Defence experts brand Pathankot attack as ‘challenge’ for India

New Delhi: Defence Experts on Saturday dubbed the attack on the Indian Air Force base in Punjab’s Pathankot as a challenge to the nation, saying that this year is likely to see more such attempts now that dialogues between India and Pakistan have improved.

“The Pathankot attack is a challenge to India and the year 2016 is likely to see more such attempts and the context for this is that there has been an improvement as far as the bilateral India Pakistan dialogues are concerned,” Security Expert Uday Bhaskar told ANI.

“There are forces and constituencies that have tried to disrupt the bilateral relationship between both the nation and these groups are fairly well known to us,” he added.

Bhaskar further said that the state police should now investigate the case of hijacking of vehicle of Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh and its link with the Air Force base attack.

“There is cause of satisfaction that what could have been a bigger attack particularly by way of damage to assets,” he said.

“Entire security establishment can take some satisfaction that they were able to deal with it fairly in a swift and effective manner,” he added.

However, Wing Commander (Retd.) P Bakshi said there was a lack of coordination between the civil administration and the Ministry of Defence, which led to the attack.

Earlier today, around five militants in Army fatigue opened fire near the Air Force station here early in the morning today and a massive gunbattle occurred between the security forces and the attackers.

The Pathankot National Security Guard team and the Garud Commando Force were engaged in the gun battle with terrorists in the non-operational area of the base.

The firing began at 3:30 am today and two militants have been killed so far in the heavy firing and the area has been cordoned off.

The remaining terrorists have been cordoned to the domestic area of Air Force Station and the technical area of the airbase is safe. (ANI)