Saturday, December 5, 2009

India to decide on its role in Afghanistan: US

Friday, December 4, 2009

We face in the sub-continent the onset of terrorism aided, inspired and instigated by our neighbour.

Ahead of this three-day official visit to Russia starting Sunday, Singh without naming Pakistan said that India faced an "onset" of terrorism aided, inspired and instigated by that country.

"We believe that Russia being a great power can influence the conduct of Pakistan. Our hope is that Russia's influence will be utilised to convince Pakistan that the strategy of using terror as an instrument of state policy is counter-productive, " Singh said in an interview to the Russian media on the eve of his visit.

Singh, who will be in Russia on his sixth visit as prime minister since he assumed office in 2004. said, "We face in the sub-continent the onset of terrorism aided, inspired and instigated by our neighbour."
On India's part, Singh said that if Pakistan territory ceases to be used by terrorists India saw immense opportunities for the two countries to work together in cooperation.

"There are immense opportunities of expanding trade, investment and technology flow between our two countries." he said.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Show sensitivity to tribals while fighting against Maoists, Chidambaram tells CRPF

Kadarpur (Haryana) With security forces preparing to launch a multi-state coordinated offensive against Naxals, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said they need to ensure that the poor and tribals do not suffer in the fight against Maoist violence.
“While you should be firm, decisive and unrelenting in dealing with those who indulge in violence, you should show a great degree of sensitivity, patience and maturity to the poor people, especially the tribals,” Chidambaram said.
He was speaking at the 70th Raising Day celebrations of the Central Reserve Police Force that would be at the forefront of the anti-Naxal operation.
Noting that the people of the country have the constitutional right to choose their leaders, he said, “As custodians of the constitution we have moral, ethical and legal responsibility to ensure that the writ of the constitution runs through the length and breadth of the country.”
“The biggest challenge before you (CRPF personnel) is how well and successful you are able to reach out the tribal and the poor people and the marginalised,” the minister said, adding the forces have to convince such people of their rights as a legitimate citizen of the country.

Give security forces respect: Chidambaram

Mumbai, Nov 26 (PTI) Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said each target of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks was chosen carefully to create maximum impact and lauded the sacrifice of security forces to blunt the designs of the terrorists.

"The adversary chose the target carefully which included two iconic buildings and a place which millions of 'aam admi' use," the home minister said.

Praising the security forces, he said, "What does a policeman want? What do our security forces want? Be it the army jawan who stands on glaciers or in jungles of Assam, men who guard naval bases, or men who keep vigil in the skies: respect.

"I ask people of Mumbai, Maharashtra and India: give respect to policemen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am a Maharashtrian and I am extremely proud of that. But I am an Indian first. And Mumbai belongs to all Indians.

What does one mean by 'politics'? Indians must be aware of those who tries to divide this great nation. Some tries to divide it on the basis of religion, some on the basis of language, some on basis of baseless ideas, as they says "Kashmiri People", god knows what does that mean. Tomorrow some people could come and try to divide this nation on the basis of one's size of hair! Liberty is the only condition of growth. Nothing should be imposed upon anybody, whether language, or religion or anything else, except taxes. Those who do unconstitutional acts should be dealt with the firm hand of law. No excuse; mo matter who he is.
Even if Sachin is not in politics, I'm sure 99.99% Indians would love to see such clear speaking person as Sachin in politics. India need such politicians who speak the language of unity, and who do not divide people just to come to power, who do not resort to violence just because they think they are a majority somewhere.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The era of violence and terrorism is coming to an end.

 I believe that the IT Sector in JandK can be as developed as in other states of the country. We will fully support the efforts of the State in this area. I am happy that more than 600 youth of the State trained under a Central Government project have been employed in the IT sector recently.
I am happy to announce that the Government of India has decided to set up two Central Universities in JandK, one in Jammu and one in Kashmir. 
Let us build Kashmir into one of the world's top tourist destinations. 

The era of violence and terrorism is coming to an end. The public sentiment is for peace and for a peaceful resolution of all problems. 

