Congress questions Centre on Pathankot attack; Sonia expresses concerns

RSTV Bureau
Pathankot: Security personnel during their operation against the militants who attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on Sunday, January 4, 2015. Photo - PTI

Pathankot: Security personnel during their operation against the militants who attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on Sunday, January 4, 2015.
Photo – PTI

The principal opposition party questioned BJP-led central government over Pathankot terror attack, even as its president expressed concerns over the situation. Terming the internal security situation as “serious”, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi on Monday voiced hope that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre was taking all necessary steps to neutralize the terror threats.

In a statement released by the AICC, Ms Gandhi paid homage to the martyrs of Pathankot terror attack along with expressing her concerns for the safety of families as also strategic assets of Air Force.

“She (Sonia Gandhi) hoped that Union Government is seized of the serious internal security situation amidst emanating intelligence reports of more terrorist modules and is taking all necessary steps to neutralize the terror threats besides ensuring adequate security of citizens and strategic assets,” the party statement added.

Massive anti-terror operations are on at the Pathankot air base since Saturday, with at least four terrorists being killed by the Indian security forces. However, seven security personnel too had lost their lives in the operation.

But later in the day, her party took a more stringent line.

Congress-presser-1Criticising the Central government over the handling of terror attack, the Congress party said that “conflicting” statements on the incident showed “breakdown of institutional mechanism”, as it took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging him of “concentrating” all powers in his hands.

“Institutions are functioning in isolation and not in tandem, which is scary. Even the Home Minister is not aware how many terrorists were neutralised. The Home Minister does not even know that whether the operation is yet over or not,” Congress leader Ajay Maken said referring to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s tweet on Sunday saying the operation had been completed with the killing of five terrorists. Singh later deleted his tweet.

“This shows the government is in dark and falling at each other. Sections of the government are not even aware how things are being done,” Maken added at the AICC briefing.

The senior spokesperson and the party general secretary also claimed that even after passage of 56 hours, it was not clear whether Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has met or not.

“The institutional mechanism, which has to respond in such serious situations, has been demolished as the Prime Minister has concentrated all powers in his hand. CCS is one of the examples to show the Prime Minister is trying to do everything from PMO and and even concerned ministers are not being kept in the loop,” he alleged further.

The principal opposition party also alleged silence on the part of the government on Pakistan’s role in the attack.

“What is the reason that the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and the Home Minister are hesitant to name Pakistan even after ample evidence of Pakistan connection of terrorists. Terrorists called up Pakistan numbers from Pathankot. They had even booked the taxi in Pathankot from a Pakistan number. Why the Indian government is silent about Pakistan?” Ajay Maken said.

(With inputs from the PTI)