PM Modi visits attacked Indian air base near Pakistan

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Pathankot air force base Saturday to carry out a firsthand assessment of the situation one week after a militant attack left seven soldiers dead, Press Trust of India reported.

The premier flew to the base in northern Punjab state to conduct an aerial survey of the area near the Pakistan border, following the strike by gunmen whom officials suspect belonged to the banned Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

It follows criticism from the opposition Congress party of the apparent security lapse that allowed the militants to infiltrate the strategically important base.

Security forces on Friday said they had finally sanitised the sprawling installation after a lengthy search operation, PTI said.

Modi called on Pakistan earlier in the week to take action against those behind the attack and said Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had given assurances that his government would take “prompt and decisive action”.

The attack on Pathankot came just days after a landmark visit to Pakistan by the Indian premier raised hopes of improved relations.

Jaish-e-Mohammed staged a 2001 attack on the Indian parliament which brought the two countries to the brink of war.

The Pathankot attack coincided with a 25-hour siege near an Indian consulate in Afghanistan that left at least one policeman dead and 11 others wounded.

Source: AFP