I had also said that I was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan. I did so not because of weakness but from a position of strength. We had the most fruitful and productive discussions ever with the Government of Pakistan during the period 2004-07 when militancy and violence began to decline. Intensive discussions were held on all issues including on a permanent resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. 
For the first time in 60 years, people were able to travel by road across the LoC. Divided families were re-united at the border. Trade between the two sides of Kashmir began. In fact, our overall trade with Pakistan increased three times during 2004-07. The number of visas that we issued to Pakistanis doubled during the same period. An additional rail link was re-established.

These are not small achievements given the history of our troubled relationship with Pakistan. Inside the valley, as militancy declined, trade, business and tourism began to pick up. We were moving in the right direction. For the first time there was a feeling among the people that a durable and final peace was around the corner.
However, all the progress that we achieved has been repeatedly thwarted by acts of terrorism. The terrorists want permanent enmity to prevail between the two countries. The terrorists have misused the name of a peaceful and benevolent religion. Their philosophy of hate has no place here. It is totally contrary to our centuries old tradition of tolerance and harmony among faiths. 

I strongly believe that the majority of people in Pakistan seek good neighbourly and cooperative relations between India and Pakistan. They seek a permanent peace. This is our view as well. 

We will press the government of Pakistan to curb the activities of those elements that are engaging in terrorism in India. If they are non-state actors, it is the solemn duty of the government of Pakistan to bring them to book, to destroy their camps and to eliminate their infrastructure. The perpetrators of the acts of terror must pay the heaviest penalty for their barbaric crimes against humanity. 
It is a misplaced idea that one can reach a compromise with the ideology of the terrorists or that they can be used for one's own political purpose. Eventually they turn against you and bring only death and destruction. The real face of the terrorists is clear for the people of Pakistan to see with their own eyes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ideas are always welcome--------not baseless criticism

If the the government has ran out of ideas, it is always welcome to ideas. How many ideas were given by the opposition in past six years to tackle Naxalism! Who is the Satyagrahi here? Naxals!

'Delayed medical attention hurt forces morale'

You send them in, you can't bring them out," says a senior officer. "Morale of the police is in the boots. A policeman is beheaded and 17 killed yesterday, but are there any tears shed for the police? Not one human rights organisation has condemned the killings. Police life is dirt cheap.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

18 policemen killed in shootout with Naxals

Naxalism connected to govt’s inability to reach out: Rahul

On the growing naxal activities in the country the AICC general secretary said that Naxalism would not take over if there was proper development. Naxalism is growing since the fruits of development are not reaching the people.We have to reach out to the people and their problems to curb Naxalism. If the people are closer to the political system, then Naxal activities will naturally come down, he added.

"There are experts in the government who know how to combat Naxalism. But my view is that there is a connection between Naxalism and local governments' inability to reach out to people and lack of development", Gandhi said.  

Chidambaram also said that it was the responsibility of the Government to take care of police officers’ family.  

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Motor Vehicle Act may see changes in licensing and taxation norms

The major areas of change were expected to be in the area of penalties imposed for traffic violations, the increase of compensation to accident victims and delegating greater power to the state government in case of the Motor Vehicle Act which is on the concurrent list.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Buying home to get safer, new real estate bill mooted

There is no place for violence or so-called armed struggle for liberation in a republican, democratic form of government.

“Left-wing extremism is the gravest challenge to our way of life, our republic and our democracy,” he said of the banned CPI (Maoist).
“Our policy on left-wing extremism is very clear. There is no place for violence or so-called armed struggle for liberation in a republican, democratic form of government.
“They believe in armed liberation struggle. We reject that argument. So long any one indulges in violence, the State has to oppose and fight the group,” he said.
He said the Centre had made it clear at the recent Chief Ministers’ Conference in New Delhi that the so-called armed liberation struggle was unacceptable, and the police would act against it.
Earlier, Mr. Chidambaram said in Raipur that the Centre was committed to fighting naxalism and would provide all help to the Chhattisgarh government to eradicate the extremists.

Justice no longer delayed

In an interview to a national daily this week, Moily said his ministry is planning to set up 5,000 new courts in the next three years, each working in three shifts to clear a backlog of  27.4 million cases pending in trial courts.

