Every possible step will be taken to safeguard our interests: Antony
Describing the current situation in Eastern Ladakh as “not one of our creations,” the Defence Minister A.K. Antony on April 30 said India remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation, through dialogue within the framework of agreements. Addressing the Unified Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi, Antony, however, emphasised 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 creations. 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.”
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, 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.
Antony reiterated the government’s strong commitment to the modernisation of the armed forces and to ensure the all-round welfare of the troops. Despite financial constraints, 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 fairnes.
Dwelling at length on the recent changes in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) to encourage the indigenous defence industry, 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 acquisition.”
“The contemporary concept of security encompasses not merely military threats, but also cyber attacks, insurgencies, organised 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 multilevel, multi-agency responses.”
The conference was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence, Jitendra Singh, the Chairman COSC and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral D.K. Joshi and Defence Secretary, Shashikant Sharma.