India Intelligence Report

 

 

   Zero Tolerance for Terrorism

  Addressing a call made by the Intelligence Bureau Chief for stronger laws against terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the nation must “use relevant provisions” in a “professional and scientific manner” but not link it to any religion.
 

 

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Addressing a call made by the Intelligence Bureau Chief for stronger laws against terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the nation must “use relevant provisions” in a “professional and scientific manner” but not link it to any religion. Singh made these points at a national seminar on “Law, Terrorism and Development,” organized jointly by the Indian Council of Jurists, the All-India Bar Association, and the India Legal Information Institute.

Singh reiterated India ’s concerns for different forms of terrorism that “It subverts the economic and financial environment for growth and deprives ordinary people of their basic needs and even livelihood.” Because of the attack on the core of Indian living, Singh said it “necessitates enhanced military and security expenditure.” At the same time, he called for “investigation and prosecution of such cases in a professional and scientific manner” using “relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to cut off flow of funds to terrorists.”

By sharing information and intelligence across different agencies, Singh says that India can deprive terrorists of “large financial and material resources at their disposal, terrorist groups are able to use modern communication system and state-of-the-art technology to pursue their agenda.” He cautioned, as a “matter of grave concern,” that terrorists are increasingly linking “with organized crimes like drug trafficking, gun-running and money laundering” to a point where “Terrorism has also emerged as one of the most serious threats to international peace.”

However, Singh says that those wanting to join the ranks of terrorists are “fringe elements” and a “clear and purposive” response can isolate and weed out terrorism. Drawing a line says that his government is “willing to talk to any disaffected group prepared to abjure violence, it stands firmly committed to enforcing zero tolerance to terrorism within the framework of existing laws.” He also declared that “No democratic government can tolerate the targeted killing of innocent people” and have to be dealt “as terrorists per se” as they have “no religion or faith and do not belong to any community.”

These are bold policy statements indicative of how his government wishes to deal with terrorism. Yet, Singh sends confusing messages such as on the execution of Afzal Guru, convicted for the attack on the Parliament. While the IB chief clearly states that existing laws are not strong enough, he wants law-enforcement to use only those inadequate laws to fight terror. India has to learn and accept that the lives of its security forces are more valuable than political windfall that may come to political parties. Without committed men and women of the security apparatus, India will be at the mercy of rabid terrorist groups.