Indian Army Can Respond To Any Threat To National Security: Army Chief

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7:41 pm 13 Jan, 2016


Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag has said that Army is fully prepared to tackle any challenges to the national security.

 

Talking about the recent Pathankot terrorist attack, Gen Singh denied any coordination issue between the security agencies in neutralising the terrorists.

 

huffingtonpost

huffingtonpost

 

His remarks come in the wake of allegations that there was a lack of inter-agency cooperation and coordination.

“I can assure that there was no issue of coordination between the forces at Pathankot,” General Suhag said according to ANI.

The Army chief also stressed that the three days taken by Indian forces to kill all terrorists and sanitise the base was not ‘unusual’.

 

 

“There were two soldiers in the building where two terrorists were holed up. We had to first pull them out and then launch the offensive for the terrorists. It was not an easy operation and we took our time to reduce the casualties,” he said.

 

indianexpress

indianexpress

 

He also pointed out that the time taken to complete the operation should be left to the commander on the ground.

Earlier, defence experts raised questions over security lapses that allowed a group of six terrorists to enter the heavily-fortified base. India’s Russian-made fleet of MiG-21 fighter jets and Mi-35 attack helicopters usually take off from this base.

 

thewire

thewire

 

Questions were also raised on why commandos of the elite National Security Guard or NSG were summoned to lead the operation and not the army.

On this, the Army chief said that the NSG is the best force to deal with a hostage situation. He said the NIA is still investigating the matter and they will inform further. He also mentioned that the weapons recovered from the spot had markings from Pakistan.

 

huffingtonpost

huffingtonpost

 

After taking stock of of the anti-terror operation at the air force base, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier complimented the security forces for ensuring that there was no loss to any vital asset at the Air Force base.

Parrikar, however, said that there were some “gaps” in security that may have led to the attack.

“I see some gaps. But I do not think there is any compromise on security. Once the investigations are over, things will become clear,” he told reporters.

 

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. thequint

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. thequint

 

Of the seven martyrs, one was killed in active combat, the deaths of the others were a case of “bad luck”, the minister had said. The air force base is located just 30 km from the border with Pakistan.

According to Parrikar, the NIA had got major leads in the case about how the attackers entered the base.

Maanwhile, on January 13, Pakistan detained several people belonging to JeM, which is suspected to have engineered the Pathankot terror attack, and sealed its offices after India linked Islamabad’s “prompt and decisive” action to the fate of foreign secretary-level talks scheduled on January 15.

 

hindustantimes

hindustantimes

 

According to media reports, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also ordered to form a high-profile joint investigation team (JIT) to get more information about the Pathankot airbase attackers.

This investigation will be a major test for Sharif to move the relation between the two countries ahead and to break the cycle of off-again on-again talks.

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