‘Terrorism can only be fought by becoming diplomatically and politically strong’
NEW DELHI: The Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, on Sunday emphasised the need for a stringent law on the lines of POTA to combat terrorism and to ensure that terrorists are not spared for their inhuman acts.
“It is unfortunate that we don’t have a law to fight terrorism in this country. The law that we had earlier has also been scrapped. Is this the way to fight terrorism? It is a matter of shame for us that a dozen terrorists from Pakistan struck at will in Mumbai and held the city to ransom to more than 60 hours. It is matter of great concern,” said Prof. Malhotra, speaking at a seminar on “National Security: Looking Beyond Mumbai, 26/11” at Constitution Club here.
The event was organised by non-government organisation Swaraj in association with Patriots’ Forum and Rotary Club of Delhi Uptown.
The senior BJP leader said the file pertaining to the death sentence of Afzal Guru, convicted in the Parliament attack case, has been gathering dust for the past five years. “It is very surprising when people talk about the human rights of terrorists. Human rights are for human beings and not for those who take innocent lives,” he added.
Lieutenant-General (retd.) Shankar Prasad said people in authority need be more innovative and energetic in tackling terrorism. “There was a lot of talk about creation of new agencies, posts and committees to tackle terrorism after the Mumbai terror attacks. I believe we already have the system in place to deal with terrorism. It is just a question of following it and fixing accountability.”
He said the Third World War was already on and we need to prepare ourselves for it. “We can combat terrorism only if we can make ourselves diplomatically and politically strong. Our armed forces need to have such a deterrence value that no one dares to mess with us.”
Former Director General (Punjab) K.P.S. Gill, former Director General of Police (Uttar Pradesh) Prakash Singh, former Special Director (Intelligence Bureau) D.C. Nath and Jan Sangh president Prafull Goradia were among those present.
The speakers said that India had been the victim of jihad for centuries and had paid an enormous price for it, but there was a lack of awareness and sensitivity about the enormity of the danger posed by it.
They pointed out that the terrorist operations like the one in Mumbai could not have been carried out without local support and the authorities were hiding the obvious for narrow political gains. Role of sleeper cells, demographic aggression on India and the disastrous impact of counterfeit currency on the economy were also discussed. A resolution adopted at the seminar stressed the need for strong measures to tackle terrorism.
Earlier, Swaraj founder president Sambit Patra said they were denied permission to hold the seminar at India International Centre over the singing Vande Mataram during the event and the venue had to be shifted. “When I approached the IIC authorities seeking permission for holding the seminar, they asked me about the format. When they were told that the seminar would begin with the singing of Vande Mataram they refused permission saying it was a controversial song.”