Left-wing extremists to be dealt with law and order: Menon
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Last Updated: Saturday, June 05, 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 processes.

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 interests."

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

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 05, 2010, 14:24

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