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There are vast gaps in our Intelligence: PM
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September 17, 2008 17:11 IST
Last Updated: September 17, 2008 18:29 IST

Under attack for the way internal security has been handled, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Wednesday said his government was not soft on fighting terrorism and indicated that it was open to the idea of bringing a tougher law to deal with it.

Coverage: Delhi Serial Blasts

"There is no question of the government being soft on terrorism," Dr Singh said at the concluding day of the two-day Governor's Conference being held at Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images].

The prime minister regretted that the public debate on terrorism has tended to be driven by politics and centre on certain laws enacted or repealed by different governments.

SIMI's 'success' is a result of our secular polity

"Our government has no fixed, inflexible or ideological view in this regard," he said, adding, government was 'actively considering' legislation to further strengthen the anti-terrorism law in line with the global consensus on the fight against terrorism.

Dr Singh did not make any reference to anti-terror law POTA repealed by the UPA government. BJP has been strongly pitching for enactment of POTA-type tough law to act as a deterrent.

Existing anti-terror laws inadequate: Govt panel

Within the government and ruling Congress, there have been mixed voices -- one section favouring a tougher law while others feeling that existing laws are strong enough to combat the menace.

Singh admitted that the recent bomb blasts in Jaipur [Images], Ahmedabad [Images], Bangalore and Delhi [Images] indicated that 'there are still vast gaps in intelligence. These need to be overcome.'

Ruling out establishment of a central agency to coordinate counter-terrorism strategy, he said instead there was need for better coordination among the existing agencies.

Read the full text of PM's speech here....

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