The parliamentary panel on Tuesday pulled up the Centre for the January 2 Pathankot terror attack, saying the Indian Air Force base there is still unsafe and had a poorly guarded perimeter wall.
Despite “concrete and credible intelligence inputs, the security agencies of our country are (too) ill-prepared to anticipate threats in time and counter them swiftly,” the committee says in its report.
Pradip Bhattacharya, the Chairman of the Standing Committee said security agencies were ill-prepared to anticipate the threats in time and to counter them swiftly.
“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.
The panel, while stressing that ”something is seriously wrong with the country’s counter-terror security establishment,” said that if the Government of India was serious and intelligence agencies functioned properly, the picture would’ve been different.
The panel, which interacted with the officers posted at the Indian Air Force Base, also failed to establish how Pakistan-based terrorists managed to sneak inside the IAF base.
The panel also said the long growth of shrubs and plants around the base helped the terrorists hide and made it difficult for the security forces to search the area. The committee recommended that the airbase be kept out of bounds from the public.
The role of the Punjab police is described as “very questionable and suspicious” in connection with the officer whose car was hijacked by the terrorists. “Even after their SP was abducted they took so long to arrive at a conclusion that the abduction was not a simple crime but it had serious security repercussions,” the parliamentary committee says.
Backing the government’s stand that the Pakistan-based Jaish e Mohammad was behind the attack, the committee alleged that the attackers had Islamabad’s support. “A crack cannot take place without active support from security and intelligence agencies of Pakistan as four armed men cannot easily pass thorough heavy Pakistani defence establishment situated near border area,” said the committee.