The Moily ministry’s roadmap for judicial reforms sees court cases resolved in just a year. At present, some cases drag on for 15 years or more.
Also in the pipeline are time limits for delivering verdicts, laptops for trial court judges and retired judges pitching in with their time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lack of media outcry against naxalite violence criticised

“Despite the fact that naxalites have been carrying out the worst atrocities, there is very little public outcry. When Kopad Ghandy is arrested, we see intellectuals are protecting him. But when tribals are killed by the Maoists, the intellectuals and NGOs [are silent.]”

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The military should be allowed to launch a drive against the drug mafia

A deep nexus exists between the police and the drug mafia in India.

He said the military should be allowed to launch a drive against the drug mafia, as the police had failed in that respect.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crime tracking network system by 2011-12: Chidambaram

The home minister asked technocrats to help the government build a National Counter-terrorism Centre on the lines of the US.

"If the US can have a National Counter-terrorism Centre, why can't we have one in India. So, I wish that your entrepreneurial activities will help us build a sound technology-based system that will enhance the security and efficiency in India...," he said. 

Higher police officials need to raise voice against arbitrary act of State Governments

"Why do you remain silent when arbitrary postings and transfers are made by the state government? Is it not your duty, as the head of state police, to raise your voice not only on behalf of your officers but also on behalf of the people that you are duty bound to protect?" he asked.

Setting up PEBs in states and UTs is only one of the directives made by the apex court on police reforms. Other directives include setting up State Security Commissions to ensure that a state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on cops; separate the investigation and law and order functions of the police; merit-based appointment of police chiefs; and setting up of police complaint authorities. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On terrorism, our stance is zero tolerance

“Let me state our position clearly. On terrorism, our stance is zero tolerance. We shall raise our level of preparedness to fight any terror attack and, in the case of threat or attack, our response will be swift and decisive,” he said adding that policing in India was always a challenge and after 26/11, the challenge had become graver.

On the threat posed by left-wing extremism, he said various groups were adhering to this “outdated ideology” and had pockets of influence in 20 States.

Through community policing and other innovative measures we must detect and deny any opportunity to our adversaries. Intelligence is the key.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Law must be dynamic to fight terror: Moily

“It is a scenario of worrying future because terrorism attacks democratic institutions, human rights and innocent people. Vigilance by jurists and dynamism by lawmakers should be wedded in the process of law-making to deal with the menace.”

“Unless the criminal justice system is totally overhauled, which we would like to do in the future, it is necessary to build not only capacity of law enforcers, but also the judiciary. There has to be an all-out war on the root, trunk and branches of terrorism.”

Terrorist acts were aimed at destabilising nations and citizens. “It is an attack on our institutions of democracy, symbols of national pride, security and strategic infrastructure and on civilians. Terrorism is a reminder for the global community to stop the rhetoric and perform to effectively fight the menace.”

The Minister said terrorism posed a new challenge to law enforcers and lawmakers alike, and new approaches, techniques, weapons, expertise and laws were required to fight it. “The lawmakers and enforcers need to change their mindset and will have to attune themselves to these new challenges posed by terror.”

Law panel for 10 years’ imprisonment for death caused by rash driving

More than 1,00,000 Indians are dying every year in road accidents. More than a million are injured or maimed.

Driving recklessly/dangerously, non-observance of traffic rules, driving without driving licence, driving by untrained/disqualified drivers/minors, driving under the influence of liquor, driving while talking on mobile phone, driving without helmet, ill-health of vehicles and bad road infrastructure are among the causes of accidents, accroding to the report.

For rash driving or riding on a public way in a manner as to endanger human life, the Commission suggested amending Section 279 IPC by introducing Section 279 A and providing for five years’ imprisonment, as against six months at present. Similar under Section 338 IPC for causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others, the Commission suggested five-year imprisonment as against two years at present and for reckless driving under Section 184 IPC, the Commission has recommended a punishment of five years.

“Install CCTV cameras”

The Commission asked the Centre to enact a comprehensive legislation on road traffic law to regulate all kinds of traffic. “As an important part of the enforcement measures, there should be compulsorily installed CCTV cameras at all vulnerable points, to be determined by an expert committee to curb traffic violations.”

