Pathankot attackers non-state actors with state support: Parrikar

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) Non-state actors from Pakistan were involved in the Pathankot terror attack but they could not function smoothly without state support, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“All details will come out in the National Investigation Agency probe. In this (attack), non-state actors from Pakistan are certainly involved; that is (for) sure… And any non-state (actor) can’t function smoothly without state support,” Parrikar said in reply to Shiv Sena member Sanjay Raut’s queries.

“Does the government believe it was just a terror attack or done with the help of the Pakistan Army?” Raut asked.

The January 2 terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab left seven security personnel dead. Six terrorists, who attacked the base, were also killed in the gun battle lasting almost three days.

Asked by a parliamentarian whether important defence force bases like in Pathankot should be shifted far from the border areas, Parrikar said: “There are bases strategically located within the country. Pathankot is equally important because it is closer to border and there is a lot of investment which has been carried out in Pathankot. It will be costly to shift (from) Pathankot.”

He informed the house that intelligence on the possibility of an attack on the airbase was received in advance.

“We have now done a security audit in addition to the normal security. We are in the process of ensuring all installations are properly secured,” the minister said.

On a query on the Pathankot terror attack in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that Pakistan had decided to send a team to India and details of the proposed visit are being chalked out.

“India has handed over all the collected evidence to Pakistan in relation to the Pathankot attack. They have registered a case and decided to send a team to India. For the first time, Pakistan has initiated action after evidence was handed over by India,” Rijiju said.

He, however, said that Pakistan has not yet given details such as the date or the size of its team.

“We are waiting for the details. India is ready to cooperate,” he said, responding to a query from Bharatiya Janata Party member Ashwini Kumar.

In response to another question, Rijiju said the government was taking all measures to stop infiltration from the border areas of Punjab.

“After Pathankot and Dinanagar terror attacks, we are taking all the measures to stop infiltration from the border areas of Punjab. There is no fencing around 12 km of the border area. With the help of the BSF (Border Security Force), we are trying to make these areas more safe,” he said.

Parrikar said the central government is in touch with Punjab Police and all efforts are underway to stop infiltration.

Leave a Reply