Questiones unanswered in Pathankot terror attacks
Even when the security forces are battling two terrorists, reportedly holed up in officer's quarters, numerous questions continue to engage Indian minds.
Especially after the Gurudaspur attacks, merely 39 kilometers from the present infiltration scene, a heightened security was expected. However, much to the dismay of Indians, security lapses marred this inciden too. Barring that, there are innumerable other questions that still remain unanswered.
Time of the attack
Did the time of the attack, specifically when State premiers were shaking hands and signing deals for a heightened security and better border administration, mean anything?
While there are ample chances that the attack was masterminded by the ISI, which is unhappy with the 'ties' that lay in future. It can be said that the attack would now divert the attention on the blame game that both the countries are in the habit of playing, thus delaying the friendly ties.
The question now arises, who might benefit from weaker ties?
The uniform and the strategy
The border is porous, agreed, but not when there is constant patrol going on. The BSF said that they had physically checked the entire Punjab border area, but there was not a single evidence that the terrorists had entered India from Pakistan via the Punjab border.
Mwanwhile, Punjab Police, in its initial investigation said that the terrorists may have used the river area along the Indo-Pak border of Punjab to enter the Indian territories. If that is the case, how did they go undetected?
Moreover, how did they get the uniform? Getting an army uniform is not easy.
Number of terrorists uncertain: 5 or more?
Rajnath Singh's Tweet on Day 1 brew up a lot of debate. News made rounds that all five terrorists were neutralised, only to be contradicted when there were fresh rounds of firing, killing 2 people.
So there were more? Police, the NSG or the IAF are yet to come up with an answer as the operation rolls into its fourth day. Sources now believe that there may have been two groups of terrorists infiltrating the premises.
Were there no security checks? Granted, that they were had army fatigues on, but a huge contingent entering the premises together (without any prior official notice) should have drawn attention. Moreover, how come that Pakistani miitants are at ease trespassing the border and moutning high walls without being noticed and the Indian army can do nothing.
Some also believe that the militants had hoodwinked the security officials by trespassing the premises in small groups and waiting for the right time to strike.
Audacity or planned action?
In this case, their journey was more vulnerable and in broad daylight. After crossing the border, they hike and in this case, they summoned a taxi and later hijack Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh's vehicle.
The official immideately informed the nearby defence encampments, which took more than 12 hours to reach the spot.
Indeed, Pakistani agencies knew exactly when and how to strike as if it is a daily affair.
The second question that arises here is why did the terrorists not strike civilians, schools of bazaars that would have given mass casualty. Experts believe that terrorists have bigger targets so that they remain in media attention. While they make big headlines, the shelf life of these stories is short. That way, the Jammu and Kashmir issue will continue to simmer.
All said and done, India has failed to learn from the previous instances. Months ago, the Gurudaspur incident acted as an eye opener, only to be forgotten. Surely, the defence forced will have to sharpen their memories and learn from their past mistakes.