Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Current Situation In Ladakh Not India’s Creation, Every Possible Step Will Be Taken To Safeguard Our Interests, Says Defence Minister Antony

Describing the current situation in Eastern Ladakh as ‘not one of our creation’, the Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony today said India remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation, through dialogue within the framework of agreements for maintaining peace and  tranquility. Addressing the Unified Commanders’ Conference, here, Shri Antony, however, emphasized that the country remains united in its commitment to take every possible step to safeguard our interests.

“The current situation is not one of our creation.  However, we remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation, through military and diplomatic dialogue within the framework of the agreements for maintaining peace and tranquility.  At the same time, I wish to emphasise that there should not be any doubt that the country remains unanimous in its commitment to take every possible step, at all levels, to safeguard our interests.”

Shri Antony said our bilateral relations with China are, at times, bedeviled by border issues, particularly along the Line of Actual Control(LAC).  The recent developments are no exception.  Among the various initiatives to safeguard our border, the thrust has been on development of our border roads and Advance Landing Grounds.

Referring to the security situation in Pakistan, Shri Antony said, the capability of Pakistani Taliban to strike at will at innocent public and strategic targets is worrisome.  He said the growing nuclear stock of Pakistan needs to be factored in our overall strategy towards our western neighbour.
Shri Antorny reiterated the Government’s strong commitment to the modernization of the armed forces and to ensure the all round welfare of the troops.  He said, despite financial constrains, funds will never be an issue when it comes to national security.  “However the onus lies collectively on all of us to make the optimum use of the financial resources with all the honesty, transparency and fairness”, he said.

Dwelling at length on the recent changes in DPP to encourage the indigenous defence industry, Shri Antony said the objective is to bring about greater efficiency in the procurement process and to strengthen the defence manufacturing base in the country.  He expressed confidence that the changes brought about in the DPP will lead to greater integrity and transparency in the procurement process.  “We should not give any chance to any agency to point fingers at our defence procurement process and acquisitions”, he said. 

The Defence Minister said the contemporary concept of security encompasses not merely military threats, but also cyber attacks, insurgencies, organized trans-border crimes, pandemics and contingencies of natural disasters.  Such an environment of security necessitates need for constant monitoring and building up capacities to enable multi-level, multi-agency responses, he said.

The conference was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence, Shri Jitendra Singh, the Chairman COSC & Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bikram Singh, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral DK Joshi and Defence Secretary, Shri Shashikant Sharma.


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