SPE­CIAL FEA­TURE BY HIS EX­CEL­LENCY N.N. VOHRA

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - [ By His Ex­cel­lency N.N. Vohra ]

Ifeel priv­i­leged to have been asked to de­liver the First Air Cmde Jasjit Singh Me­mo­rial Lec­ture to re­mem­ber Jasjit Singh who, af­ter a long and dis­tin­guished ten­ure as Direc­tor Gen­eral, In­sti­tute of De­fence Stud­ies and Analy­ses, served as the Direc­tor of the Cen­tre for Air Power Stud­ies from the day it was es­tab­lished till he passed away last year.

It would be use­ful, at the very out­set, to state that, in sim­ple lan­guage, the term ‘na­tional se­cu­rity’ could be de­fined to com­prise ex­ter­nal se­cu­rity, which re­lates to safe­guard­ing the coun­try against war and ex­ter­nal ag­gres­sion, and in­ter­nal se­cu­rity which re­lates to the main­te­nance of public or­der and nor­malcy within the coun­try. How­ever, such a seg­re­gated ap­proach is no longer fea­si­ble, par­tic­u­larly af­ter the ad­vent of ter­ror­ism which has in­tro­duced ex­tremely fright­en­ing di­men­sions to the in­ter­nal se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment. I would go fur­ther to say that is­sues of in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal se­cu­rity man­age­ment have been in­ex­tri­ca­bly in­ter­twined ever since Pak­istan launched a proxy war in Jammu and Kash­mir in early 1990 and Pak­istan-based ji­hadi ter­ror­ists started es­tab­lish­ing net­works in our coun­try.

Our na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests have con­tin­ued to be in­flu­enced and af­fected by geopo­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in our re­gion and far be­yond. While it would not be fea­si­ble to re­count the var­ied se­cu­rity chal­lenges which In­dia has faced in the decades gone by, it could be stated that the more se­ri­ous prob­lems in the re­cent years have em­anated from Pak­istan’s con­tin­u­ing proxy war in Jammu and Kash­mir;

ji­hadi ter­ror­ism, which has been pro­gres­sively spread­ing its reach; the de­struc­tive ac­tiv­i­ties which the left-wing ex­trem­ist groups have been car­ry­ing out for decades now; the se­ri­ous un­rest cre­ated by the still ac­tive in­sur­gen­cies in the North East re­gion; and in­ci­dents of se­ri­ous communal vi­o­lence which have been erupt­ing in the var­i­ous states from time to time. Men­tion must also be made of the steadily grow­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of the In­dian Mu­jahideen (IM), a ter­ror group which has its roots in Pak­istan. An­other phe­nom­e­non, rel­a­tively more re­cent, re­lates to the emer­gence of cer­tain rad­i­cal counter-groups which have been or­gan­ised with the pri­mary ob­jec­tive of coun­ter­ing the ji­hadi ter­ror net­works.

A sol­dier guards the road­side check­point out­side Sri­na­gar In­ter­na­tional Air­port

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