“¦we need to strengthen trans-border security to prevent jihadi elements from infiltrating into our territory in the garb of spectators, picking up arms and explosives from their India-based accomplices and mounting an attack.
These strikes showed the ability of such organizations to mount spectacular terrorist attacks in Pakistani Punjab and the inability of the Pakistani intelligence and security agencies to prevent them through timely intelligence. The security arrangements at Mohali should seriously factor into the security planning the dangers of a swarm-style commando attack mounted from the sanctuaries of the so-called Punjabi Taliban in Pakistani Punjab.
Normally effective defensive physical security for events such as the cricket semi-final at Mohali would depend on effective access control to the venue and the VIPs attending the match and effective anti-explosive checks in and around the venue. In addition, keeping in view the dangers of a commando-style swarm attack in the venue as well as in the town itself, counter-smarm deployment by our own commando units would have to be an important component of the planned physical security.
In addition to this, we need to strengthen trans-border security to prevent jihadi elements from infiltrating into our territory in the garb of spectators, picking up arms and explosives from their India-based accomplices and mounting an attack. I continue to receive messages from my readers rebuking me for not recommending a ban on the issue of visas to Pakistanis wanting to enter India ostensibly to watch the semi-finals. The Government should go by the advice of our intelligence and security agencies in this matter. My own view is that this danger could be met by effective monitoring of trans-border movements and airport, train and bus arrivals and by stepped-up patrolling in Mohali itself without the need for a ban on the issue of visas till the semi-finals are over.
Gilani’s personal security from the moment he arrives in India and till he lands back in Pakistan will be our responsibility. While his close-proximity security (personal bodyguards) would be the responsibility of the Pakistani VIP security set-up, the access control and anti-explosive and anti-swarm checks would be our responsibility. These have to be planned with precision and a lot of attention to details.
Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies would have already stepped up their intelligence coverage—human as well as technical. We should not fight shy of asking the US to step up its coverage too in the entire Af-Pak region with the focus on detecting and neutralizing any threats to his security while he is in India.