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Countering terrorism in India – Some policy Suggestions

Our National Optimists Party has long advocated credit, though we stand foursquare against the enslavement of debt. We are therefore wholly in favor of the bailout, though we find the sums discussed miserly in the extreme and manifestly insufficient to the purpose. We propose to bailout the entirety of the economy, to pardon the whole of the nations debt to itself, using those monies instead to fund a wholesale mobilization of the nations resources for twenty years, during which time we shall -Attain sustainable energy independence -Reform education and healthcare -Construct and deploy a new transportation and communications infrastructure -Develop and implement molecular manufacturing -Conduct large-scale environmental restoration Just think of it! The patents alone for the passel of new inventions well create in the process will, by themselves, generate untold riches for the nation, to say nothing of the wonderful quality of life and enduring appreciation from all quarters, now and forever, that will be ours. Abandon those who hem and haw, trifle, straddle fences. Ours is the era of the epic and we call upon you all of you – to be epic heroes. This is Eve Darling, National Optimists Party candidate for president saying, All hands on deck full speed ahead.
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Recent events in Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, have once again highlighted India’s vulnerability to terrorist attacks. What is shocking is that despite the huge security machinery that exists in the country, the terrorists are striking at will on high-profile targets. Here are some short and long-term policy measures that can be taken up by the Indian government to combat the menace.

India has a total of 15,106.70 km of land border and a coastline of 7,516.60 km. Mainland region apart, it also has a total of 1,197 islands accounting for 2,094 km of additional coastline. India has a volatile neighborhood. Countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are beset by internal problems. The government must realize that all strategies to counter terrorism will fail unless measures are taken to stop infiltration and smuggling of narcotics (a major source of funding for the terrorist organizations) and arms & ammunition across India’s porous borders. To ensure this, vigilance must be stepped-up in the border areas and fencing of borders must be completed on a priority basis. To secure India’s seas, the Central Maritime Board should be constituted at the earliest to ensure greater coordination between the naval defence forces.

Terrorism, in recent times, has become an international issue. Constitution should be suitably amended to segregate terrorism from law & order. Law & order can remain a subject in the State List while terrorism should be included in the Union List. This will give more power to the union government and prevent the influence of local political leaders and other religious groups on the anti-terrorist operations and investigations that are carried out by the government agencies.

Government must strengthen its intelligence network which is critical to prevent terrorist attacks. Indian government should set up a central, joint intelligence agency on the lines of the unified armed forces command. Its role would be similar to role the CIA plays in the United States. All the intelligence inputs, gathered anywhere in India, should be routed to this central agency which can collate them and warn the concerned agencies.

A separate department, dealing specifically with anti-terrorist operations across the country, should be constituted in the Ministry of Home Affairs with units at the state level. This is necessary as terrorist modules have a long-trail stretching across several states. This trail must be destroyed completely. This move will also help in apprehending those who may not be directly involved in terrorist activities but provide shelter and funds to the members of the terrorist organizations.

A separate department should be created in the Ministry of External Affairs to deal with diplomatic aspects related to combating terrorism at international level. This department will coordinate with international agencies like Interpol and also deal with the issues like extradition & deportation of wanted terrorists, intelligence sharing, legal assistance and regional cooperation.

The police and para-military personnel should be given adequate training and be made well-equipped to deal with terrorist attacks. There have been many cases in the

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