Union Minister Uma Bharti on Saturday described the anti-terror operation at the Pathankot AirBase as the "world's best". Seven military men were martyred and 20 others injured in the 84-hour operation launched last Saturday as six Pakistani terrorists attacked the sprawling Air Force Base in Punjab's Pathankot.
Responding to questions about the operation today, Ms Bharti said, "It was the world's best anti-terror operation. The place where the terrorists had entered was highly sensitive. It was a very difficult operation. I congratulate those were involved in the counter operation."
Citing differences and a damaging tussle for operational control between the Army, Air Force and the National Security Guard or NSG, several security sources had questioned the Pathankot Operation. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also faced a backlash on social media after he tweeted and then retracted a message congratulating forces for a "successful operation" two days before the counter-strike was wrapped up and two more terrorists were killed.
As the operation came to a close, a senior Army officer who was closely involved in monitoring it last week said, "This is the worst-planned operation in more than three decades."
Questions have also been raised over the counter-strike which started after a senior police officer was kidnapped and released by the terrorists, alerting security establishments of an imminent threat a day before the attack. At least two top Army officials have also told about their reservations on the operation being handed over to the National Security Guard, an elite police force under the Home Ministry, when more than 50,000 personnel of the Army were available in Pathankot.