An anti-terror laundry list

An anti-terror laundry list

Can a mere checklist of “we’ll do that" counter the menace of terrorism?

If you were home minister P. Chidambaram, it might. The minister on Thursday presented a list of steps being contemplated to check terrorism. It’s not clear why these steps were not taken earlier and how they will work now.

Among other proposals, the government plans to set up a coastal command for coastal security, create a national investigation agency and set up 20 commando training schools in different states.

A multiplicity of agencies is not an answer to terrorism: Lack of coordination between them is the problem. For example, states such as Punjab have surplus commandos with no work. Why can’t existing resources be deployed where they’re needed? The government has no strategy to ensure that its arms work in unison.

These are palliative steps that won’t suffice. Where are the blueprints to cope with Pakistan and its name-changing terrorists? Where are the political steps required to stop local help being provided to militants? A reactive strategy after the horses have bolted is unlikely to impress.