Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Dalbir Singh Suhag held a press conference on the Pathankot attack on Wednesday, saying that there was no lack of coordination between the forces.
“There was no lack of coordination between various forces in Pathankot,” Gen Dalbir Singh said.
He added that jawans were unarmed and inside the building where terrorists were holed up. The Army had to ensure their safety before blowing up the building.
“Reports that only two columns of the army were deployed were wrong as eight were deployed,” he said.
“As far as the Army is concerned, it was not under anybody’s command. It was under the Western Army Commander who was monitoring and controlling the operations on my behalf,” said General Suhag.
One of the focus areas was to ensure the safety of assets (planes and helicopters at the IAF base) and families at the attack site, for which a strong cordon had to be established, he said.
General Suhag also defended the government’s move to send in the NSG: “Instead of moving the NSG later, it was wise to take preemptive action to send the elite unit in advance. The NSG is ideally trained to tackle hostage situations.”
“Indian Army is ready to take any task. I don’t want to comment on Defence Minister statement about action against enemy. Presently we are dealing with proxy very well,” he said.
Gen Dalbir Singh also spoke about Pakistan and its role in Pathankot.
“Medicines and arms make it clear that the terrorists have come from Pakistan. We have strong evidence about that,” he said.
“It was a good operation. To ensure less casualties we had to take time to complete operation. Area of contact had to be contained so no one escaped. (sic),” he said.
Gen Singh added that he has instructed all army commanders to do a security audit.