The attack came about a week after a surprise visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif last month. (Press Trust of India photo)
New Delhi: After 80 hours, the operations have been completed at the Pathankot Air Force Base which was attacked over the weekend by terrorists who came from Pakistan.
Here are the top 10 developments in this big story:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a phone call from his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, assuring him of his support in the investigation to uncover how the lethal assault was conceived and executed.
According to a statement issued by the government, PM Modi called for "firm and immediate action against those responsible for the air base attack", based on specific and actionable information provided to Pakistan.
The head of the National Investigation Agency, Sharad Kumar, told reporters in New Delhi that the attackers came from Pakistan but did not elaborate.
The base at Pathankot has Indian Air Force MiG-21 fighter jets and attack helicopters. "I do see gaps, but security was not compromised...it will be clear after the investigation" said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar about allegations of a series of security lapses. He toured the base today.
Among the major lapses was the delay alert sounded after a police officer's car was hijacked by the terrorists wearing army uniforms on the night of December 31. His complaint was treated as a case of armed robbery for hours. That, interrogators say, may have allowed the terrorists a large window of time to breach the base in two groups.
Phone calls made by the terrorists to their handlers were intercepted on Friday. The attack began on Saturday at dawn. Investigators are also suggesting a lack of inter-agency cooperation may have hobbled the security response.
It remains unclear exactly how the terrorists infiltrated the fortified base, which is nearly 2,000 acres large, and is surrounded by a 10-metre wall topped with barbed wire.
Investigators believe the attack was carried out by the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, founded by Masood Azhar after he was released by India in 1999 in exchange for passengers on IC-814, the Indian Airlines plane that was hijacked.