Cong assails government over handling of Pathankot attack

Cong assails government over handling of Pathankot attack

Hitting out at the government over the handling of Pathankot terror attack, Congress today said "conflicting" statements on the incident showed "breakdown of institutional mechanism" as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "concentrated" all powers in his hands.

Leading the party's charge, Congress President Sonia Gandhi termed the internal security situation as "serious"and hoped that Centre was taking all necessary steps to neutralize terror threats.

Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken went hammer and tongs against the government alleging that institutional mechanism stands "demolished" and the government is "in dark".

"Institutions are functioning in isolation and not in tandem, which is scary. Even the Home Minister is not aware how many terrorists were neutralised. The Home Minister does not even know that whether the operation is yet over or not. After Home Minister says that the operation is over, the Home Secretary says it is continuing.

"If even the Home Minister does know what has happened, it only points to the extent of the breakdown of institutional mechanism in this government. This shows the government is in dark and falling at each other. Sections of the government are not even aware how things are being done," Maken said at the AICC briefing.

He rued that even after passage of 56 hours, it was not clear whether Cabinet Committee on Security has met or not.

"The institutional mechanism, which has to respond in such serious situations has been demolished as the Prime Minister has concentrated all powers in his hand. CCS is one of the examples to show the Prime Minister is trying to do everything from PMO and and even concerned ministers are not being kept in the loop," Maken alleged.

As operations against two remaining terrorists at Pathankot air base continued, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said yesterday that it was unsure if more militants were still holed up. The comments by Mehrishi came a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted saying the operation had been completed with the killing of five terrorists. Singh later deleted his tweet.

Maken said it was unfortunate a number of ministers of the central government claimed that the operation was over even though it was continuing. He said such "conflicting" statements only showed "lack of coordination" within the government in the event of such serious security challenges.

He also raised questions over the "silence" of the government on Pakistan's role in the attack.

"What is the reason that the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and the Home Minister are hesitant to name Pakistan even after ample evidence of Pakistan connection of terrorists. Terrorists called up Pakistan numbers from Pathankot. They had even booked the taxi in Pathankot from a Pakistan number. Why the Indian government is silent about Pakistan?" he said.

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