Pathankot terror: Targeting Modi’s Lahore diplomacy?

The pre-dawn attack by group of Pakistani terrorists, suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group, at an Air Force base in Pathankot in Punjab, has ended with killing of four assailants and three Indian security personnel. The motives of the terrorists are not clear, but the attack, coming as it did barely a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore, shows that the enemies of India-Pakistan peace process are back in action again, and will be more proactive in days to come.

The peace initiative was largely welcomed in Pakistan, except for hardened jihadi ideologues like Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind behind the Mumbai terror attack, who never tires of spewing venom against India.

India’s top security establishment is currently engaged in trying to make sense of the Pathankot terror attack. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is holding a meeting with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and chiefs of the three services.

Attacking an Air Force base in Pathankot on January 2, terrorists from Pakistan suspected to be Jaish-e-Mohammed group killed two air personnel.  Four terrorists were killed in an operation that lasted more than five hours.

The air base is located near the border with Pakistan.  “The gunbattle between terrorists and security forces ended after more than five hours,” Punjab Police ADGP (Law and Order) H S Dhillon said. “However, the area was not sanitised yet and the combing operation continues,” he added.

Disguised in army fatigues, at least four to five militants, believed to be from the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group, launched an attack in the wee hours with an aim of destroying the air base, according to an unnamed top security official.

The security forces, meanwhile, are on the look out for a possible fifth terrorist so that no collateral damage is done, police said. The terrorists possessed huge quantity of RDX and made their way to the base from the rear end of the base where there is a jungle, the police said.

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