Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday told Lok Sabha that it has been established that there were six terrorists who attacked Pathankot airbase in January. He told the House that the confusion over two terrorists — who were allegedly killed in the airmen’s billet but whose remains could not be found — has been resolved.
Singh said, “Some charred remains were found there (billet). A forensic report about them has been received. The report makes it clear that those inside the building were two terrorists.”
Singh quoted from the report to say, “This burnt mass material belongs to human male. It could not be possible to establish the identity of burnt male remains as under reference.”
There has been confusion over the number of terrorists who attacked Pathankot as thermal imagers caught only four individuals entering the air base and only four AK 47 guns were found. The airmen’s billet, where NSG claimed two terrorists were holed up and killed, was completely gutted. No guns or explosives were recovered from the structure. Some charred remains found there were sent to forensic lab for testing.
Singh also warned Pakistan against such attacks in future. Even as the government continues to engage with Pakistan on cross-border terrorism, with the latter even sharing crucial intelligence recently, Singh said India would maintain good relations with Pakistan but not at the cost of its “pride, dignity and self-respect”. He was responding to a debate during which the government came in for a scathing attack over handling of the Pathankot attack.
The minister said there was no problem of command and coordination among various agencies during the Pathankot attack. Various technical solutions were being found to plug the gaps on Punjab border. He informed the House that as many as 45 laser walls have been installed to plug riverine gaps on the border.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said the government cannot tread the path of walking alone without taking the Opposition into confidence in such critical moments. “There is difference in what the government says and what it does,” he said.