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PM Chairs Meet on Pathankot Terror Attack, NSA, FS Present

Sporadic gunfire and helicopters flying overhead could still be heard as an operation to comb the base in search of any more gunmen continued, police said.

Delhi Police sleuths interrogating a dismissed Indian Air Force official, who was arrested from Punjab’s Bhatinda, have so far not found any connection between the information he allegedly shared with a suspected ISI-backed operative and the terror attack in Pathankot on Saturday.

On Saturday night, Modi appreciated the efforts taken by the Indian security forces. The air base provides logistical support to entire Jammu and Kashmir region, including Ladakh, and also provides operational range for deep air raids into the Pakistani territory.

The heavy gun battle between terrorists and the security forces near the Air Base slowed down and combing operations began to smoke out the hiding terrorists.

Singh said India wanted peace with Pakistan but that any terrorist attack would get “a befitting response”, a statement analysts described as restrained.

After the Pathankot attack, Modi faces a political stress test, not only from the opposition and right wing hardliners but also from the public that too equates neighbour with terrorism.

India blamed Jaish-e-Mohammed for a December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament that killed 11 people, led to a massive military build-up at the border and brought the two countries nearly to the brink of war. They had earlier hijacked a police officer’s vehicle and driven it to the heavily guarded base – tactics used in earlier attacks believed to have been perpetrated by Pakistani-trained militants, Punjab’s police chief Suresh Arora said. The sources have indicated that the two prime ministers will have meeting in Washington on the last day of March where they will be attending Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted by US President Barrack Obama.

Modi, at a speech in the southern city of Mysore, congratulated security forces “for turning the intentions of our country’s enemies into dust”.

In 2008, the 10-member LeT attack module, including Kasab, was instructed in a similar way by their handlers from a control room in Karachi as they carried out the carnage in Mumbai. “And I salute the martyrdom of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives”. The priority now is to neutralise the remaining terrorists. “There is no question of going back or calling off. It is clear that Pakistan is not going to give up its instruments of terror”, said former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal.

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