‘China, Pakistan pose contrasting security challenges’March 26th, 2008 - 10:57 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) China and Pakistan pose contrasting security challenges for India, New Delhi’s top security advisor said Wednesday. “With China, the challenge lies in the perceptions and not in the threat. It’s the reverse with Pakistan,” National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan said here.
He was delivering the 25th Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal memorial lecture on “Managing India’s National Security & Building a Consensus for the 21st Century” at the Air Force Auditorium here.
“There have been reports of incursions (on the border with Arunachal Pradesh). Nevertheless, apart from a very brief period (after the 1962 border war), our relations have been generally peaceful,” Narayanan maintained.
“What we really need is a broad national consensus on whether China is a threat or a neighbour we can go along with. We also need consensus on the possible terms of a border solution,” he added.
Narayanan is the Indian representative for the 11 rounds of talks the two countries have conducted on the festering border issue. His counterpart is Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo.
“We also need consensus on China’s intentions,” Narayanan added.
“The issue is even more relevant when it comes to Pakistan,” the official said, adding: “The challenge we face with Pakistan is that without compromising on our national security parameters, how do we enlarge our area of contact (with Islamabad)?”
He also hoped that the installation of a civilian government in Pakistan “will lead to stable conditions and weaken the forces of fundamentalism”.
“This is not to discount the activities of the fundamentalists and the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence). Pakistan also continues to acquire missiles and other weapons and its military strategy remains India-centric,” Narayanan maintained.
He also noted: “There is no change in the attitude of the ISI to mentoring terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the JM (Jaish-e-Mohammad). Their attacks are likely to continue.”