Security provisions at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot came into question on Tuesday, following the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs’ recent visit to the airbase. During its visit to Pathankot, the committee found that security at the airbase “was not robust”, the panel's chairman, Congress legislator Pradip Bhattacharya said, adding that conditions at the airbase continue to be unsafe even today, ANI reported.
The panel also reportedly observed that members of Pakistan's Joint Investigation Team should not have been allowed to visit the base, News18 said. Urging the Centre to take the panel’s report seriously and implement appropriate steps, Bhattacharya suggested that the Centre allot a “huge amount of money” to modernise police forces. “If the government of India was serious and intelligence [agencies] functioned properly, the picture would have been different,” he said.
The panel also questioned how the regional headquarters of the Indian Air Force in Delhi received information on the attack before it happened. During their visit, committee members interacted with officers at the airbase. Bhattacharya said an officer told them he had no information that the airbase would be attacked, but that he was received information from the Delhi headquarterns, not Punjab's, about a possible attack early on the morning of the terror strike. “The committee is unable to understand how terrorists managed to reach the airbase, even though terror alerts were sounded well in advance,” Bhattacharya added.
Reacting to the security concerns raised by the parliamentary panel, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju gave his assurance that the Centre will take “serious note of the recommendations regarding security”. “We will ensure that all those concerns are addressed properly and with seriousness,” Rijiju said.