India will take firm steps to counter terrorism: President 

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the government will take firm and effective steps to deal with cross-border terrorism, and called terror a “global threat”.

Mukherjee also congratulated the security forces for successfully foiling the recent terrorist attack at Pathankot air base.

“My government is fully committed to firmly deal with all challenges concerning the security of the country. Terrorism is a global threat and strong counter-terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it completely,” said Mukherjee.

The president was addressing the traditional joint sitting of both houses of parliament, marking the beginning of the budget session.

“Let me congratulate the security forces in successfully foiling the recent attack at the Pathankot air base by terrorists. Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism,” he said.

He also said that security forces play an important role in tackling threats in the country’s northeast and the areas influenced by Left-wing extremism.

“There has been significant improvement in the overall security situation in the north-eastern states and Left Wing extremism-affected states. This has been made possible through sustained efforts and measures taken by the intelligence agencies and security forces in collaboration with the state governments,” Mukherjee said.

Talking about the One Rank One Pension scheme, the president said: “We are indebted to those who inspire by their selfless service and their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.”

“Acknowledgement must not hinge on ceremony or noble gestures of gratitude alone. In spite of huge financial implication of more than Rs.7,000 crore per annum, my government has fulfilled its commitment to implement four decades old demand of One Rank One Pension,” he said.

On the revision of the Defence Procurement Procedure, which is currently going on, the president said it is focused on developing indigenous weapon systems.

“Defence procurement procedure has been streamlined with a focus on indigenously designed, developed and manufactured weapon systems. We are working to ensure that our armed forces will be equipped with the most capable and sophisticated armaments in the world,” he said.

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