Cross-border firing incidents, crackdown on “erring” NGOs and activities of Pakistan-based terror groups kept the Home Ministry busy in 2016 which saw the audacious attack on Pathankot airbase.
Imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and subsequent revocation by the Supreme Court in both the states, over 120 days of unrest in Jammu and Kashmir following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani were some other issues that the ministry had to deal with.
The year saw prolonged tension along the India-Pakistan border due to fierce firing from Pakistani forces on Indian security posts and civilian areas forcing Home Minister Rajnath Singh to tell BSF not to count bullets if fired upon by Pakistan and give a “befitting” reply.
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists carried out the strike at the Pathankot airbase, killing seven personnel and injuring 37 others. In its charge sheet, the NIA said JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and two others hatched the conspiracy.
The terror case saw an unusual move from India and Pakistan as Islamabad sent its probe team to Pathankot. However, the Pakistani team, upon its return, claimed India did not cooperate with them.
Islamabad reciprocated by refusing to allow an Indian investigating team to visit Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot attack probe.
Not taking it lightly, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Pakistan for a SAARC meeting, delivered a blunt message to Islamabad asking it to stop encouraging terror groups and “glorification” of terrorists and also called for “strongest action” against nations supporting terrorism and their isolation.