Home minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday hinted that Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad was involved in the Pathankot air base terror attack.
“Pakistan is our neighbouring country. We want good relations with not just Pakistan but with all our neighbours. We also want peace but if there is any terror attack on India, we will give a befitting reply. We will hit hard,” he said.
Five terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were killed in the gunfight that lasted nearly 15 hours after they breached a high-security security perimeter and entered a frontline Indian Air Force (IAF) base near Pathankot town in northern Punjab early on Saturday to carry out the attack.
The home ministry has decided to hand over the probe into the attack to the National Investigation Agency.
“The case will be probed by the NIA but the possibility of JeM being behind the attack cannot be ruled out,” he said.
The minister added that there were intelligence inputs about possible terror attacks in Punjab and steps were taken which helped avert higher casualties.
“There were some inputs and hence there was caution. We have exercised caution. If we had not taken steps, there could have been bigger damage,” he said.
Singh’s deputy in the home ministry, Kiren Rijiju, said the government has credible information that the conspiracy of the attack was hatched by some elements in Pakistan.