PM lauds brave forces for Pathankot attack response

Pathankot, Jan 9 (IANS) Giving a clean chit to the security forces for their handling of the counter-offensive against the terrorist attack on the Pathankot IAF base, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who flew in here on Saturday just a week after the attack, said he was satisfied with the “decision-making and its execution”.

“Noted with satisfaction the decision-making & its execution, the considerations that went into our tactical response,” Modi tweeted through his PMO India Twitter handle.

The prime minister, who arrived here on Saturday morning, was briefed by senior defence and security officers about the terrorist attack carried out by suspected Pakistani terrorists on the Pathankot Air Force Station (AFS).

The prime minister was taken around the air base by defence and security officers.

Since the base is a frontline and sensitive one, no live telecast of the visit was allowed. The media was kept away from the air base.

Modi’s visit came just a day after security agencies gave an all-clear to the entire air base and said it was completely sanitised.

The operation against the terrorists had lasted for nearly 95 hours and the end of the combat part was announced on Tuesday evening. Combing of the entire base ended on Friday.

Soon after landing at the air base, targetted exactly a week ago in a pre-dawn attack, Modi met senior officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF), army and National Security Guard (NSG).

Modi was accompanied by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh, and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha were also present at the air base during the visit.

“Visited Pathankot air base today. Had a detailed briefing from senior leadership of Army, Air Force, NSG & BSF,” Modi tweeted.

“Was briefed in great detail on how our forces neutralised such a serious terrorist attack,” he said.

“Also noted coordination among various field units. Lauded bravery & determination of our men & women on the ground. They are our pride,” he added.

Modi was taken for an aerial survey of Punjab’s border belt with Pakistan in an IAF helicopter.

He was briefed about the barbed wire fencing along the border and the need to strengthen the border belt with better and complete fencing and more ground troops to prevent infiltration by terrorists in future, army sources said.

Tight security arrangements were in place for the prime minister’s visit. No one was allowed to enter the area near the Air Force Station (AFS), located 250 km from Chandigarh.

Six terrorists and seven security personnel were killed in the attack.

Security forces repulsed the attack and the terrorists were unable to harm any of the IAF’s critical assets, including fighter aircraft and attack helicopters.

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