Narayanan was speaking at a function organised by National Investigation Agency in New Delhi.
The West Begal governor, who has also served as the Chief of Intelligence Bureau, said Pakistan's strategy of supporting Jihadist elements to keep India off balance was a worrying trend. India's location makes it vulnerable to attacks. It shares borders with tough neighbours like Pakistan and China. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, a combination of state weakness and the presence of myriad terrorist groups in both the countries constitutes a direct threat, said Narayanan.
"Surrender to extremist forces like Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan's willingness to hold unconditional talks with the Taliban have the gravest consequences for us," he said. "Taliban extremism in both the countries shows no signs of muting itself... the basic weakness in the administration there and presence of various terror groups, including Taliban, allowed them to do what they like. If they succeed in Afghanistan, India is their next target. We need to be on our guard," he said.
The former NSA said Pakistan's newly revealed Army doctrine even stipulates disproportionate responses in future wars with India - implying a willingness to take recourse to the nuclear option in the event of India taking any counter measures against terror attacks like the Mumbai attack. "We, hence, have to be prepared for more attacks of this kind," he said.
He said terror outfits lay emphasis on technology acquisition and have found ways to fabricate more sophisticated triggering devices and extend at which explosives could be detonated. "Some among them are also engaged in search for acquiring a nuclear device. There are quite a few instances in India itself of terror outfits like the Indian Mujahideen (IM) benefiting from the 'revolutionary philanthropy' of the larger terrorist organisations," he said.
Giving a word of caution for the political class and investigating agencies, he said it would be a grievous error if a decline in terror cases is touted as evidence of terrorism being effectively checked.
For the first time in the history of terrorism worldwide, terrorist networks are seeking to hold territory rather than merely attacking high-profile and soft targets, said Narayanan. He also said that several new terror outfits are experimenting with hitherto unknown methods and techniques and some of those which have emerged rival the Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba in their capacity to unleash violence.
WIth PTI inputs