BJD MP flays Centre for handling of Pathankot attack

New Delhi: BJD MP Kalikesh Singhdeo on Thursday slammed the BJP-led Central government in Lok Sabha over its handling of the terror strike on the Pathankot air base, while terming the decision as a “critical mistake” to hand over the operation to NSG.

Participating in a discussion on the issue, Singhdeo singled out the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval for attack, saying he had “usurped” the decision-making powers to tackle the incident.

Singhdeo wondered why the Army was not asked to deal with the terror strike as 50,000 troops were available in Pathankot itself and they were the best equipped to tackle such situations.

Wondering how the Defence and the Home Ministries could wash their hands of, Singhdeo said the National Security Guards (NSG) is used only to tackle urban hostage situations and not for counter-terrorism and added it was “a critical mistake” to hand over the operation to the NSG.

When the NSG was deployed to deal with the situation, it did not have night-vision devices, he pointed out.

Making a strong pitch for shoring up the intelligence mechanism, he said this was the need of the hour given the fact that the country has remained “one step behind terrorists”.

Expressing concern that Maulana Masood Azhar was still roaming free in Pakistan, he said this was in spite of the fact that there is proof of the involvement of his organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed in the terror strike. “Are we not bringing enough pressure on Pakistan?” he asked.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lahore stopover, Singhdeo wondered what cost the gestures of celebrating a birthday and having a cup of tea and having dinner in the present context of Indo-Pak ties.