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D.Aravind asked How has India's counter-terrorism strategy changed post 26/11?

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  • Vivek Chadha replies: India has been fighting terrorism in all its manifestations for a number of decades. However, over a period of time, the focus has shifted from home grown insurgents to terrorists sponsored, abetted and financed by Pakistan. This shift in the source of terror is also reflected in the country's strategy. From a stage wherein, insurgent leaders joined the mainstream and became Chief Ministers of States like Mizoram, to the LeT, the nature of threat has completely transformed. While this reality was evident before 26/11, however, it became all the more apparent thereafter, and forced policy makers to take more resolute and stringent steps to counter the threat.

    Amongst the specific steps, at the legal level, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) was strengthened, reinforced and equipped to handle terrorism in all its manifestations. The limitation of inadequate security forces were addressed by opening NSG hubs at places other than Manesar in order to ensure faster and more effective reaction to crisis situations. Intelligence gathering, sharing and dissemination became a priority and the NATGRID was established, which is in the process of formalization. A Multi Agency Centre was established which is likely to evolve into the NCTC, thereby honing the inter-agency capability to fight terrorism. At the diplomatic level as well, India has pushed for international recognition of terrorism in all its forms and a number of UN Resolutions have been passed to provide a cohesive effort against terrorism. Yet another initiative has been the targeting of terrorism finance, which has received an impetus with both the UAPA and Anti Money Laundering legislations becoming more effective. A long-term step has also been to address the alienation of certain sections of the population through better integration, concessions, and targeting of hardline propaganda machinery, both from within and outside the country.