Panel set up to strengthen security on Pakistan border in Punjab

Chandigarh, March 3 (IANS) The central government has set up a high-level committee identify critical issues and suggest measures to plug loopholes in vigil along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab, a state government official said on Thursday.

The committee has been set up in view of two attacks by suspected Pakistani terrorists in Punjab’s Pathankot, targetting the Indian Air Force base, in January and Dinanagar town last year respectively. To be headed by former union home secretary Madhukar Gupta, it will suggest measures to cease any possibility of recurrence of such attacks in future.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had urged the central government to ensure strict vigil along the India-Pakistan border so that infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan side does not take place.

“Deputy National Security Advisor (NSA) Dr. Arvind Gupta informed the state government that Deputy NSA, Director IIT Delhi/IIT Roorkee, the Surveyor General of India and a representative from the state government, not below the rank of IG, would be the members of the committee, which would identify critical issues and suggest measures to cease any possibility of recurrence of such attacks in future,” a spokesperson of the chief minister’s office said, citing a letter from Gupta.

The letter said: “The committee has been mandated to physically inspect the condition of border fencing along Indo-Pakistan Border, identify gaps and their condition and suggest methods to seal the gaps. The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months. Since the committee was to be an independent body, it has been decided to form it under National Security Council Secretariat.”

Terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station (AFS) of the Indian Air Force in Pathankot early on January 2 this year. Four terrorists and seven security personnel were killed.

On July 27, three terrorists had attacked Dinanagar town, killing seven people. All three were eliminated by security forces.

Both attacks took place in Pathankot and Gurdaspur districts in north Punjab, close to the international border with Pakistan.

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