Firm re­sponse, diplo­mat­i­cally or oth­er­wise, is im­per­a­tive


Of late, the hotly con­tested de­bates in the me­dia, par­tic­u­larly on tele­vi­sion, are those con­cern­ing In­dia’s ex­ter­nal and de­fence stance in the light of in­ci­dents with neigh­bours— China and Pak­istan. Chi­nese in­cur­sion into In­dia and Pak­istan’s man­slaugh­ter of In­dian soldiers have dis­turbed the peace process and put pres­sure on In­dia’s Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs and De­fence Min­istries to come up with a firm re­sponse. The per­cep­tion not just in the me­dia, but gen­er­ally, is that In­dia’s re­sponse to such of­fen­sive tac­tics has been ‘meek’.

While the govern­ment is tread­ing a ‘soft path’ there is a grow­ing seg­ment of mil­i­tary ex­perts who be­lieve that In­dia should re­spond to such in­cur­sions with equal ve­he­mence. In his fort­nightly col­umn, Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch states that when the Chi­nese in­tru­sion is so very de­lib­er­ate in es­tab­lish­ing 10 kilo­me­tres in­side our ter­ri­tory, the least we could do is to es­tab­lish a post north of their posi- tion, be­hind the Chi­nese in­tru­sion. Cer­tainly, this is one view­point and there are oth­ers and the govern­ment of the day will have to con­sider the best op­tion in the in­ter­ests of the coun­try.

Re­cently at the Uni­fied Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence, the De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony re­it­er­ated that In­dia re­mains com­mit­ted to a “peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the sit­u­a­tion (bor­der­ing China), through dia­logue within the frame­work of the agree­ments for main­tain­ing peace and tran­quil­lity.” While stat­ing so, he em­pha­sised that the coun­try re­mains united in its com­mit­ment to take ev­ery pos­si­ble step to “safe­guard our in­ter­ests.”

This not only ap­plies to bor­der re­la­tion­ship, but also to busi­nesses and to make In­dian en­ter­prises glob­ally com­pet­i­tive, the govern­ment has ini­ti­ated sev­eral mea­sures to en­cour­age In­dia Inc. The De­fence Pro­cure­ment Pro­ce­dure (DPP) has been amended fur­ther to bring about greater ef­fi­ciency in the pro­cure­ment process and to strengthen the de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing base in the coun­try.

We are pleased to men­tion that Air Mar­shal (Retd) Anil Cho­pra, our Edi­to­rial Ad­viser, has been fe­lic­i­tated with Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) by the Pres­i­dent of In­dia Pranab Mukher­jee on April 27, 2013. We con­vey our hearti­est con­grat­u­la­tions to Air Mar­shal Cho­pra and his fam­ily for such an hon­ourable achieve­ment.

We so­licit feed­back from our val­ued read­ers on SP’s M.A.I., our con­tin­u­ous ef­fort to up­date you on the lat­est in the de­fence, aero­space and se­cu­rity world, ev­ery fif­teen days.

Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

Air Mar­shal (Retd) Anil Cho­pra be­ing con­ferred PVSM by Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee

Jayant Baran­wal

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