Vinay Kumar

Hits out at Pakistan-based terror groups

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday hit out at the role of Pakistan-based terrorist groups in the recent serial bomb blasts, but said the involvement of local elements added a new dimension to the terrorist threat.

“We have reports that certain Pakistan-based terrorists outfits are constantly seeking to set up new terrorist modules within our country. This is a matter of the utmost concern. We have increased vigilance on our borders … But in view of the growing involvement of local elements, this is not enough,” he said.

Favouring further strengthening of anti-terror laws, Dr. Singh noted that security and intelligence agencies had been successful in thwarting and pre-empting several terrorist attacks. “But as the recent blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Surat and Delhi indicate, there are still vast gaps in intelligence. These need to be overcome.”

The Prime Minister, addressing the Governors’ Conference on its concluding day, focussed on Left-wing extremism, terrorism and his government’s approach to tackling the menace.

The theme of internal security and terrorism also figured in President Pratibha Patil’s inaugural address on Tuesday. She voiced concern at the emerging “metro-terrorism” and favoured firm action against those who followed the path and culture of the gun.

Emphasising that there was no question of the government being soft on terrorism, Dr. Singh said the “issue is really one of examining the efficacy of the totality of the systems and the mechanisms that we have to deal with terrorist incidents.”

He said it was unfortunate that the public debate on terrorism tended to get driven by politics and centred on certain laws enacted or repealed by governments of different political persuasions. “Our government has no fixed, inflexible, or ideological view in this regard,” Dr. Singh said.

He said the government was considering legislation to further strengthen the substantive anti-terrorism law in line with the global consensus on the fight against terrorism.

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