Govt vigilant on country’s security: PM

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh stressed on the need to be more vigilant and not allowing the separatists forces to take advantage of the situation.

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2011, 14:13 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Terming Naxalism and the insurgency in the border regions as the biggest challenges to country’s internal security, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Thursday stressed on the need to be more vigilant and not allowing the separatists forces to take advantage of the situation.

“Today the internal security of the country is faced with many challenges including cross-border terrorism, Naxalism and insurgency in the north eastern states of the country. I don’t say that we have succeeded in completely eliminating them but due to the consistent efforts of the government, especially, the Home Ministry, I must say that we have been able to contain them to some extent,” the Prime Minister told the Lok Sabha.

Naxalism needs to be dealt with care and sensibility

Referring to the Naxal problem, the Prime Minister said that there was an urgent need to deal with the issue ‘with utmost care and sensibility’.

“With regard to the Naxal problem, we have to deal with this issue with extra care and sensitivity since we have to deal with our own people who have waged a war against the Indian state. We have to develop a two-pronged strategy to bring them back to the mainstream and ensure the rapid and equitable development in the tribal regions. That’s why my government has developed an integrated welfare programme to create more employment opportunities for the tribal youths and to ensure that they are not misguided and drawn into violence and other such activities,” he said.

North East: Dialogue will be fruitful

Shifting his focus to the problem of insurgency and the unrest witnessed in the country’s border areas, he added, “The situation in Manipur and in adjoining states have been tense (apparently referring to the economic blockade in Manipur) but are now under control. I welcome the decision taken by the ULFA central leadership to shun violence and initiate a dialogue with the central government for the speedier resolution of all vexed issue. I am confident that the outcome of this dialogue process will be fruitful.”

Will strengthen hands of J&K govt

On the recent disturbances in Jammu & Kashmir, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the state has been through turmoil but normalcy has been restored with the support of all the stake holders there.

“J&K passed through difficult times last summer, we are keeping fingers crossed this summer. We will be vigilant to ensure similar events do not recur, “Dr Singh told the august House.

Launching a scathing attack on the separatist forces active in the state, the Prime Minister stated, “Government will give no quarters to secessionists and it will do everything possible to strengthen hands of the J&K government.”

He also pledged to create conducive environment and more employment opportunities for the Kashmiri youths so that they are not misguided by the militant organisations trying to foment trouble and unrest in the country.

Let’s shun differences: PM to Pak

With regards to the strained Indo-Pakistan ties in the wake of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, Dr Singh expressed hope that the two neighbouring countries will make the maximum optimum use of the opportunities available to them to shun differences on crucial issues and work towards the normalisation of ties.

“I want to reassure this august House that we are willing to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan. We sincerely hope that the government in Pakistan will grasp our hand of friendship and respond to us in a positive manner,” he said.

Firing on Indian fishermen not acceptable

Dr Singh also expressed concerns over the problems faced by the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and merciless killing of the Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan police.

“We have asked the Sri Lankan government to address the problems being faced by the minority Tamil faction living there. I have been assured that the Tamils living there will be provided a respectable place in the Sri Lankan society.”

He continued by saying, “Regarding the Indian fishermen issue, we have asked the Sri Lankan government must arrest Indian fishermen straying into their territory, but must not fire at them. This is not acceptable.”