इंडियन आवाज़     03 Oct 2023 10:21:38      انڈین آواز

India to review defence preparedness

“We are not unduly concerned about China’s military modernisation, but we need to carry out a comprehensive review of our defence preparedness and remain vigilant at all times,” said the Indian Defence Minister, AK Antony while delivering his keynote address at the 13th Asian Security Conference organised by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (ISDA) here on Wednesday.

Recently the 13th round of discussions at the level of special representatives on the border issue with China has been concluded and the Indian Defence Minister admitted issue was a complicated one and can be resolved only through dialogue and discussions. He suggested that the two largest nations of the region, India and China need to enhance cooperation on common issues such as combating climate change and boosting trade.

Regarding Pakistan, Antony said India has just concluded foreign secretary level talks with that country. “However, any meaningful progress can only be made only when Pakistan takes concrete steps to address India’s concerns on 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks,” he said.

India has always desired peaceful relations with all its neighbours — Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and is helping in the reconstruction process in Afghanistan. “We know fully well that security of one nation is closely linked and dependent on the security of its neighbouring countries,” he said.

Antony, however, cautioned: “our relations with other nations are dictated by our security imperatives. We have never wanted to further our relationship with a particular nation at the cost of relations with any other country. In our neighbourhood we have always been in favour of resolving issues through dialogue and constant engagement.”

He said that there was space for all Asian nations to grow. India, China and Japan have historical and cultural linkages. Given such a unique interconnectivity between these and other Asian nations, security-related challenges and their solutions need a united approach from the entire region, he said and added that some of the main challenges were terrorism, nuclear proliferation, piracy and smuggling of arms. He called upon the leadership of the Asian nations to develop a common identity and efficient security architecture on the lines of the European Union. Some existing institutions like the East Asia Summit and SAARC can and must be broad based, developed and fine-tuned, he said.

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