Terror in Pathankot

Air force base attack raises key questions

Business & Politics

January 5, 2016

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Punjab Police during security check.

Punjab Police during security check.

While people hoped to treasure pleasing memories with the start of 2016, the year begun with some events that aren’t worth cherishing. 2nd January 2016, Some heavily armed gunmen directed an attack at the Indian Air Force Station in the city of Pathankot (Punjab), near Pakistan, which lasted for about 17 hours, killing 6 soldiers along with some security force personals.

The Indian Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, made a statement that a befitting reply to these types of terror attacks would be given in response to the operation executed on the soldiers.

The emotion was immense in India. By the advent of dusk, funeral rituals of the soldiers who lost their lives were already held. The soldiers who got ready to go on their duties in their uniforms in the morning, were in coffins by then.

This attack still raises key questions, now the base has been secured and six attackers killed.

Who perpetrated the attack?

Pakistan blamed on Monday the attack on the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Islamabad added it was working on leads given by India. Intercepts of calls between the attackers and their Pakistani based handlers were made by New Delhi and could provide the material for leads.

What about the security of such an air base?

The first question is how the attackers were able to enter the airbase, surrounded by a 24 kilometers wall, with heavy ammunitions. Then, should Army units in this heavy guarded area have been deployed on the spot, after having received some intelligence information about an imminent threat ? Why did the operation take so many hours?

What will be its consequences on India/Pakistan talks?

Terrorist attacks are often recorded to happen when India and Pakistan talk about making peace between the countries and this attack was a clear attempt to deflect the already delicate peace process aimed at stabilizing the sinking relationship between India and Pakistan.

India announced it has yet to decide whether to hold foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan that are scheduled for January 15.

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