New Delhi, May 21: We will know by May 23, who the next Prime Minister of India would be. The new government would have a host of challenges that it would have to deal with on various fronts.
Here, we decode what the national security challenge would be for the new government that takes over. There have been a host of developments in the past five years, where internal security is concerned.
Challenges have been posed in Kashmir and other parts of the country. For instance, the Army this year alone has killed 86 terrorists. The ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar has restricted the activities of the terror outfit in the Valley for now.
The big challenge for the new government would be the Kashmir policy. There is a need for continuity, failing which matters could get worse. Probably for the first time one has seen sustained action against the Separatists of Kashmir. The National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate are probing a series of cases against these persons.
Officials tell OneIndia that they had been told by the government to go hard on such elements. It would be absolutely necessary for the next dispensation to have a similar attitude failing which things could get back to square one.
The next is the policy on Pakistan. This would be a tough road ahead as it has never been easy dealing with the neighbour. Several intelligence reports suggest that Pakistan would up the ante after the elections are over. For instance, it plans on re-launching the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in a big way in Kashmir. This decision was taken post the ban on Azhar as the ISI wants the heat on him to lower down.
Another danger that has been lurking for sometime now is the menace called the Islamic State. This is a problem that South India faces more than any other part of the nation. The agencies have launched multiple probes and also put in place several strategies to ensure that the ISIS remains grounded.
The new dispensation would have a whole new challenge dealing with this problem, especially in the wake of the Sri Lanka blasts. The attacks only showed how close the ISIS has got to India. The NIA is probing a series of cases relating to the ISIS in states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
In Kerala, several persons went missing and it was later found that they had joined the ISIS. Moreover in states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it has been found that the ISIS has been aligning with local radical groups to further its agenda. An NIA officer tells OneIndia that if not controlled and probed well, it could spiral into a major crisis.
Similar developments have been found in West Bengal as well. The ISIS recently announced its Emir for the region and the agencies are watching these developments closely. The ISIS has been trying to expand its reach by roping in groups in Bengal and Bangladesh.
The other major issue would be pertaining to naxalites and their friends in the cities. The agencies have unearthed several plots and it had been found that the naxalites operate largely on the agenda set by their mentors in the cities. Recently the Pune Police unearthed a major case in which it was found that the trouble during Bhima-Koregaon was masterminded by several activists in the cities.
The agencies have largely managed to keep such elements quiet and more importantly curbed their flow of funds.
Officials say that the same policy must continue, failing which these groups are likely to come back hard. What the agencies would need is a free hand, according to former official with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan. If there is political interference, then the agencies may not act for the fear of being tripped over, he also adds.