Military operations inside the Pathankot air base stretched into a third day on Monday, with reports saying that all six terrorists have been killed. This was not confirmed by the government. No Indian security personnel were killed after Sunday, and the air base is now being searched thoroughly. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has left for the base, while Home Minister Rajnath Singh is holding a meeting on internal security with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other senior security officials. The attack came just before India and Pakistan’s foreign secretaries were due to meet later this month, and has cast a shadow on the meeting. The United Jihad Council on Monday took responsibility for the attack.
A 20-member National Investigation Agency team is looking into the attack, and is likely to be exploring a “conspiracy angle” behind the strike on the air base, The Times of India said. Three cases have already been registered by them, though no terror groups have been named in the FIRs. Delhi Police have also questioned three men in connection with the attack.
NDTV reported that the United States expects Pakistan to act against perpetrators of the attack, according to a US official. State Department Spokesman John Kirby said that Pakistan must continue to target all militant groups, and that all countries in the region should cooperate and bring justice to those who carried out the attack. He added that the Pakistan government said it would not “discriminate among terror groups” as part of its efforts to investigate the attack.
While the operation appears to be reaching an end, analysis about what really happened has begun, with several reports claiming that the attack was partly due to an intelligence failure and several lapses in security.