Indian security overhaul proposed

Dec. 11, 2008 at 5:46 AM
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NEW DELHI, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- India's new home minister, noting the rising threat of terror following the Mumbai attacks, Thursday proposed to restructure the country's security apparatus.

Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told parliament that India is in "the eye of a storm of terror," CNN reported.

The former finance minister, who took over the security and law enforcement ministry after his predecessor quit in the wake of the Nov. 26 Mumbai attacks, said he is examining the entire intelligence machinery.

"Some changes have already been made and more are under way," Chidambaram said.

He said he planned to overhaul the police, military and intelligence-gathering agencies and sought support from fellow lawmakers to pass tougher laws against extremist groups, warning, "Given the nature of the threat, we cannot go back to business as usual," the report said.

The Mumbai attacks, which killed about 180 people, have shaken the country and the government is putting pressure on Pakistan to crack down on Lashkar-e-Toiba it blames for masterminding the attacks. A U.N. committee Wednesday designated four Lashkar-e-Toiba suspects as terrorists, meaning their assets can be frozen.

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee urged Pakistan to stop being in a "denial mode" and do more than such actions as the "house arrest" of Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed, the Press Trust of India reported.

Mukherjee rejected what he said were Pakistan's attempts to link the Mumbai attacks with the issue of Kashmir, saying Pakistan should become "serious" in dismantling the terror infrastructure on its territory, the report said.

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