Central agencies discuss drone threat from Pakistan at high-level Attari meeting
As drones from Pakistan continue to pose a threat in the border areas, the country’s security agencies have been on toes mulling measures to deal with the arising situation.
A high-level meeting of central agencies’ officials was held at the Integrated Check Post (IPC), which facilitates India’s trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan, to increase vigil and strengthen the Attari border’s security.
The meeting was attended by the officials of Border Security Force (BSF), customs, Land Port Authority of India (LPAI), immigration, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), intelligence wing, etc. The meeting comes on the day when a drone entered into the Indian territory at Bharopal village, 18 km from the Attari border. Punjab Police suspected that the drone had returned to Pakistan after dropping a consignment. The police have also recovered a plastic cover which is used by anti-national elements in Pakistan to pack consignments of drugs or weapons. A manhunt has also been launched by the police.
“The meeting focused on how to deal with the threat of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) which were being used by anti-India forces for smuggling explosives and drugs. It was discussed to increase the vigil at the Attari border and the ICP. More manpower will be used to keep a close eye on the border,” said a senior official, who was part of the meeting.
He said, “There is a suspicion that anti-national elements in Pakistan may use drones to drop arms or explosive at Attari border. Though our forces are capable of dealing with any kind of situation, but we have to remain extra vigilant.”
“We have also noticed increase in trade activities from Afghanistan. On Monday, 45 tuckloads of goods reached from Afghanistan. Every truck is being checked keeping in view of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan’s control. We are not taking any chances,” he added.
In July, the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Jammu was attacked using two low intensity improvised explosive devises (IEDs), which were allegedly dropped by two drones. Earlier, on August 10, a tiffin bomb, five hand grenades and 100 pistol cartridges were found near a drain at Daleke village, around 5km from Attari border. This consignment was also allegedly dropped by a drone from Pakistan.
ICP’s manager Sukhdev Singh confirmed the meeting, but refused to divulge agenda of the meeting.
Punjab Police recovered some drones that were used by Indian and Pakistani suspects for the smuggling of arms, ammunition and drugs in the last three years.
“Anti-national elements often use UAVs late night making it difficult for our jawans to shoot them down. Our forces, many times, opened fire and forced drones to retreat,” said a senior BSF official, who didn’t wish to be named. BSF’s Punjab inspector general (IG) Sonali Mishra didn’t respond to phone calls.