Views from Southern Asia on Terrorism: Introductory Remarks
Ambassador Jaromir Novotny
Czech Ambassador to India
It is my privilege to introduce Dr. Satish Chandra, a very experienced diplomat who has had a long and distinguished career. Dr. Chandra joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1965 and served in several missions abroad. His last position as a high commissioner was as Ambassador of India to Pakistan from 1995 to 1998. On 1 January 1999, he assumed the office of Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. In May of the same year, he began serving as the Secretary of the National Security Council Secretariat. He is currently Deputy to the National Security Advisor.
While many speakers have mentioned the date of September 11, I should also mention December 13, which is a very important date for India. On that day the Indian Parliament was attacked, an attack on the heart of democracy. India has experienced a number of other terrorist actions in its history, including the murder of Rajiv Ghandi, a prime minister of India. India also borders on, or is close to, several countries that are not very stable: Nepal, where Maoist terrorists are active, Bhutan, where the secessionist groups have camps on the borders with India, and Sri Lanka, which is now trying to conclude peace talks following a bloody civil war marked by daily terrorist actions. With such a background, I think that it will be interesting to hear what India thinks about terrorism.