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  • Sarabjit Singh asked: Can NCTC control terrorism in India?

    Reply: Refer to following IDSA publications:

    V. Mahalingam, “Countering Terrorism: The Way Forward”, IDSA Web Comment, March 3, 2013.

    Ellie B. Hearne, “Re-examining India's Counterterrorism Approach: Adopting a Long View”, Strategic Analysis, 36 (4), July 2012.

    Gurmeet Kanwal, “India’s Counter Terrorism Policies are Mired in Systemic Weaknesses”, IDSA Web Comment, May 14, 2012.

    The Need for a Strategic Response to Insurgency and Terrorism”, Issue Brief, Internal Security Cluster, November 26, 2010.

    Arvind Gupta, “Learning from the American Experience in Counter Terrorism”, IDSA Web Comment, January 30, 2009.

    Pushpita Das, “National Investigation Agency: A Good Start but not a Panacea”, IDSA Web Comment, January 12, 2009.

    Also, refer to an earlier response of Vivek Chadha on a similar issue, at

    Countering Terrorism: The Way Forward

    A National Counter Terrorism Head needs to be established with the single point authority for all CT activity and with authorization to muster all resources within the country. The authority vested in him will be matched by his accountability to every terrorist strike.

    March 03, 2013

    Countering Urban Terrorism in India

    The key to success in fighting urban terrorism lies in obtaining accurate intelligence about impending attacks and the neutralisation of the terrorists before they can launch their planned attacks.

    February 22, 2013

    Armed Forces Special Powers Act: The Debate

    Armed Forces Special Powers Act: The Debate

    The debate over the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), has been raging within affected states, armed forces, central and state police organisations, human rights groups, legal fraternity and the central leadership. There have been different views and opinions voiced based on strongly held beliefs. This monograph attempts to present some of these diverse views, with the aim of capturing the ongoing debate.


    Return from the Precipice: Bangladesh’s Fight Against Terrorism

    Return from the Precipice: Bangladesh’s Fight Against Terrorism
    • Publisher: Pentagon Security International

    The image of Bangladesh of being a ‘moderate Muslim country’ was tarnished at the turn of the 20th century. The country known for its Sufi Islam was witnessing a spurt of Islamic radicalism. While delineating the threat posed by Islamic radicalism to Bangladeshi politics and by Indian insurgent groups to Northeast India, the book also focuses on their sources of finance. This book marks an advance over other works on the same topic as it discusses the actions taken by the Sheikh Hasina led Awami League government to counter terrorism.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-697-8,
    • Price: ₹. 595/-
    • E-copy available

    Major Lessons from Operation Pawan for Future Regional Stability Operations

    The Indian intervention in Sri Lanka throws up five major lessons for future regional stability operations. Firstly, it is imperative to define the mission unambiguously and establish a clear mandate. Secondly, there is need for a robust military contingency planning process as well as discussions at various levels within the system to refine plans and provide an adequate force to meet possible eventualities. Thirdly, clear command and control needs to be established at the outset and the appropriate field formation must be designated as the headquarters.

    July 2012

    Re-examining India's Counterterrorism Approach: Adopting a Long View

    This article looks at the status quo of Indian counterterrorism policy—which largely favours ‘physical’ or ‘hard’ measures—and proposes that the government adopt a more holistic strategy. Termed ‘Countering Violent Extremism’, this would involve measures geared towards long-term prevention, with greater attention paid to the reasons for which people commit terrorism and to the impact of counterterrorism on communities.

    July 2012

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

    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.

    India’s Counter Terrorism Policies are Mired in Systemic Weaknesses

    India’s intelligence co-ordination and assessment apparatus at the national level and counter-terrorism policies remain mired in the days of innocence.

    May 14, 2012

    India’s Internal Security: The Year That Was, The Year That May Be

    India’s internal security situation in 2011 was relatively better than in previous years. To ensure that 2012 also turns out to be a quiet and secure year, New Delhi not only has to consolidate the gains made in 2011 but also undertake new initiatives to address these gaps.

    December 13, 2011