NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary panel has rapped the government for its failure to prevent the Pathankot attack, saying “something is seriously wrong” in the country’s counter-terror establishment and the airbase’s security was not robust.
In its 197th report, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs also observed that the role of Punjab Police is also very “questionable and suspicious” during the January 2 attack.
The panel said it has failed to understand that in spite of alert sounded well in advance, how militants managed to breach the high-security airbase and subsequently carried out the strike.
The committee said it is constrained to note that despite concrete and credible intelligence inputs received from abducted and released SP of Pathankot and his friend and through interception of communication between militants and their handlers by the militants disclosing that they were planning an attack on a defence establishment, the security agencies were so ill-prepared to anticipate threats in time and counter them swiftly and decisively.
The committee said it “feels that something is seriously wrong with our counter-terror security establishment.”
During its visit to the airbase, the panel found that there were no roads around the perimeter wall of the strategic airbase. There were growth of long shrubs and trees on the premises which have helped militants in hiding and making difficult for security forces in flushing out the militants.
“The committee during its visit found that airbase’s security cover was not robust and it had a poorly guarded perimeter wall,” the report said. The panel said there cannot be two opinion on the fact that Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group was behind this ghastly attack which was established through interception of calls between militants and their handlers based in Pakistan, thanks to their use of robbed mobile phones from Pathankot SP and his friend.
Besides, weapons, ammunition and many items found in the possession of killed militants are also said to be having ‘Made in Pakistan’ marking. “In view of the ease with which the militants sneaked into our side from Pakistan, the Committee understands that the attack cannot take place without active support from the security and intelligence agencies of Pakistan as four armed men cannot easily pass through heavy Pakistani defence establishment situated near border area,” it said.
Seven security personnel were killed in the attack on Pathankot airbase carried out by JeM on January 2.