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India's N-protection system good: US

In its latest report, the US has praised the N-protection system put in place by India, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 10:44 IST

The protection system put in place by India for its nuclear and strategic assets is "excellent" says the US State Department in its latest report on Global Patterns of Terrorism.

"The Indian Government has an excellent record of protecting its nuclear assets from terrorists and is taking steps to improve further the security of its strategic systems," the report for 2005 released in late April said.

Addressing the other major concern of the US, namely, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems, the report said that India had passed a law in May 2005 designed to prevent the transfer of WMD, their delivery systems and associated technologies to state and non-state actors, including terrorists.

The report said that though terrorists had struck in many places and sometimes spectacularly, India had scored "major successes" in combating the menace.

Civilian fatalities from terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir continued a five- year decline in the first nine months of 2005. And the earthquake in Pakistan had "reportedly killed many Kashmir-based terrorists".

But the damaged fence running along the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir, had facilitated infiltration. And this had resulted in "high profile" attacks.

Patting India on the back for trying to address the grievances underlying terrorism, the US report said that the "federal and state governments have tried various strategies to address some of these grievances within the context of Indian democracy."

But India's counter terror efforts were hampered by its "outdated and over burdened law enforcement and legal systems."

"The Indian court system is slow, laborious and prone to corruption; terrorism trials can take years to complete," the report said.

It quoted an Indian think tank saying that there were only 13 convictions for terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir between 1988 and 2002, though terrorist crimes there totalled 12,000.

"Many of India's local police forces are poorly staffed, trained and equipped to combat terrorism effectively," the report said.

POK terrorists benefit from quake

The section on Pakistan says that the October 8, earthquake in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir had benefited terrorists, not only because it had damaged the defence systems put up by India, but also because it had given the terrorists an opportunity to do relief work and get propaganda advantage. 

Relief organisations linked to the Al-Qaeda had worked in that area and reaped "public relations benefits," though the Pakistan government had promised to shut down relief agencies with known links with Al-Qaeda, the report said.

The Pakistan government had scored successes in its operations against the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban within its territory. But still, these two terror groups posed a threat to US-interests, the report said.

This was because tribal support for the Pakistan government's operations against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban was "mixed".

LTTE not looking for WMD

On Sri Lanka, the report said, the LTTE was not looking for WMD and that it had not targeted US interests.

The Sri Lankan government had cooperated with US officials in tracking down terrorist financing.

But there were no terrorist assets in the Sri Lankan banking system, the report said.