Page last updated at 02:30 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

India is 'prepared' after Mumbai

By Chris Morris
BBC News, Delhi

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, during the November attacks
More than 170 people were killed in the attacks on Mumbai

India is "better prepared" against terrorist attacks such as the ones on Mumbai nearly three months ago, the Indian home affairs minister has said.

"But we have to work harder," Minister P Chidambaram told the BBC.

He said the main terrorist threat to India came from abroad, but admitted there were many cells of Islamic militants operating in the country.

Most of them were funded, trained and supported from abroad, in particular from Pakistan, the minister said.

Mr Chidambaram became home affairs minister in the wake of the Mumbai attacks in November.

It's quite clear that there is a plan to destabilise the country
P Chidambaram
Indian Home Affairs Minister

He said he had set himself two tasks before a general election in a couple of months' time.

He said he wanted to make sure India was better prepared to deal with a terrorist attack and to respond to any future attack swiftly, decisively and in a deterrent manner.

Mr Chidambaram said there was an overall plan to challenge the very idea of India as an open secular and plural society.

"I can't connect all the dots, but it's quite clear that there is a plan to destabilise the country," he said.

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