NCTC is not State versus Centre issue: PM

New Delhi: Making a strong pitch for formation of an anti-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the establishment of NCTC is not a State versus Centre issue but will work as a vehicle of country`s combined efforts to curb terrorism.

Stressing that NCTC will supplement the counter-terrorism capabilities of the states and not supplant them, Singh asked the state governments to work with the Centre in dealing with terrorism.

"Terrorism is today one of the most potent threats to our national security. There can be no disagreement on putting an effective counter terrorism regime with efficient mechanism and response systems both at the national level and at the state level," the Prime Minister said in his inaugural speech at a conference of Chief Ministers called to discuss NCTC.

The meeting was called specially after 12 chief ministers opposed formation of NCTC.

Singh said, "Establishment of NCTC is not a state versus Centre issue and the primary purpose behind setting up the NCTC is to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country as the Intelligence Bureau has been doing so far.

"The NCTC should be a vehicle of our combined efforts to reach the shared goal of curbing terrorism an eradicating militancy," he said.

Singh said the antecedents of the NCTC derived from the Group of Ministers and the Administrative Reforms Commission, commencing from the lessons learnt in Kargil.

"It is our belief that the NCTC, in its designs and its operation aspects, will supplement the counter-terrorism capabilities of the states and not supplant them," he said.

He also drew attention of Chief Ministers towards the Standard operating Procedures circulated by Union Home Ministry and said the draft reflects the details provisions for Centre-State coordination in both the organisational set up of NCTC and in its proposed powers and functions.

"But for the NCTC to function smoothly and effectively, it is important that we have a fairly broad consensus on its powers and functions. We would like the state governments to be with us in this initiative, which we believe would strengthen our counter-terrorism efforts," Singh said, adding the Centre was open to suggestions of Chief Ministers.