In an exercise aimed at projecting himself as a strong leader willing to take terror head-on, BJP’s PM candidate L.K. Advani on Saturday met 31 security experts to discuss terrorism and India’s defence preparedness.
Three former air chiefs, one former navy chief, two former IB directors and a galaxy of retired senior army officers and analysts were present. India’s “soft stand” on Pakistan, its “slow” defence procurement process and the need for a quick response to emergencies like terror strikes were reportedly discussed.
The BJP later used the meeting to project the NDA as an alternative to the UPA. The party emphasised that the UPA’s “soft approach” to terror emanating from Pakistan was discussed.
The meeting also expressed concern over lack of self-reliance shown by India, which did not behove an “emerging global player”.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the participants expressed concern that the procurement of weapons for security forces had slowed down. However, he insisted that both the experts and Advani had talked about this as a general phenomenon and not as a comment on the UPA government.
At the meeting, one former security official called for a one-person command to be set up to take emergency action in the event of a terror strike. About whether the party agreed with this suggestion, Jaitley said it would take some time for a formal response to come up.