With the Bharatiya Janata Party’s avowed stand of zero tolerance of terrorism, the Narendra Modi-led government is likely to attend urgently to the issues of national security comprehensively.
The two key Ministries — Defence and Home — entrusted with the upkeep of national and internal security are gearing up to make their presentations to the new Prime Minister. Both Ministries have been asked to prepare a road map on emerging challenges in national security in broader terms including military, economic, cyber and energy security.
While the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee — currently Army Chief General Bikram Singh — is likely to brief the Prime Minister, the Indian Air Force and Navy chiefs are also expected to be present. Well placed sources said some of the key issues include the situation in the neighbourhood, defence equipment, shortage of personnel in the armed forces, development of indigenous defence technologies and defence purchases. The Defence Secretary is expected to give a short briefing, sources said on Thursday. Detailed briefing will be reserved for the new Defence Minister.
The BJP has said its government will strengthen the National Investigation Agency, insulate intelligence agencies from political interference and reform the National Security Council to make it the hub of all sector-related assessments and accountable for real-time intelligence dissemination.
Top officials were busy finalising the presentation and some of the key issues are the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast, besides Left-wing extremism in nine States.
“The situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved considerably and we feel that it is the right time to make a transition from conflict management to conflict resolution: a strategic shift from merely invoking control mechanisms to addressing conflicts at various levels,” an official said. The issue of longstanding demand for withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the State and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits may also be included in the presentation.
On Naxal-violence, the Ministry is expected to brief the new government on the necessity to fill the “spaces” that have allowed rebel cadres a much wider area for manoeuvre and action. As per the Ministry records, an estimated 7,000 hardcore cadres and 30,000 of the Naxal Jan Militia (part-time members) are active.