Pakistan’s role in the attack on Pathankot’s Indian Air Force base became all the more evident after intelligence intercepts indicated that the attackers were given training at an air base in Pakistan.
The sophisticated weapon they used in Saturday’s raid point to the involvement of Pak military and Inter-Services Intelligence, according to intelligence sources.
The intelligence was based on recordings and transcripts of the calls made between the Pathankot attackers and their ‘handlers’ at the control room Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) set up in Bahawalpur in Pakistan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval shared this with his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Khan Janjua on Monday.
India wants Pakistan to immediately arrest the three JeM operatives — Ashfaq Ahmad, Hafiz Abdul Shakur and Kasim Jaan — who were coordinating the Pathankot terror attack with the terrorists, and also Maulana Masood Azhar, the group’s founder who lives free in Pakistan.
Modi told Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan needs to take immediate action against the organizations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack.
Sharif, who called Modi on Tuesday, assured him that Islamabad would take prompt and decisive action against the terrorists.
He said Pakistan fully supports India in the fight against terror and is working on the leads provided by Doval.
As the combing operations ended at Pathankot air base on Tuesday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar admitted to security lapses which helped the terrorists to gain entry into the airbase despite advance intelligence warnings.
A major mistake was waiting for the arrival of NSG commandos from Delhi when the government could have saved time and lives by immediately deploying the infantry of the Indian Army which was readily available in the vicinity.
NSG is ideal for operations in a specific area and not in a large area as the Pathankot base. That job could have been entrusted with the infantry who know the place, military and security sources said.
Unity of command, which the Army would have ensured, was lacking in the Pathankot operation which took too long, they said