STATE TIMES NEWS
New Delhi: Questioning the “amiable attitude” of the Centre in dealing with states on “internal security disturbances”, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Sunday advocated an immediate formulation and implementation of a National Security Policy.
He also called for solving all major issues relating to the states in meetings with the Chief Ministers under the aegis of the Inter State Council (ISC) chaired by the Prime Minister.
Addressing the Rameshwar Nath Kao memorial lecture, Vohra was critical of the recent policy of the Centre in handling “recurring internal disturbances” by deploying Central Armed Police Forces and even the Army on the demand of the states without questioning them about the root causes of the disturbances.
“Thus, the Union has concerned itself essentially with dousing fires and has rarely ever questioned the states about the root causes of the disturbances in their areas,” Vohra, a former home secretary, said in Rameshwar Nath Kao memorial lecture.
Vohra minced no words to question the non-confrontational tendency of the Centre, irrespective of the complexion of the political parties in power, with the states saying it has concerned itself “essentially with dousing fires”.
“The Union has also been hesitant in exercising its authority under Article 256 of the Constitution to issue appropriate directives to the affected states for taking the required actions to timely quell arising disturbances,” he said at the function organised every year in memory of Kao, the first Secretary of external snooping agency RAW.
Vohra said the practice actually followed in the past decades has been for the Union Home Ministry to merely issue “advisories” to the concerned states in regard to the management of emerging situations.
“Thanks to the Home Ministry’s amiable approach of only issuing cautionary notes to the concerned states, it has not been possible to pre-empt any arising disorder,” he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Governor said that no more time can be lost by the Union to take immediate initiatives for finalising a holistic National Security Policy and thereafter, proceeding to establish the required nationwide machinery for implementing it in the backdrop of progressively enhancing security threats from neighbourhood and the duty of the Centre to protect every citizen.
“For securing the required Union-State understandings in the arena of national security management, it would be enormously beneficial if the draft National Security Policy and all major issues relating to its implementation are discussed and settled in meetings with the Chief Ministers under the aegis of the Inter State Council (ISC), which is chaired by the Prime Minister,” he said.
Vohra said once the states have clearly accepted their responsibility to maintain Internal Security, there would be no reason why they should not become progressively capable of effectively dealing on their own with any arising internal disturbance.
The Governor said when the states become self-reliant, the Union shall be able to progressively reduce the large scale deployment of its Armed Forces for dealing with disturbances in the states.
He also said that recurring deployment of the Army to tackle internal disturbances, except in the case of Jammu and Kashmir where a proxy war is going on, has a worrying potential of blunting the Army’s edge.
Vohra also warned that this approach of Army deployment may also generate internal problems regarding the operational efficiencies of its officers and men who are recruited, trained and equipped to fight and destroy the enemy at first sight and not to be involved in situations in which the rules of engagement demand considerable restraint.
He said once the Union has been able to promulgate a bi- partisan National Security Policy, the next important step would be to undertake a thorough state and Union Territory wise critical review to identify deficiencies in the existing security administration systems.
“Side by side, it shall be useful to carry out a close critical assessment of the Union’s own wherewithal for discharging its constitutional responsibility to safeguard the nation,” Vohra added.
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