Intelligence sharing between nations is vital to stamp out the scourge of terrorism, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said in New Delhi on Monday.
Inaugurating a two-day international seminar on terrorism organised by the Asia Pacific Chapter of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), he called upon countries not to provide shelter to terrorists and to prohibit the free flow of funds that were collected for financing terrorism.
Patil's remarks came two days after five serial bomb blasts rocked the capital Saturday evening, killing 23 people and injuring over 100. Over 650 people, the majority of them civilians, have been killed in terror attacks in India in the past years. Many of the cases have remained unsolved.
The home minister also stressed upon putting an end to the open sale of weapons and explosives in some countries and pointed out that training of police personnel and development of innovative technologies were critical to combating terrorism and threats from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Patil hoped that such seminars would provide opportunities to forge cooperation and coordination between governments, police and security organisations of countries in different regions of the world to effectively tackle the menace of terrorism.
National Security Adviser (NSA) MK Narayanan, in his keynote address, emphasised upon the global ramifications of terrorism, elaborating on the particular susceptibilities of Asia on account of its rapid economic growth.
He said that the continent faced challenges originating from diverse issues such as ethnicity, religion, politics and development, as also climate change and energy security.
The use of asymmetric warfare, Narayanan stated, was the most significant challenge and noted that the outreach of technology, identity politics and the emergence of non-state players had enhanced the vulnerabilities of nation-states.
Stressing on zero tolerance against terrorism, the NSA emphasised that liberal democracy was the strongest answer to terrorism.
Alain Bauer, president of the French National Crime Commission, in his presentation "New Criminals and Terrorist Threat", focused on the need to diagnose and analyse terror acts before looking for solutions.
Highlighting the dangers of customised forms of terrorism, he stressed on the need for strengthening the basic structures of the judiciary, police and society for tackling terror.
Bauer underlined that terrorism is principally a policing issue and also pointed out that in addition to sharing compiled data on terrorist outfits, cooperation between countries should extend to timely exchange of actionable intelligence.
Earlier, Intelligence Bureau Director P.C Haldar pointed out that traditional counter-terrorism strategies needed review and required a quick, dynamic and uniform response conforming to national systems.
He stated that in the fast changing paradigm of terror, the terrorist remains invisible and exhibits a cross-national spread, spawning intricate networks, with the Internet being used as a force multiplier and a resource base for terror cells.
Foreign delegates from 13 countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the president and key officials of the IACP are attending the seminar.
Senior security administrators and police officials from terrorism and militancy affected states, officers of the Central Paramilitary Organisations and analysts and commentators from Indian think tanks are also attending.