Governor Jammu and Kashmir N N Vohra has said except in Jammu and Kashmir, where India is “fighting Pakistan’s proxy war,” the recurring deployments of the Army “elsewhere in the country, for dealing with local insurgencies and internal disturbances in the States, has the rather worrying potential of blunting the Army’s edge.”
“…besides, generating internal problems regarding the operational efficiencies of its officers and men who are recruited, trained and equipped to fight and destroy the enemy at first sight and not to be involved in situations in which the rules of engagement demand considerable restraint,” he said delivering 12th R N Kao memorial lecture at the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) headquarters in New Delhi.
Calling for a new approach in managing challenges to “national security,” Vohra suggested a three-pronged strategy — a National Security Policy, creation of a National Security Administrative Service and a Ministry of National Security Affairs, according to The Tribune newspaper
On the Centre-state equation, he said it is not easy to explain the Government of India’s approach, particularly in the context of the constitutional prescription that “it shall be the Union’s duty to protect the states against internal disturbances”.
Over the years, he said, tendency of the Centre was to avoid any confrontation with states, while rarely questioning the states about the root causes of disturbances even after extending assistance in the form of forces to restore normalcy.
Referring to the question on Centre’s constitutional responsibility after warning to the state in the Babri Masjid demolition case or concerns on actual capability of the Centre to deal with events like the Mumbai terror attack, he said it leads to imperative of having a well-considered National Security Policy (NSP), that is “founded in unambiguous Union-states understandings to work together for collectively safeguarding the country’s unity and territorial integrity”.
The draft NSP, he said, could be discussed at the Inter-State Council chaired by the Prime Minister and once states accept their responsibility to maintain internal security, there would be no reason why they should not become progressively capable of effectively dealing on their own with any arising internal disturbance.
He also touched upon the need for comprehensive laws with pan-India jurisdictions to deal with terrorism, cyber crimes and economic offences and to tackle growing criminality by organised crime, drug trafficking and mafia groups many of which have close connections with terrorist organisations, both in the light of experience of the National Investigation Agency and the proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre.