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Chinese telecom products vulnerable, says Mehrishi

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Outgoing Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said on Wednesday that the government has raised red flags regarding the use of Chinese equipment in telecom and other sectors but this was not going to impact investments.

Speaking to The Hindu on his last day in office, Mr. Mehrishi said, “We have raised red flags without doubt. The threat is there from any hacker or mischief-maker. Chinese products have to be looked into more closely,” he said.

About two years ago, various telecom giants were sensitised about the vulnerability of equipment and products imported from China.

 

A media concept

On the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Mehrishi said “alienation among Kashmiris” was more of a Delhi media concept and the real issues were terrorism and radicalisation.

“95% people want peace in Kashmir. Pakistan inspires terrorists and stone-throwers. Terrorists are being funded from Pakistan, and there are no two opinions about it.”

He said Pakistan was inimical to the interests of India and at international forums it was known as a “rogue” state.

Mr. Mehrishi said separatists should not be referred to as leaders as they treat Kashmir as a “business proposition.”

“If the separatists contest elections today, none of them will win. Their credibility has taken a hit (after NIA raids). Their children study in the best schools and they have bought palatial properties. While they deprive the Kashmiris of a better future, they treat it [issue] as a business proposition,” he said.

On the contentious Article 35A that has been challenged in the Supreme Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition, Mr. Mehrishi said the Centre will assist the apex court in determining its legal aspect.

Article 35A provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of J&K and bars non-residents to buy properties and apply for jobs in the State. J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has warned against any tinkering with it.

Mr. Mehrishi said he was no one to comment on the recent violence in Haryana where 38 people were killed as they protested the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for raping two women.

“Sitting here in Delhi, I cannot comment how the State administration tackled the issue. No police officer or chief minister wants violence in their State. They must have taken adequate steps,” he said.

He said offensive messages on social media were an ongoing battle and “certainly going to be fought on all fronts.” “It is a huge challenge that every nation is grappling with. Technology is changing rapidly that keeping up with it will be a challenge. We are getting our act together that such incidents are minimised and tackled as they happen.”

He also said that a draft policy on operating pilot-less low flying objects will come up next month. It will focus on regulating their use rather than banning them.

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