Allowing Pakistanis into Pathankot political decision: IAF chief

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Jamnagar, March 4 (IANS) The decision to allow a probe team from Pakistan into the Pathankot IAF base will be a “political decision”, Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha said on Friday.

The IAF, he told media persons here, wants a “closure” to the terror attack in January with action taken against the perpetrators.

Asked if the IAF will have any problem on allowing the Pakistani team into the base, Air Chief Marshal Raha said: “If government allows the team, why should we object?

“Whether to permit or not to permit (them) into the Pathankot base will be a political decision. I will not comment on it… But we need to pursue this so that there is some outcome.

“We want a closure of the case with appropriate action against those who attacked the base,” he added.

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The January 2 terror attack on the IAF base at Pathankot in Punjab left seven security personnel dead, while security forces killed all six terrorists involved in the attack. All of them were said to be from Pakistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz said on Wednesday that the probe team may visit India in the next few days.

Responding to another question on the security of airbases, the IAF chief said lessons have been learnt post the Pathankot attack.

“After Pathankot, we did learn few lessons. The terrorists are well trained, well armed and on a suicide mission. We have to be better prepared,” he said.

Air Chief Marshal Raha added that walls, with a second line of security in terms of barbed wires will be erected at all critical airbases, so that any intruders can be stopped and quick response teams can reach in time to neutralise them.

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