said they had no information that their airbase would be attacked. He got information early in the morning, that too not from Punjab, but from the Delhi Air Force. How did it happen? Who gave this information to Delhi Air Force? These are remarkable things to search out,” he added.
Defence expert, PK Sehgal while speaking to media said, “Casualness has been displayed. Serious efforts to plug the loopholes have not been put in place. Those who are accoutable for this, including the base commander and anybody else, must be taken to task. Heads must roll; exemplary punishments must be given.”
“And if there is a shortage of manpower, shortage of material, shortage of equipment, shortage of funds, then the Governement of India must be appropriately questioned, the Ministry of Defence, as to why funds are not being released to ensure absolute and foolproof security of such installations, which are of critical importance to India’s defence.”
On January 2, The Pathankot air base was attacked by heavily armed terrorists reportedly having allegiance to the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in which four terrorists and three security forces personnel were killed.
A 5-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT), comprising Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP), a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), two Lt. Colonels and one inspector, from Pakistan had visited India between March 27-31 to collect, review and document physical evidences and to interview key witnesses and victims through the NIA in connection with the Pathankot attack.
Just a few days after the Pakistani JIT probing the Pathankot attack admitted that the four terrorists who attacked the Pathankot Indian Air Force base were from Pakistan, the JIT had said that the attack had been staged by India, according to a Pakistani media report.
The JIT “says the attack was a drama staged to malign Pakistan,” according to a report in Pakistan Today.
It further said that the JIT report, which was submitted to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the next few days, had even concluded that Indian authorities had prior information about the terrorists.
Meanwhile, on April 28, the Centre had told the Rajya Sabha that Pakistan had been clearly told that it should allow an Indian probe team to visit that country in connection with Pathankot terror attack as reciprocity was the principle on which Pakistan’s JIT was allowed to visit here.