L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Need for better intelligence, coordination

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rightly stressed the need for better intelligence and coordination to combat terror. As a former Chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee and Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, I feel that the Home Secretary and Cabinet Secretary, controlling the bulk of the organisations, usually lack adequate know-how to understand the complex functioning of the intelligence and security issues to exercise any meaningful control on them. Consequently, they fall back on their generalist knowledge. Also, they are too busy to spare time for ensuring meaningful inter-agency coordination.

The Central intelligence and security agencies too are not free from problems of their own. There are ego hassles and turf wars. There is reluctance to share intelligence with each other or the end-user before they have shared it with the powers-that-be, the Prime Minister, the Home Minister or the Defence Minister. And when they come to brasstacks, it is too late.

The apex central agency responsible for coordination and dissemination of intelligence, the Joint Intelligence Agency, is generally given a short shrift by the feeder organisations. The establishment of the National Security Council has not helped resolve the problem. The National Security Adviser ought to explain why things are not going the way as desired. There is need for pulling bootstraps at all levels.

R.J. KHURANA, (Former Secretary to Govt. of India), Bhopal


I read the editorial, “Invisible enemy: Involve people in fighting terrorism” (Sept 19). The core question is: Why are the terrorists becoming so bold as to give advance information? The simple answer is that they bank on the pusillanimous response of the “secularists” to terror attacks.

The issue really is not about whether we need a new law or a tough legal mechanism to fight terrorism. The issue is whether the government of
the day has the political will and determination to take on those who kill and maim in the name of Islam. 
We can have a plethora of tough laws. But if there is no intention to enforce them in letter and spirit, they are not worth the paper they are written on.

J.S. ACHARYA, Hyderabad


The editorial, “Needed a tough law: But it is not a substitute for effective policing” (Sept 18) rightly pointed out that a tough law alone is insufficient. For, laws alone are no substitutes for effective policing, which is the need of the hour.

Whatever the face of the new law would be, it must have one strong provision: that no terrorist would be allowed to escape alive if he dares take innocent people hostage. Letting them escape in the name of saving VIPs or women and children, makes them bolder and bolder.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Time to cut oil prices

As and when the international oil prices go up, there is a fluctuation in the Indian market. The government, too, decides to raise the petrol and diesel prices. This, in turn, leads to skyrocketing of prices of all essential commodities. Freight and transport fare also go up.

In June last, when the prices were raised, there has been a cascading effect. The budget of middle class families was affected most. At that time, the price of crude in the international market was about $130 a barrel; it rose to $147 in July. Since then, there has been a downward trend.

As the international oil prices have come down, the government and the oil companies are happy. Since the position has become comfortable, the government should slash the prices of petrol to provide relief to the common people.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Paswan right

Union Steel Minister and Lok Janashakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan has rightly painted SIMI, Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS with the same brush. Indeed, they are working against national integrity. He has rightly commented, “If SIMI can be banned for the terrorist activities, why not Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which are also threatening the national integrity? There should be uniform laws to deal with all the organisations, working against the country’s integrity and security”.

His suggestion for the constitution of a national commission to monitor these organisations and recommend banning them is worthy of consideration.

The Supreme Court is already seized of the issue of extending the ban on SIMI. There should be equal treatment under the law for the Bajrang Dal, the VHP and the RSS too in the wake of the attack on Christians in Karnataka, Orissa and Uttarakhand.

R.C. PURI, Surrey, BC (Canada)



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