Mumbai: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday described naxalism as the greatest security threat to India. Speaking on the last day of campaigning in Maharashtra Assembly Elections, Dr Singh insisted on the need to analyse causes that breeds naxalism.
Naxal problem arises due to lack of pace in development, the PM said, adding that there is certainly a need to look at the causes of alienation, particularly those of tribals.
No group of individuals can take law in their hands, the PM asserted, adding that the government is not in favour of using Armed Forces against Naxalites. However, he said that there was no credible information regarding Naxalites having any terror links.
There is no proposal for declaring Naxalites as terrorists, the PM declared, adding they are banned and covered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
He further expressed government’s readiness to talk with Naxalites and terrorists in
Jammu and Kashmir if they abjure violence.
‘Effective measures` against Maoists
The Indian government is determined to take "effective measures" against Maoist guerrillas, Dr Singh announced.
Asked about the beheading of a police officer by the rebels in Jharkhand, Manmohan Singh said the "evil designs" of the Maoists were well known. "The government is aware of their evil designs. We will take effective measures to counter them."
He added that there was no credible information that the Maoists were linked to external forces. "There are always rumours afloat. But there is no credible intelligence pointing in that direction."
‘Pak involved in 26/11/ attacks’
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanded that Pakistan should try and punish those who masterminded the Mumbai terror attack last year.
Talking to reporters, the PM said that diplomatic pressure from India and the international community had forced Pakistan to admit for the first time that its nationals were involved in the terror assault that killed some 170 people.
"They should investigate all those who are involved (in that attack) including Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. There should be a fair trial which will result in proper punishment being given to them. We have not lost hope."
The Prime Minister said: "For the first time Pakistan admitted that it (attack) had its origins in Pakistan, the conspiracy leading to the tragedy in Mumbai was hatched in Pakistan, that citizens of Pakistan were involved. Pakistan had never before agreed to this... So there is some progress."
The people and government of Pakistan should realise the great harm terrorist groups have done to South Asia, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan a matter of concern, he added.
‘India not exporting terror to Pak’
India is not responsible for terrorist activities in Pakistan`s Balochistan province, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared.
He said Pakistani allegations to this effect were "totally wrong".
"We are not in the business of exporting terrorism to Pakistan or any other country," he said. "The people and government of Pakistan jolly well know that this is a false accusation."
On economic crisis
Talking on economic crisis, the PM said that worst of price rise is over.
Dr Singh added that there was no proposal for a fresh farm loan waiver,.
Talking to reporters, Dr Singh said that he has not taken a view on CEO’s salaries.
It is not proper for me to comment on CBI petition for closure of case against Ottavio Quattrocchi as matter is subjudice, but we acted on legal advice from Attorney General, Solicitor General endorsed by Law Minister, the PM said.
(With IANS inputs)