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Countering Terror
Centre, states urged to enact effective laws
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 22
The 73rd Conference of the Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies in the country today urged the union and state governments to take steps to enact appropriate laws and to “effectively coordinate their efforts and efficiently utilise their resources” to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.

The appeal was made in a resolution adopted unanimously on the concluding day of the conference. Condemning acts of terrorism, it called for a strong and united action by the union and state governments to eliminate it.

The delegates, who participated in discussion on “Terrorism: A Threat to National Unity - Role of Legislatures”, expressed serious concern at the easy availability of sophisticated weapons and material to the terrorists. They were of the view that the nation’s development should be inclusive so that all had a stake in preserving and promoting democracy. They also wanted stringent laws to deal with terrorism.

Deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha K. Rahman Khan said terrorism, by its very nature, was undemocratic and was the antithesis of dialogue. To combat this menace, the role of the legislature was of paramount importance. However, Khan was confident that the foundation of our democracy was too strong to be shaken by such dastardly acts.

Deputy speaker, Lok Sabha, Charnjit Singh Atwal observed that terrorism had proved to be a serious threat to national security, human security and individual freedom without which democracy could not survive. As the representatives of the people, the legislatures must work for a consensus on this vital issue.

Participants in discussion on “The Need to Strengthen Public Faith in Democratic Institutions” were concerned that the people were becoming skeptical about the utility of having institutions that did not perform or not allowed to discharge their responsibilities. The manner of functioning of the people, who had been entrusted to work our democratic institutions, had led to a crisis of public faith in the efficacy of such institutions.

Delegates also wanted the media to highlight the good work done by the members and not give undue publicity to the unruly behaviour and misconduct of the members.

The conference had adopted a resolution yesterday urging all political parties and other stakeholders in democracy to take immediate steps, including the formulation of a code of conduct based on a wide consensus, to ensure that the legislators adhered to prescribed norms of conduct in the House.

In his concluding remarks, Speaker, Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterjee said the topicality and relevance of the themes discussed by the conference could hardly be over emphasised. He thanked Haryana Speaker Raghuvir Singh Kadian, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and secretary, Haryana Assembly, Sumit Kumar for making the conference a grand success.

Tomorrow, Hooda will inaugurate a symposium on “Anti-Defection Law - Need for Review” at the Haryana Vidhan Sabha. Besides the presiding officers, MPs from Haryana and state MLAs will also participate in the symposium.



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