Further all motor vehicles should be fitted with irremovable or tamperproof speed governors to regulate speed, the report said.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Handle communal elements firmly: DGP Praharaj tells cops

"It is the duty of the police to instil a sense of security and confidence among the people," he said. He cautioned the officers against possible "misuse" of communal riots by criminals and extremists. The alacrity and patience of the force are very important under such volatile conditions," he added.

Special administrator for Kandhamal district Madhusudan Padhi said, "The problem must be nipped in the bud. Unless the root cause of the tension is detected and removed, it may raise its ugly head once again."

NFCH secretary Lalit Kumar said, "The police come in direct contact with the people more often than most other government functionaries. Especially in places that are so volatile, their contact is even more frequent and close. In such a situation, interaction must come with vision, understanding, tact, compassion and empathy towards the people and their cause. This will not only raise the public esteem of the police, but also lead to a healthy police-public relationship. It will also secure the desired measures of public involvement and co-operation in promotion of communal harmony."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pakistani groups planning fresh attacks: Manmohan

The area of operation of these terrorists today extends far beyond the confines of Jammu and Kashmir and covers all parts of our country.

Dr. Singh told the Chief Ministers that in dealing with the terrorist challenge, “we need to be prepared for encountering more sophisticated technologies and enhanced capabilities.” He emphasised the need for guarding the sea frontier as vigilantly as the land border.

The infiltrators appeared “more battle-hardened, better equipped, and in possession of sophisticated communications.

Dwelling on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said there were signs of a revival of over-ground militant activities. Referring to incidents in Shopian, Sopore and Baramulla, he said such isolated incidents were sought to be linked to create an impression of a groundswell of anti-national feeling. “All this shows that efforts to disturb the current status quo have not been given up. Fortunately, the annual Amarnath Yatra passed off without incident.”

Expressing concern over the growing intensity of Left wing extremism, he admitted that the problem was indeed a complex one. “There is a need for a balanced and nuanced strategy to deal with it. On the one hand, the State should discharge its responsibilities and obligations and re-establish the rule of law in areas dominated by the naxalites. At the same time, we should work towards removing the causes which lead to alienation of people and problems like naxalism.”

Chidambaram calls for providing stable tenure to police officers

“How can an officer provide leadership if his or her tenure is precarious and uncertain? The Police Establishment Board will, in no way, diminish the authority of the Chief Minister or the Home Minister. On the contrary, it will greatly help them in conveying the message of fairness and non-discrimination.” The Chief Ministers could always intervene in exceptional situations.

Monday, August 17, 2009

States need to gear up on Police Reform

The home minister said the police reforms "have not received the attention they deserve" despite Supreme Court directions in that regard.

Languishing of under-trials in jails is regrettable

The judiciary and the executive must work together to eliminate the “scourge” of huge number of pending court cases.

“I can assure this august gathering with all the emphasis at my command that my government will not be found wanting at any level in this joint effort …We promise to match each step of the judiciary with two of our own. We will not hesitate to walk the extra mile at every opportunity.”

“Once the Act is fully implemented, we will have more than 5,000 courts at the intermediate Panchayat level. These will bring justice to the doorsteps of the common people, who currently feel that getting justice in India is not only time-consuming and costly, but sometimes also an intractable proposition.”

“Fast track courts should conduct their business differently and faster than normal courts. Only then shall we be able to tackle pendency in cases.”

Dr. Singh regretted that despite the pronouncements of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, a large number of under-trials were still languishing in jails, many of them for periods longer than they would have served had they been sentenced.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It is our ardent desire that not even a single citizen of India should ever go hungry.

Describing terrorism as a global threat, Manmohan Singh said there was no place in Indian democracy to those who resorted to violence to voice their disagreement. "The government will deal firmly with such people."

"It will be our endeavour to ensure that human rights are respected in the state and all its citizens are able to lead a life of peace and dignity in an environment of safety and security," he said.

Making promises to bring about sweeping changes in the lives of millions of Indians in the economic, educational and social sectors, Manmohan Singh said his Congress-led coalition had won "a mandate for starting a new era of cooperation and harmony in our national life".

Government should be sensitive to people's complaints and dissatisfaction but nothing is achieved by destroying public property and indulging in violence. The government will deal firmly with people who indulge in such acts.

Those who think that they can seize power by recourse to the gun do not understand the power of our democracy.

