New Delhi, Jan 7: Not probing the local link in the 26/11 Mumbai attack did more harm than good for the nation.
While many may have felt that the worst has been covered up, the fact of the matter is that the rogue elements in India who helped the Pakistani terrorists got away scot free. Will it be the case in the probe into the Pathankot attack as well?
Speaking to the officials of the National Investigating Agency which is probing the case with a team of 20 members, the impression one gets is that they are focused more on the local link first before leading the trail up to Pakistan.
There are a lot of aspects that just do not add up and investigators are convinced that there was a great deal of local help involved as a result of which the terrorists stormed the Pathankot air force station with such ease.
The importance of probing the local link:
It is important to fix the rogues within India before we start pointing fingers as Pakistan. One must remember that till the world lasts, Pakistan's primary policy will be terror against India.
For Pakistan the terror against India not only brings in funds from the West, but it is also a cost effective manner of waging a war against India.
India may have told Pakistan in the strongest possible terms to act against the perpetrators of the attack. History has shown that Pakistan assures, but never acts.
The 26/11 attack probe is an example of this. In such a context it becomes all the important to secure the security mechanism within.
While there may be calls for a stronger security set up, a probe into such an attack is of equal importance. The NIA will have to deliver a strong message that locals who had helped terrorists will hang by the noose if they have betrayed the nation.
The Pathankot attack has various questions which desperately needs to be answered. Fixing the liability on all those who aided the terrorists is a key concern that has to be addressed.
The local link:
While it is clear that the terrorists used the taxi driven by Ikagar Singh to enter Pathankot, there is still some clarity that is needed on this issue.
After killing Singh, the terrorists had abandoned the car. From there how did they reach the air base. Was the vehicle of the Superintendent of Police who they had abducted used to reach the air base?
Investigations show that the terrorists reached the air base in groups of two. Was the first group already present at the air base before the remaining four reached there?
If that is the case who helped the first two terrorists reach the air base? It is clear that four terrorists who reached the air base later came in the car that they had stolen from the SP.
Upon reaching the air base, the terrorists had gained entry using the storm water drain. This air base has a wall of 15 kilometres and locating a storm water drain would have not been possible for these terrorists unless someone locally had informed them about it.
The other teething question is how did they cross the border? The mud stains found in the taxi suggests that they had used the riverine route.
The BSF has made it clear that they did not infiltrate through the Baimal sector. If this is the case, then how and where did they infiltrate through? Was the notorious drug smuggling lobby helping them out. The drug smugglers are familiar to those along the border.
Lastly the big question is about the ammunition. It has been said that they had in all 50 kilograms of ammunition on them.
The NIA is probing to find out if the ammunition was already placed in India in advance. If that is the case, then who locally had procured the ammunition and placed it in Punjab prior to the attack?