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Nitish asked: What is India's current counter terrorism policy and is there any need to change it?

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  • Vivek Chadha replies: The broad contours of India’s counter terrorism policy have not changed over the years. These contours have evolved and matured through experience and very much in keeping with country’s unique socio-political conditions. The changes, however subtle, have only ensured that the policy remains localised in its approach in order to effectively address the specific conditions of a particular area.

    There are certain major pillars on which the Indian counter terrorism policy rests:

    First, India recognises that insurgency and terrorism are political issues and therefore, in the long term these must be resolved through a political solution. Military force is an instrumentality to bring control and stability in an area, in a bid to facilitate the political process.

    Second, there has to be a distinction between local violent uprisings as a result of dissatisfaction amongst a section of population and the employment of terrorism by a country like Pakistan. In case of Pakistan, terrorism is employed as an instrument of state policy.

    Third, the Indian state believes in the employment of minimum force while conducting counter terrorism. It is for this reason that heavy calibre weapons like artillery and attack helicopters are not employed by the Indian armed forces.

    While there are other factors, some of the major ones have been described above to reinforce that India does have a time tested policy. While minor adjustments and recalibrations are bound to take place, the guidelines tend to remain the same.

    Editor’s Note: Please also refer to the following publications on/related to the subject available on IDSA website:

    Posted on October 05, 2018