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Clear clogs to combat separatists: Jaswant Singh

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 17:34

New Delhi: Indirectly blaming the centre for lapses in internal security, former defence minister Jaswant Singh on Tuesday said security problems would continue to remain till deficiencies in the government were sorted out.

Speaking at a discussion attended by internal security experts, Singh said: "There are deficiencies in governance. Till the time it is improved, the problems will not be sorted out. Till the time political class thinks only of next elections, matters will not improve."

The experts called for a clear roadmap for dealing with Maoists and separatists in Kashmir. The discussion, "Threats to India`s national identity and security", was organised by the Shyama Prasad Mookherjee Research Foundation.
Singh, BJP MP from Darjeeling, said the country was facing economic and social problems and security challenges.

He said the word "Hindustan" does not find mention in the preamble of the constitution though the salutation of the defence forces was "Jai Hind".

"(The foundation of) the Indian nation has always been cultural. We have not been concerned about boundaries," he said.

Singh said India has unsettled boundaries with Pakistan and China, which was "not good". He added that the country`s relations with Sri Lanka had also deteriorated.

Former Intelligence Bureau chief Ajit Doval said 296 districts in the country were facing problems linked to Maoist violence, separatism or had seen activities linked to terrorism.

"The forces that want to weaken the country appear to have grown stronger. Indian patriotism has lost its instrumentalities," he said.
Doval said it was important to define who is to be protected, against whom and then decide on means to achieve the goal.

"You can`t defeat an enemy you can`t define," he said.

Doval said that in Kashmir, India had not been successful in defeating "Pakistan`s attempts to make religious identity (of people) bigger than the Indian identity".

"We (have) strengthened the forces which harp on separate identities," he said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir governor Lt Gen (retd) S.K. Sinha said India faces major threats from Pakistan, China and Maoists.

He said India did not have a policy concerning Kashmir for the past six decades and there was no roadmap to solve the problem.

Sinha said Pakistan`s sense of martial superiority over India got shattered after the 1971 war and its former president Zia-ul-Haq started a policy of "bleeding through a thousand cuts".

He said though Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made friendly noises, these cannot be taken at face value.

Sinha said though China was far ahead of India militarily, the country had the strength to deter any military misadventure.

He said there were about "20,000 fully armed Naxals" but there was no unified command to deal with them. He said states were fighting their own battles against the Maoists and a strategy should be made to squeeze them out.

The discussion was organised to mark the 60th death anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, the founder of the erstwhile Jana Sangh. Mookherjee had opposed the Indian National Congress`s decision to grant Kashmir a special status with its own flag and its own prime minister.


First Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 17:34
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