Terming it a ‘serious security lapse’, Former Defence Minister AK Antony said that the terror strike on Army camp battalion headquarters at Uri in North Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday showed that no lessons were learnt from Pathankot incident in which terrorists wreaked havoc by infiltrating into the frontline air base in January this year. 

 

“The terror attack on Sunday is shocking, and it is saddening that 17 soldiers lost lives in the incident,” Antony told Asianet News. “This is the second biggest security lapse in recent times. It also shows that we didn’t learn lessons from Pathankot,” he said referring to the terror strike on Pathankot Air Force Station in January this year.    

 

Pathankot is a strategic frontline Air Force base camp. In the case of a war with Pakistan, the Air Force Station could play a pivotal role. Terrorists could sneak into the high-security base station and hole up inside it for seven to eight days and could go on a rampage, Antony said. “If things continue like this, the security of the nation would be at huge risk,” he warned.

 

The former Defence Minister felt that the recurring attacks on army camps were an indication that Pakistan has changed its strategy. “Army and Air Force should be given more support, facilities and the power to launch retaliatory attack instantly,” Antony said. 

 

While the Pakistan-backed terrorists continue to target army camps near the border, Kashmir situation is losing out of hand, Antony felt. The people’s unrest has spread from towns in Kashmir to villages across the valley, the Senior Congress leader and Congress Working Committee member said. “The unrest has spread to all villages in Kashmir. Youths and students are at the forefront of the agitation. The government should take immediate steps to win people’s confidence,” he said suggesting that talks should continue irrespective of the initial setbacks.   "Even if ten rounds of talks failed, we should continue to reach out to all."