PM Modi visits Pathankot air base a week after attack

RSTV Bureau
modi at pathankot air base

PM Modi being briefed at the Pathankot Air Base. Picture tweeted by @PMOIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Air Force base in Pathankot in Punjab where about half a dozen terrorists struck on the 2nd of January. 7 security personnel lost their lives before they neutralised 6 terrorists.

“Was briefed in great detail on how our forces neutralised such a serious terrorist attack,” tweeted PM Modi.

“Noted with satisfaction the decision-making & its execution, the considerations that went into our tactical response…Also noted coordination among various field units. Lauded bravery & determination of our men & women on the ground. They are our pride,” said the Prime Minister on twitter in a series of tweets after his visit to the base.

At the base, besides being briefed, the PM also did a first-hand assessment of the situation, a week after the terrorists struck.

The PM also undertook an aerial survey of Indo-Pak border areas.

Elaborate security arrangements were in place in Pathankot ahead of PM’s visit.

On Friday, security forces declared that the sprawling Air Force station in Pathankot was fully sanitized after completing a massive combing operation that went on for over three days.

“The combing operation at the Air Force station is over,” a senior IAF official said on Friday. He also added that the entire area had been completely sanitised.

The massive combing and sanitation operation was jointly carried out by the Army, the NSG and IAF’s Garud commandos.

Pathankot air base

Pathankot: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to different areas of Pathankot Airbase on Saturday. PTI Photo

The attack which began at 3.30 am on January 2 was officially called off only after 5 days. In the four-day gunbattle, 6 terrorists were killed and 7 security personnel lost their lives. Lieutenant Colonel Niranjan of the NSG, Garud Commando Gursewak Singh and 5 other Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel died in the attack. Seventeen other security personnel were also injured.

The attackers are believed to have infiltrated the Indian territory from a spot near Bamiyal village in Pathankot located close to the international border.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, in a press conference from the air base on January 5, had admitted to some security “gaps”.

“Mujhey kuchh gaps lagte hain (I think there were some gaps ) but I must say we didn’t compromise on the security,” Parrikar had said.

“My worry is how did they (terrorists) come inside (the air base). Though I congratulate our security forces for the operation, but I am worried on how they managed to come in…. Our investigations are on. Let NIA complete their investigation,” Parrikar added.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised a probe with “prompt and decisive action” after Pakistan’s link to the Pathankot attack was conveyed to the nation.

On Thursday, the MEA reponded to Pakistan promise by saying, “We are looking for prompt response by Pakistan to the actionable intelligence provided to them relating to Pathankot attack.”

(With inputs from PTI)