Naxalism still the biggest internal security challenge: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said Naxalism remains the biggest internal security challenge and it is imperative to control left-wing extremism for the country's growth.
His government has not underestimated the problem of Naxalism, Singh said at a national press conference here to mark the completion of one year of UPA-II in office.
"I have been saying for the last three years that Naxalism remains the biggest internal security challenge facing our country," he said.
Asked if his government had underestimated the Naxals, he said, "We have not underestimated the problem of Naxalism."
He said there was no difference of opinion between the Central and the state governments on the issue of left-wing extremism.
"I have spoken to the Chief Ministers of the states many times on the Naxal issue. The Chief Ministers understand that it is imperative to control Naxalism for the country's growth," the Prime Minister said.
Singh said to exploit full benefit of economic reforms, it is important to control Naxalism and terrorist elements. "If we don't, it can affect our growth," he said.
On the issue of terrorism, the Prime Minister said the government is determined to squarely tackle the threat of terrorism and ideological extremism of various kinds.
He said that terrorism is a major national security issue and it has no religion.
Terrorism, he said, is being sponsored by particular religious elements and has to be dealt with "effectively" and "purposefully".
Trust deficit is the biggest problem with Pakistan and no progress can happen in negotiations unless this issue is addressed, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
"Trust deficit is the biggest problem," he said at the first major press conference to mark the first year of the second term of the United Progressive Alliance government.
"It is my conviction that ... why we haven't been able to make headway in composite dialogue is that there has been lack of adequate trust," he said.
Singh said trust deficit was identified as a core issue when he met his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in Bhutan last month.