India will decide on going ahead with the foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan scheduled later this month only after operations to flush out terrorists from the IAF base at Pathankot is over, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
“I think let the operations get over and it is only then the government takes a view on such matters,” he told reporters after the National Security Council meeting presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the terror attack among other issues.
Jaitley was asked about the impact of the terror attack on the planned Indo-Pak talks.
Asked about the identity of the terrorists, he said, “I think we are at a stage where operations is still on (and) therefore it is not proper for me to say anything more than that.”
Jaitley said combing operations take time as the Base is a large complex with a 24-km long circumference.
Security forces managed to confine the terrorists to a limited area and have been successful in containing any damage to the strategic assets at the Air base, he said, adding the combing operations is taking long because there could be explosives.
Stating that security forces took prompt action, Jaitley said terrorists had come with the main objective of damaging strategic assets at Pathankot Air base.
“These were well-trained terrorists and part of a suicide squad. When such kind of Fidayeen attack takes place it has potential to cause huge damage. The complex is very big. The circumference of airbase is 24 kms, therefore combing operations are also taking time,” he said.
Security forces confined them where they had initially entered which is far away from the strategic location, he said adding four bodies of terrorists have been taken in possession and the “process is on for two more bodies.”
“The announcement would be made by security forces,” he said.
The Minister said the objective of security forces was to ensure no damage is caused to the strategic location, and “our security forces were completely successful in doing so.”
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