Need to see Pathankot attack as act of 'foreign aggression'

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Chandigarh, Jan 8: Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the terror attacks at Pathankot as well as Gurdaspur last year needed to be seen as acts of "foreign aggression", and urged the Centre to provide assistance for a second line of defence at the border.

Sukhbir said this to National Security Adviser Ajit Doval during a phone conversation this evening, an official spokesperson of Punjab government said here.

Pathankot

"In Punjab, we have been fighting the nation's war carried out by our enemies through proxy means. We must regard it as acts of war and our response needs to be firm not in just words... In the form of better and professional preparedness and willing to take the enemy on," Sukhbir, who holds the Home portfolio in the Punjab government, was quoted as saying in a statement issued here.

In the statement, the Deputy Chief Minister praised his men in uniform and said the entire country was proud of the manner in which they had stood up to the challenge both at Pathankot and earlier at Dina Nagar in Gurdaspur.

Sukhbir said he was pursuing with the Centre his proposal to set up a second line of defence behind the Border Security Force troops to latch on to any element that escapes the BSF net at the international border.

"Considering the enormity of the task, we certainly need assistance from the Center. We have the manpower, courage and competence. What we fall short of is additional resources. We expect the Center to meet that part of the requirement.

"The Punjab Police has the willingness, experience and professional competence to answer the need for such an impregnable fortress-wall to block any kind of invasion, open or disguised," he added. On January 3, Sukhbir had said that the state police will come out with a "master plan" for second line of defence for quick response if any eventuality happens in the future.

PTI

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