Union Minister Gen (retd) VK Singh today proposed a multi-pronged approach to combat terrorism, including deradicalisation of people and using lessons from previous attacks to devise a more robust response system.
He also asserted that for India there was no categorisation of a “good” or “bad” terrorist, but just terrorists, in a veiled reference to Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani who was killed by security forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir in July last year.
“Israel has learnt from its experiences of terror attacks to come up with a robust response system.
“We in India too have had our experience, including the infamous Mumbai attack (26/11), and it is said that it serves as a lot of inspiration for various terror groups to replicate it anywhere else around the world. So, we need to be vigilant,” he said.
Singh was addressing a gathering at an ongoing three-day counter-terrorism conference here, which ends tomorrow.
“We can draw lessons from response mechanism of countries not just in the Middle East but also other ones, who have had such situations and dealt with it,” he said.
Citing example of terror group Islamic State, the Union Minister also flagged that “well-to-do and well-qualified people were also falling into the ideological trap of these terror groups”.
“These ideologies have crept not just into the Middle East but also many countries all over the world. Therefore we need a great deal of efforts to deradicalise people to stop them from getting to terrorists or aiding them,” he said.
Singh also said India has proposed a counter-terrorism framework in the UN which “some counties have supported it, few others have differed on”.
“We hope that we can reach a common understanding so that we can combat this threat which affects all of us,” he said.
The former Army chief also said, “So far as India’s stand is concerned, we have been very clear.”
“There are no good or bad terrorists but only terrorists.
And that is why we say, terrorists have no caste, religion or colour. They just have one philosophy, to cause damage, create panic, how to get publicity for themselves and attain what their ideology says,” he said.
The minister also urged people to become the “extended arms” of the response system by staying vigilant round-the-clock and round-the-year.
He also underscored the challenges posed by terror networks which operate without the slightest compunction, irrespective of the countries they are based in.
“We also need a robust and multi-layered intelligence system and extreme Vigilance on part of our response systems to nip any plans of attack in the bud ideally, or tackle any attack promptly,” he said.
“We need to devise our own response otherwise we will be just moving from one incident to another,” the Minister added.
(With inputs from PTI)