Separatism in Kashmir has come down: Narayanan

London: While secessionist tendencies in Kashmir have reduced substantially, former National Security Adviser M K Narayanan has warned against a new version of jihad in India posed by al-Qaeda and cyber terrorism.

“In Kashmir, separatism has come down substantially,” the former director of Intelligence Bureau said at a lecture here yesterday.

Describing terrorism as a “defining threat”, he pointed to “overt and covert militancy” as a result of infiltration from across the border, making a steady stream of new recruits available which made it necessary to be “extremely cautious” in dealing with Pakistan.

Narayanan, who recently stepped down as West Bengal governor, was speaking on “Security Challenges and Strategic Imperatives for India” at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) here.

While cautioning against a new version of jihad in the country, the ex-Intelligence czar dismissed al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s threat of expanding the terror outfits’ India wing as “not a major threat”.

“New version jihad is proving to be highly attractive for its strength is spiritual purity. More and more youngsters find this very attractive,” he said.

“As a result of online propaganda, I would say the jihadi wave is achieving new heights today. In India, what we are witnessing today is a small but steady stream of recruits from different states trying to join the ranks of ISIS in Syria,” he added.

Narayanan also highlighted cyber terrorism as another major security imperative before the country and expressed concern that India was yet to erect a “great wall” to ward off cyber assaults.

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