Bill to prevent communal violence has been introduced in parliament and efforts will be made to convert it into a law as soon as possible.

There have been two elections in Jammu and Kashmir in the past year - for the state assembly and the Lok Sabha - with the people participating vigorously. This is proof that there is no place for separatist thought in the state.

Right to Information Act to be improved to make it is more effective and enhance accountability and transparency.

Unique Identification Authority of India set up. First set of identity numbers expected to be available in the next one to one-and-a-half years.

"Some parts of our country continue to be affected by the Naxalite menace. It is the constitutional obligation of the government to protect the life and liberty of our citizens. Those who think that they can seize power by recourse to the gun do not understand the strength of our democracy," said the prime minister.
"The central government will redouble its efforts to deal with Naxalite activities. We will extend all help to the state governments to make their police forces more effective. Central forces will be provided wherever they are needed. We will also do more to ensure better coordination among states."

"To root out terrorist activities, our security forces and intelligence agencies are being constantly upgraded. I am sure that with cooperation from all sections of our society, we will be successful in eliminating terrorism from our country."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Commitment, dedication and honesty should be the hallmark of the work of administrators

An enlightened citizenry conscious of its civic duties and social responsibilities, maintaining discipline, following good habits particularly about hygiene and cleanliness, respectful towards nature's bounty and sensitive to environmental concerns is the greatest asset of a nation.

Peaceful co-existence is inherent in our culture.Terrorism, which targets innocent people, is the very anti-thesis of peaceful co-existence. It is condemnable because it is against the tenets of every religion and faith. It must be defeated in the interest of collective goal of human kind to build peaceful societies and a peaceful world.

Let us prove that we can be united as human beings and not divided. Let fight against violence and extremism be an important part of promoting peace and harmony," she said adding if the people were to be bound by feelings of hatred, mistrust and apathy, the country would never move forward.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lack of ID proof results in denial of benefit to poor

No religion sanctions violence. No religion preaches hatred. No religion endorses animosity towards another human being.

I believe that both the government and civil society groups must continuously watch and raise our voice against groups and individuals who use violence in the name of religion.

No religion sanctions violence. No religion preaches hatred. No religion endorses animosity towards another human being. Those who use religious symbols and forums to talk of violence, sectarianism and discord cannot be said to be true spokesperson of their respective religion.

We also know that all societies, including ours, have to contend with such preachers of disharmony and disagreement. That is why it is all the more important to recognize and applaud those like today's distinguished award winners.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Strong judicial process needed to defeat terrorists

Comparing the scenario with the US, he said, "While the FBI's data base is acceptable by the judiciary in the US, no such provision exists in India. No body trusts police investigation and therefore, strong judicial process is needed to defeat terrorists".

Friday, July 31, 2009

Self-help is the best help

This is the first time that Pakistan has ever formally briefed us on the results of an investigation into a terrorist attack in India. It has never happened before and I repeat this is the first time. It is also the first time that they have admitted that their nationals and a terrorist organisation based in Pakistan carried out a ghastly terrorist act in India.

The reality is that this is far more than the NDA Government was ever able to extract from Pakistan during its entire tenure despite all their tall talk. They were never able to get Pakistan to admit what they have admitted now. So the UPA government needs no lessons from the opposition on how to conduct foreign affairs or secure our nation against terrorist threats.

I say with strength and conviction that dialogue and engagement is the best way forward.

I told them that the operations of all terrorist groups that threaten India must end permanently. I urged them to make no distinctions between different terrorist organizations. I said that it was not enough to say that Pakistan is itself a victim of terrorism. They must show the same political will and take the same strong and sustained action against terrorist groups operating on their eastern border as they now seem to be taking against groups on their western border.

I told them that another attack of this kind will put an intolerable strain on our relationship and that they must take all possible measures to prevent a recurrence.

I believe that it is as much in Pakistan’s vital interest as it is in ours to make peace. Pakistan must defeat terrorism, before being consumed by it. I believe the current leadership there understands the need for action.

