India remains vulnerable to terror attack: Chidambaram


Union Home Minister P Chidambaram

Without naming Pakistan, Chidambaram said even while there has not been any terrorist attack in the last one year, the country cannot lower its guard because "our adversary has not changed its attitude..."

Replying to a debate on the internal security, he said the epicentre of the cross border terrorism is the junction point of Afghanistan and Pakistan and since India is in the region, "we are vulnerable".

Referring to insurgency in the North East, the Home Minister said ULFA is likely to make a political statement in the next few days and the government is ready to talk to them.

"ULFA is in disarray today. In next few days, the ULFA leadership will make a political statement. Our government is prepared to talk to ULFA provided they abjure violence and there is no demand for sovereignty," he said.

Chidambaram, who deals with terrorism "24 hours a day", said the government policy would be zero tolerance towards the Jihadi or Hindu militants.

As for cross-border threat, he said, "Our security forces have the capacity to prevent any terror attack. God forbid, should there be any terrorist attack, our response will be swift and decisive."

He said over a dozen attempts have been foiled. "While terrorist and insurgents choose the time to attack and they have to be lucky just once to succeed, we have to be Lucky every time to foil these things".

The Home Minister said like the US has been Lucky not to face any more terrorist attack after 9/11 in 2001, India too has been fortunate not to see it in the last 12 months. "Luck plays a great role...In the last 12 months I have been reasonably lucky."

He said the central government has a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism "be it Jihadi or Hindu militancy ...both are terrorism".

After BJP objected to his statement of "Hindu militancy", Chidambaram said whether it is Islamic terrorist or Hindu militancy, there has to be zero tolerance.

On situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Chidambaram said the Centre is willing to take "what appears to be a risky step" of withdrawing security forces and hand over law and order to the state police.

"I would take what appears to be a risky step of withdrawing a significant number of battalions of security forces in J and K. We are now transferring more and more law and order (duties) to J and K police," he said.

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