Defence Minister Antony outlines India’’s strategic role

September 15th, 2008 - 4:13 pm ICT by ANI  


New Delhi, Sep 15 (ANI): Union Defence Minister A K Antony today said that India has developed the need, a legitimate interest and capability in securing supplies of external natural and energy resources, adding that an India specific waiver from NSG is a recognition of India’’s relevance and profile in world affairs.
“For its further growth and prosperity, India clearly needs a secure and peaceful periphery and unrestrained sources of energy,” said Antony at the seminar on Indian Experience in Force Projection organised by the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) here.
“India is strategically located, overlooking the important sea lanes and in a very unstable region of the continent. We have unsettled territorial disputes with our largest neighbours. Some of them are seriously afflicted by terrorism, itself a cause for our concern as a neighbour,” he said.
The Defence Minister added that this is further aggravated when that terrorism spills over into India, through state sponsorship or otherwise.
“The combination of these and other issues such as nuclear weapons proliferation compel us to be on constant vigil and preparedness to defend our vital interests and values. Even at a global level though the situation appears stable and tension free it is intricately complicated with divergent ideological beliefs,” Antony said.
The real threats to international security would arise from states that would avoid interdependence, particularly with neighbours, and from non-state actors like the Taliban and LTTE, he said.
“The world has changed drastically in the last century, living as we do, in a more integrated and globalised world. India and Indians are increasingly becoming drivers of the global change and prosperity. Our exposure to external world trade has tripled in the last few years, as have our investments abroad,” Antony said.
“The Indian Diaspora who live and work abroad has also grown significantly. We find there is a new interest on the part of many countries in partnering India on security cooperation. With its vibrant democracy and strong individualism, India has a natural ability to relate across cultures,” he pointed. (ANI)

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