Cong makes public its report on national security

New Delhi, Apr 21 (PTI) The Congress Sunday made public a report on national security by a task force headed by Lt Gen (retd) D S Hooda and said the issue was important but it would be "completely wrong" to say that it was dominating the poll narrative. The party said the top three issues affecting the people were unemployment, farm distress and the security of people. The Congress unveiled the report in the presence of senior Congress leaders P Chidambaram and Jairam Ramesh and said that its approach towards national security is "not ad hoc and not impulsive". "The number one issue remains unemployment. The number two issue is farm distress and the number three issue is security of various sections of the people, women, Dalits, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, forest dwellers, journalists, academicians, NGOs," Chidambaram told reporters. Asked whether this report, which has been made public during the Lok Sabha elections, is meant to change the narrative on national security, he said, "National security is an important aspect of the narrative. But to say that it is dominating the narrative is completely wrong." He said the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi has been speaking about jobs, farm, distress and security of different sections of people every day during campaigning. Chidambaram said the report is a broad outline of how to approach the issue of national security. "We have taken several features of Lt Gen D S Hooda's plan (in the manifesto). These ideas will be implemented when we form our government. Our approach is not ad hoc, our approach is not impulsive. It is after a careful study and deliberation and necessary measures will be taken. Our interest is to protect India's national security," Chidambaram said. Hooda, while presenting the report, said there are five pillars of national security in the report. Assuring India its "rightful place" in global affairs, securing India's neighbourhood, peaceful resolution of internal conflicts like Jammu and Kashmir issue and ensuring "Jan Suraksha", the main goal of national security of protecting the people, he said. "The fifth and final pillar of national security is strengthening our capabilities. We have drafted the report based on a roadmap for enhancing our hard power," Hooda said. "Keeping in view the nature of future war fighting, there is a need to build up capabilities and ensure adequate budgetary support is available to the three services,"said Hooda, who is credited with having led India's surgical strikes on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016. PTI SKC AAR