Ministry of Defence 20-May, 2011 16:44 IST
The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today asked the top brass of the Indian Armed Forces to continuously assess the security situation in our strategic neighbourhood in the aftermath of the elimination of Osama Bin Laden and remain prepared for any eventualities. Describing the US operations in Pakistan as ‘a watershed in the global war on terror’, Shri Antony said the event has ‘internationally stamped’ Pakistan’s position as the core of terrorist activities in the region. Addressing the Unified Commanders Conference here, he said the ripples of this event will have wide ranging impact on our strategic neighbourhood.
Shri Antony said the security situation in Pakistan continues to be a cause for concern. He said despite supporting the war on terror, China continues to remain its main strategic partner. The Defence Minister said if any real progress is to be made in improving bilateral relations, Pakistan must take concrete action to dismantle terrorist infrastructure on its soil.
The two day annual conference was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju, the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Army Staff Gen VK Singh and the Defence Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar.
The Defence Minister said India has always desired friendly relation with all its neighbours. He said though we are not unduly concerned over China’s moves to modernize and upgrade its military capability, we must on our part, keep up the ongoing process of upgrading our military structure. He expressed the hope that progress will be made in discussion with China on border dispute.
Dwelling on the ground situation in Jammu & Kashmir shri Antony said it has shown improvement over the past few months. The violence level has declined and the political processes have come to the forefront, due in a large measure, to the sustained efforts of our security forces. He, however, said that the armed forces need to keep up the vigil to ensure that the levels of violence are kept to the minimum. ‘This calls for a lot of restraint and upholding the human rights of the local people, without compromising over all our preparedness to meet any evil designs’. Shri Antony said the summer months will be a crucial test of our response mechanism.
Referring to modernization in the armed forces shri Antony called upon the top brass to adopt a change in world view. “just as the old brick and morter economies have given way to the new economic architecture across the world, so too modernization of our armed forces must chart a new path. The thrust for modernization and change has to be necessarily top driven and that is where your role assumes a crucial significance”.
Turning to the welfare of the armed forces shri Antony said we have taken all possible steps to ensure that the soldiers and their families are cared for and looked after well. However, the onus of translating the government’s intentions into reality lies with the commanders as the best of schemes and mechanisms can fail due to lack of proper and effective implementation, he said.
The Defence Minister informed the gathering that to address the issue of existing shortage of officers in the armed forces, an additional squadron is being raised at National Defence Academy. This squadron will have a capacity of 120 cadets and the total authorized capacity of NDA would be enhanced from 1800 to 1920 cadets.
Shri Antony complimented the armed forces for the quick rescue and relief operations during floods and mud slides in Leh and the delivery of aid to the affected people. SK/NN (Release ID :72223)
Post-Osama Events May Impact Security : Antony
How Al Qaeda's terror franchises work