Par­lia­men­tary panel blames se­cu­rity for Pathankot in­ci­dent


The gov­ern­ment came un­der a sharp at­tack from a par­lia­men­tary panel for lapses and fail­ures in the Pathankot air­base se­cu­rity, and said “some­thing was se­ri­ously wrong” with In­dia’s counter-ter­ror mech­a­nism. A re­port by the Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on the Home Min­istry has red-flagged In­dia’s over­all se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus to battle cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism. It said the Jan­uary 2 strike at Pathankot was pre­ventable af­ter “con­crete and cred­i­ble in­tel­li­gence in­puts” were re­ceived about a pos­si­ble at­tack by ter­ror­ists from across the bor­der with Pak­istan.

The panel, headed by P. Bhat­tacharya of the Congress, lamented how In­dian se­cu­rity agen­cies “were so ill-pre­pared to an­tic­i­pate [ter­ror] threats in time and counter them swiftly and de­ci­sively.… Some­thing is se­ri­ously wrong with our counter-ter­ror se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment,” said the re­port.

In the Pathankot ter­ror at­tack seven In­dian se­cu­rity per­son­nel were killed at the sprawl­ing air­base com­plex which houses some of In­dia’s high-value se­cu­rity as­sets, in­clud­ing fighter jets.

The Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee ques­tioned how the “Pak­istani ter­ror­ists” man­aged to cross the bor­der “de­spite fenc­ing, flood­light­ing and pa­trolling by” In­dian fron­tier guards. The panel “is un­able to un­der­stand that in spite of ter­ror alert sounded well in ad­vance, how ter­ror­ists man­aged to breach the ‘high-se­cu­rity’ air­base”.

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