A three-day Asia summit on homeland security and counterterrorism concluded here on Wednesday with a call for more investment in strengthening security infrastructure.
Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, stressed the need to improve intelligence and counterterrorism capabilities by modernising the security apparatus. Mounting effective counter insurgency operations in the north-east required modern technology because of the “challenging” terrain and poor communication.
“Appropriate and customised technologies are therefore required to help save the lives of our security personnel as well as of citizens,’’ he said.
Dr. Sangma said terrorism was a “global menace” and time had come for all nations to work together and use every possible resource at their command to deal with it. He outlined the measures that Central and State agencies were taking to “minimise as far as possible the root causes of militancy and strife” in the region.
The summit, claimed to be “the first initiative of its kind” to bring counterterrorism experts, decision-makers, academics and diplomats under one roof and attended by experts from India and Pakistan, discussed the “needs and challenges’’ of Asian homeland security in the age of terror.
An important component of the summit was to boost global weapons trade in the emerging Asian markets as countries in the region step up spending on homeland security amid fears of increased terror threats.
India’s current annual spending on internal security — estimated around $17 billion to $18 billion — is expected to go up significantly in coming years making it one of the most sought-after markets Asia for western weapons suppliers.