P.M. toured base after criticism from opposition party over security lapse that allowed infiltration.
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. The Kashmir-based United Jihad Council, with which JeM is not affiliated, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Modi’s visit 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 sanitized 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 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.
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.