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Left-wing extremists to be dealt with law and order: Menon

Last Updated: Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 14:24

Singapore: India on Saturday dismissed concerns about threats to its nuclear assets by Left-wing extremists and said that it is an internal issue of the country which will be dealt with law and order.

"I can assure you that you don`t need to worry about the Left-wing extremism affecting our nuclear assets and I speak with some knowledge of this issue," National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon said in response to a question after addressing an international security forum here.

It is an internal issue without external links, he said. "We will combat it through law and order."

The Maoist-affected areas would also be developed for economic growth and any cause of dissatisfaction there would be removed, Menon said.

On Afghanistan, he told the IISS Asian Security Summit that India would continue to help it become a peaceful society and develop its economy.

"We will continue to do what we have been doing so far, which by our standard is a relatively large programme of assistance," he said.

India would certainly encourage Afghanistan`s transition into a much better place, Menon said, adding the country would do what Kabul wanted it to do for them.

On the issue of UN reform, Menon said the existing organs of power in the international system should be rebuilt to reflect today`s realities.

"For international peace and security this would
require restructuring and expanding of the UN Security
Council," he said.

"And, most important, we need to build the habits and
experience of cooperation that will enable us to deal with
the unpredictable challenges that will certainly confront us,"
said Menon, assuring that Indian would participate in such

After the summit`s second plenary session, Menon, in
response to a question whether India was going to replace ISAF
or International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan,
said: "I don`t think that is our function."

On regional security concerns, he said the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has the mandate.
"But apart from SAARC, we need to think ourselves some of the
more creative approaches within the sub-continent."

To another question on energy security, Menon said it was
a crucial economic concern for India and other countries and
called for a broader regional approach on the issue.

"We need to avoid the tragedy of the commons where each
of us are chasing our individual interest and depleting this
resource to the point where it works against all our

He also said that India would support any effort for
peaceful nuclear energy use by Iran, which is a right of

Taking note of the Brazilian and Turkish initiatives
about resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, Menon said India
would support such efforts.


First Published: Saturday, June 5, 2010 - 14:24
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