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Saturday, December 20, 2008

PM holds war room meet; reviews security, defence
WAR CRY? Flying Officers march-past during the graduation ceremony at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a high-level war room meeting in New Delhi on Saturday evening with senior ministers and defence chiefs to discuss the security preparedness.
The meeting lasted for over four hours and discussed the country's security preparedness and selective strikes on terror camps across the border.
Defence Minister AK Antony, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, National Security Advisor MK Narayanan, senior armed forces officials including all the three Service chiefs and intelligence chiefs attended the meeting.
The marathon meeting assumes significance as there is heightened terror threat and tension with Pakistan and the Union Government has already declared that it is keeping all options open on dealing with any external threat following the Mumbai terror attacks carried out by Pakistani terrorists.
Meanwhile, Indian Army is believed to have cancelled leave to all its personnel till April.
Earlier in the day, the Defence Minister AK Antony presided a separate meeting with Coast Guard and Defence Ministry officials to review the security of Indian coastline where he cleared the acquisition proposals for the sea-guarding agency.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had on Friday warned that India was keeping all options open to protect itself.
"Terrorism remains a scourge for our region. If a country cannot keep the assurances that it has given, then it obliges us to consider the entire range of options that exist to protect our interests and people from this menace," Mukherjee had said in Gangtok, referring to Pakistan.
At a previous meeting with the three Services chiefs on December 18, Antony had reviewed the armed force's preparedness to tackle the terror threat facing the country.
The three defence forces are on high alert since November 26 after 10 Pakistan-trained Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked major landmarks in Mumbai killing more than 200 people including several foreign nationals and injured over 300.

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