The Pathankot terrorist attack has shocked the nation. No one had expected such an incident to take place while Narendra Modi is at the helm of affairs. Many started searching history on Pakistan's previous responses to India's outreach, justifying that this attack happened due to Narendra Modi's surprise visit to Lahore on December 25. This is really a test for Modi-Doval, as what will be their next step! Time will tell how India under Modi responds to this act of cowardice.
However the aim of this article is not to discuss how Modi's foreign policy towards Pakistan is or how untrustworthy Pakistan is. The primary question is, whether only Pakistani terrorists are responsible for this attack or there is an Indian angle to it too?
As per reports, Gurudaspur SP Salwinder Singh was briefly kidnapped by terrorists. The terrorist moved for around 31 kilometers along with the kidnapped SP, crossing a number of check-posts without being stopped because the SP's vehicle, a Mahendra XUV had a blue beacon light on top. The SP after being released informed the police at 3.30 am on December 31 regarding entry of terrorists and the possibility of an attack on the air force station. On early morning of January 1, the attack took place and six terrorists killed seven Jawans during the three-day long encounter. This raises a few pertinent questions which are as follows:
1) Why wasn't the SP's specific information taken seriously and why wasn't the area around the air force station cordoned off?
2) There are around 50,000 Army men present in Pathankot who are expert in countering terrorists. Why weren't they pressed into action? NSG reached the airbase just an hour before the attack took place. Why did the NSG reach so late?
3) NSG's expertise is in specific cases of encounters where a few terrorist are holed up, but the Pathankot case was very different and could have been handled with the Army men's expertise. For example an NSG commando was killed while recovering a terrorist's body, because of a bomb explosion. Army is more careful while recovering such bodies and checking whether any bomb is planted or not. They do such jobs in Jammu and Kashmir every day.
4) It is also mysterious why the terrorists released SP Salwinder Singh alive after a few hours. Why wasn't the SP interrogated to find out whether he was part of the conspiracy or not? The story unfolded till now suggests that the SP might have shown the road leading to the air force station to the terrorists. Instead of being arrested, the SP is being openly allowed to give interviews to media.
5) How did an SP's vehicle with people in Army uniforms cross so many checkpoints without being checked or stopped particularly when there is a terrorist alert? Was the vehicle not searched because it’s common in Punjab to let top official's vehicles pass without any checking? Many reports say that Punjab Police is involved in drug trafficking in the state. The question here is, whether the system of alleged drug trafficking by Punjab Police is giving an advantage to terrorists?
6) Punjab Police got specific information 26 hours before the attack, yet seven soldiers were martyred. Who is responsible, the terrorists or Punjab Police?
There are many more questions which need proper answers. The threat from terrorists will always be there, but if our security system especially the police remain casual and irresponsible, how can we blame the terrorists only? The intelligence and security system in Jammu and Kashmir is very strict now, due to which terrorists are not succeeding in carrying out any spectacular attacks over there. And that's why they have now chosen Punjab, especially north Punjab, taking advantage of police lapses. Punjab Police needs to answer all these questions. The government of Punjab too needs to come clean on this.
That's why I think that for the Pathankot terrorist attack, Punjab Police and Indian intelligence are bigger culprits than the Pakistani terrorists. You can't blame a thief for stealing, if you leave open your valuables without watch and guard.