Pathankot attack: Chidambaram pitches for setting up of NCTC

Chidambaram, a former Home Minister, saluted the soldiers martyred in the attack.

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Friday pitched for setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack and voiced disappointment over the manner in which the counter-terror system responded to the incident.

While saluting the soldiers martyred in the attack, Chidambaram, a former Home Minister, said on Twitter, "Disappointed with the manner in which the counter-terror system in the government responded to the situation!

"It is a fair inference that the foreign office, the defence forces and the internal security have not been talking to each other."

In another tweet, he said, "My disappointment turned to despair watching the response to #PathankotAttack. It was deja vu. No sign of a 'single command and control'."

Chidambaram's pet project was NCTC when he was the Home Minister which was then opposed by BJP.

Making a fresh pitch for it, the Congress leader said, "The best message of reassurance to a shaken and sceptical nation and the best warning to our enemies that we take terrorism as a serious threat will be to notify forthwith the National Counter Terrorism Centre."

After the Pathankot attack, Congress spokespersons had stated that had BJP not opposed NCTC and the mechanism been in place, things could have been different.

Targeting the government for not calling a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security Affairs immediately after the incident, the former Home Minister asked, "Was CCS convened immediately after security forces engaged terrorists? No offcl word, but HM didn't attend any meeting after Jan 2."

Putting out tweets from a write up of Chidambaram in a newspaper, the party's official Twitter handle said, "Security of people cannot be left to individuals. Response to a terror attack must be an institutional response."

Congress has been repeatedly targeting NSA Ajit Doval over the depolyment of NSG instead of the army after the attack alleging it was done as the NSA wanted to take full credit for himself.

Alleging that there was no sign of a single command and control in Pathankot, the Congress leader noted, "Defence Sec Corps re-employs retired jawans. Garud Force is a defensive arm of IAF to protect air force assets.

"NSG is a target-specific counter-terror force, not a battlefield unit. Yet, these units were called in as first responders. The battle-ready counter-terror force, Army's Spcl Forces, was nearby but not deployed."

Chidambaram also asked, "Does the Home Minister meet NSA, Home Secretary, Special Secretary (IS) & heads of IB and RAW every day? It appears no."