We know this, but in the past there have been hurdles in a consistent pursuit of this path. As a result, the enemies of peace have flourished. They want to make our alienation permanent, the distance between our two countries an unbridgeable divide. In the interests of our people, and in the interest of peace and prosperity of South Asia, we must not let this happen.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Indian Maoists threaten to kill PM Singh, Sonia Gandhi

They carry out hit-and-run attacks on police and extort money from businesses. In the mining state of Chhattisgarh, officials say they extort up to $60 million a year.

Earlier this month, Maoists ambushed and killed at least 29 police officers on patrol in the jungles, and counterinsurgency experts say police officers tackling the Maoists lack the proper training and equipment to be effective.

Maoists abduct police officer, two others in Lalgarh

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For many years the Naxal threat was "under-estimated"

"Today they (Naxalites) pose a grave challenge ... We are preparing to taken on the challenge. Details cannot be disclosed now," he said.

"Regrettably for many years we did not properly assess the threat posed by Left-wing extremism. We under-estimated the challenge and in the meanwhile they (Naxalites) extended their influence," he said.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rail tickets to be available at mobile vans, post offices

"Poor people who are unable to go to the stations can now purchase tickets in market places, mohallas and other busy places. In this year, we will introduce 50 such mobile vans," she said.

Under an MoU between Railways and Department of Posts, passengers can now buy computerised tickets from nearly 5,000 post offices in cities and towns.

Zero-tolerance policy towards ragging: Govt

Sibal said the stringent measures which could be enforced include rustication of a student, withholding of scholarship, derecognition of institution, debarring a student from appearing in any test and stopping of grant to the institution.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The next five years would be an era of judicial and legal reforms.

New Law Minister Veerappa Moily, meanwhile, gave notice: "The next five years would be an era of judicial and legal reforms." He spoke of measures to radically trim the huge pendency of cases - new civil and criminal courts to fast-track a notoriously sluggish process, to deliver "affordable and accessible justice to the last man in the queue". He promised a systematic attempt to fight the creeping evil of corruption in higher judiciary - making it mandatory for judges to disclose assets, taking a more serious look at an impeachment law that has never ever been used.

Also on the anvil were laws to strengthen witness protection, a less severe attitude to allowing in foreign law firms. In the midst of gay pride rallies in three big cities, he even made a bold promise to reevaluate a law that still criminalizes homosexuality in India.

On Thursday, in a historic judgment, the Delhi High Court went ahead and struck down section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalizing homosexuality. This judgment is particularly surprising, given the revisionist thinking that followed the groundbreaking nature of some of such controversial pronouncements.

After Islamic and Christian groups expressed loud reservations, the law minister had to famously renege on his own casually offered pledge to amend Article 377, the law authored during Lord Macaulay's time that makes "unnatural sex" a punishable offence. It was hardly, if ever, used punitively on consensual homosexual activity, but gay rights activists have long wanted the "criminal" tag to go.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time to revise our old and outdated legal codes and laws

"One of the major issues confronting the judiciary is the huge backlog of cases. Cases have taken inordinately long time to come to conclusion and litigants have not been able to lead normal life unsure of the verdict in their case,"

Stating that a solution has to be found to this issue, she said, "This could include revising many of our legal codes and laws which are old and outdated as well as strengthening institutional aspects of judiciary."

President further said, "cost of access to justice has become high and expensive whether it is in terms of court fees or lawyers' fees. This has given rise to worrisome doubt about access to justice especially for the weaker sections of society."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Terrorism will not be allowed to destroy polity: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said forces of extremism and terrorism will not be allowed to destablise India and declared that the country will work with the international community to ensure there is no safe haven or launching pads for terrorists.

"We will not allow forces of extremism and terrorism to destablise our polity and society. We have taken several measures to strengthen our national security and promote national cohesion.

"We will continue to work with the international community to see that there is no safe haven or launching pads for terrorists," he said inaugurating the two-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Chennai.

The Prime Minister's remarks assume significance against the backdrop of his statement on Tuesday that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the Mumbai terror attacks and given their sophistication and military precision, they must have had the support of some official agency of that

Singh also deprecated the forces which seek to divide the people on the basis of religion and such other ideas saying they betrayed the idea of India.

Singh said despite the difficult global economic situation, the fundamentals of the Indian economy were very strong and that it was expected to grow at 7 per cent in the current year.

He said India was actively working with other countries in the evolution of a new economic architecture which, he maintained, should be reflective of the changes that have place over the years.

The Prime Minister said India should have the right to get its due place in the evolving global economy.

"We need to ensure that any new architecture that emerges is suited to the new challenges and vulnerabilities facing the world economy and reflective of the changes that have taken place in the economic structure. Countries like India should be given their due place in the scheme of things," he said.

Singh announced that that doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers, architects and chartered accountants, possessing the overseas citizenship cards issued by India, would be allowed to practice in the country.

Praising the achievements of the people of Indian origin around the world, he said they knew the meaning of tolerance and the art of living together regardless of caste, creed, religion or language.

"Pluralism and willingness to live with each other despite our differences is a deeply embedded trait of our culture. That is why I have often said that those who pursue the politics of exclusion, of monotheism, who divided people between us and them, betray the very idea of India. Our civilization was built on reason, on the willingness to engage in dialogue," he said.

Chennai (PTI): Talking tough, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said forces of extremism and terrorism will not be allowed to destablise the economy and polity of India and promised to work with global community to ensure that there are no safe havens or launching pads for terrorists.

Observing that the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai were a grim reminder of the grave threat posed by extremism and terrorism, he said "there are some who would not like to see India succeed.

"But we have shown, over and over again, that we will not allow the forces of terrorism and extremism to destabilize our polity, our economy and our society," Singh said inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here.

The Prime Minister's observation comes close on heels of his stern warning to Pakistan against using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

"We have taken several measures to strengthen national security, to promote national cohesion and we will continue to work with the international community to ensure that there are no safe havens and launching pads for terrorists," Singh told the galaxy of people of Indian origin gathered here for the annual event.

The Prime Minister's remarks assume significance against the backdrop of his statement that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the Mumbai terror attacks and given their sophistication and military precision, they must have had the support of some official agencies of that country.

Singh also deprecated the forces which seek to divide the people on the basis of religion.

"Those who pursue the politics of exclusion, of monotheism, who divide people between 'us' and 'them', betray the very idea of India," he said "we have been consensual civilization".

Singh also voiced New Delhi's concern over the rise in tensions in West Asia in the wake of attack in Gaza by Israeli security forces resulting in the loss of lives of many innocent men, women and children.

India, he said, has strongly condemned these incidents and hoped that the international community would get together and help restore "peace in the region as soon as possible".

"I wish to reiterate our unstinted and unwavering support for the just Palestinian cause", Singh said.

Addressing over 1,500 delegates from across the world, the Prime Minister assured the PIOs that despite the global economic downturn, the fundamentals of Indian economy continued to remain strong and "we expect to achieve a growth rate of about seven per cent this year, which will be among the highest in the world".

He said much of India's growth was internally driven and he expected that a strong pace of growth could be maintained in the coming years.

India was actively involved in the meetings of the G-20 countries which were deliberating on the creation of a new global financial structure, Singh said.

"We need to ensure that any new architecture that emerges is suited to the new challenges and vulnerabilities facing the world economy and simultaneously it must be reflective of the changes that have taken place in the economic structure over the years," he said.

Singh emphasised that countries like India have a right to be given their due place in the evolving scheme of things.

The overseas Indian community, particularly in the US, came in for special praise by the Prime Minister who said they played a key role in mobilising Congressional support for lifting restrictions to end India's nuclear isolation of last 34 years.

"But much more importantly, this is a sign of the growing role that Indian origin communities are now playing in public policies and opinion making across the world," he said.

We'll work with other countries to fight terror: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that India is working closely with the international community to ensure that no country is used as a safe haven or launching pad for terrorists.

He gave the statement during the inauguration ceremony of the seventh edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Chennai.

Islamabad's admission that 26/11 terrorist Qasab is a Pakistani and the dismissal of the country's National Security Advisor found no mention in the Prime Minister's address at the summit of Indian diaspora in Chennai.

The Prime Minister, also spoke about the protection of Indian workers abroad.

"We have put in place several measures for protection of our workers overseas. We have launched an e-governance project on migration," he said.

He referred to the contribution of five million Indian workers in Gulf.

The event was held at Chennai's Nandambakkam Convention Centre, which has been brought under a tight security blanket since last week following an e-mail terror threat sent to CII purportedly by Indian Mujahideen.

The divas assumes significance as it is the first major international event to be held in the country after the November 26 terrorists strike in Mumbai.

It is for the first time that Chennai will host the Divas which was shifted from Delhi to the city considering its 'safe atmosphere' and also due to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's keen interest on conducting the event as it will encourage more economic development.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Naxalite groups posing challenges of a 'different' nature: PM

New Delhi (PTI): The issue of Left wing terrorism again cropped up in the speech of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who on Tuesday said the Naxalite groups were posing challenges of a "different" nature because of change in their ethos.

"Left wing extremism has been in vogue for four decades now, but the danger is that over time the nature of the movement has sustantially altered. From an ideologically driven movement it has been transformed into one in which military ethos has become predominant," Singh said while addressing a day-long conference of Chief Ministers here.

Expressing concern about the exapanding appeal of the movement, PM said that movement still retained modicum of ideological appeal.

"It is able to garner support from among members of civil society and civil liberties organisations. It still attracts sections of youths," he said.

Mentioning about CPI-Maoist, one of the left wing extremist groups, PM said that the group did not seem to have any dearth of new recruits to the movement.

"The CPI-Maoist is perhaps the only militant organisation in the country which has its own guerrilla army, though as yet, this is of modest proportions. It is perhaps the only militant body today which has a rigid organisational structure. They also have some rudimentary capabilities to manufacture arms. They show increasing sophistication in the way they carry out attacks," he said.

"As the movement spreads, and becomes more energised, we must ponder deeply how to effectivly deal with it," Singh said.

"Choosing the right methods and adopting a proper strategy is hence important so that the action we take does not give a greater filip to the morvement," he added.

Pakistan official agencies behind Mumbai attack: PM

NEW DELHI: A conference of chief ministers is underway in the capital to discuss internal security, which is being chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where issues like terrorism, strengthening of intelligence network, security of coastline and key establishments, including atomic sites, will be discussed.

At the meet, the Prime Minister speaking in tough terms, referred to Pakistan and said the country was whipping up war-like hysteria. “Today even as Pakistan engages in whipping up war hysteria, our nation remains steadfastly united and if anything the process of national consolidation is becoming stronger," Singh told a security conference in New Delhi.

The PM said the November 26 Mumbai attacks were clearly carried out by the Pakistan-based outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. He added the Mumbai attack must have had support from some official agencies in Pakistan. Given the sophistication and military precision of Mumbai attacks, some Pakistani official agencies must have supported them, said the PM. Pakistan is a safe haven for terrorists and a sanctuary for terrorist forces, the PM added. He said infiltration into India is occurring via Nepal and the LoC. Manmohan Singh said foreigners had been targeted in the Mumbai attacks to convey instability in India.

The meeting is likely to formulate a comprehensive approach to deal with the menace of terrorism. The issue of strengthening intelligence collection and sharing mechanism (Subsidiaries of Multi Agency Centre), modernisation of police forces, setting up of commando units in all states/Union territories police forces and discussion on the modalities of the working of the newly-formed National Investigation Agency are also on the agenda of the meeting.

Other issues includes immediate filling up of police vacancies, setting up of the Police Network (POLNET) connecting all police stations through a computer-based system for sharing of information and videos of crime scenes and swift action on police reforms.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Will go to any extent to root out terror: PM

Shillong, Jan 3 (PTI) Asserting that government will never compromise with those using gun, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the government will go to any extent to root out terrorism from the country but was open to hold dialogue with those lying down arms.
"The growing menace of terrorism and naxalism is a cause of worry. The government will not compromise with terrorism," Singh told reporters here.

"There were some initial setbacks, but we will overcome them. The government will go to any extent to root out terrorism from the country," Singh said referring to the terrorist strikes in Mumbai, Delhi and Assam.

Asked whether the Centre was open to talks with the banned ULFA, Singh said, "all insurgent groups must recognise that their only course open to them is to lay down arms. We will never compromise with those who believe in use of gun to get solution to their real or imaginary problems." He said insurgents and terrorists must recognise that gun is no solution to get their demands met.

"Once they lay down arms as Indian citizens we are willing to talk to anybody," he said. PTI