Asserting that maintaining a minimum deterrent was a 'sovereign responsibility', the latest annual report of the Defence Ministry said the security environment around the country, specially along the border with Pakistan, continued to be a cause for concern.
While stating that relations with all other neighbours were moving towards greater understanding and depth, the 2000-2001 report said the year gone by had seen 'escalation' in level of Islamabad's sponsorship of cross-border terrorism
indicated by 'qualitative upgradation' of weaponry, communication equipment and training of major Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
The report highlighted the need for indigenisation in armament capability in the wake of restrictions on transfer of equipment and technology, especially those created by the post-Pokhran sanction imposed by the United States of America.
It said containing insurgency, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, continued to be the prime task of the security forces with Pakistan now mounting moves to marginalise Kashmiri outfits and giving new dimensions to militancy in the
Accusing Pak-sponsored terrorist groups of carrying out selective, high publicity actions to project J&K as a major flashpoint, the 128-page report, released on Thursday, said that border areas of the state, particularly Kupwara, Poonch and Rajouri, were witnessing 'intense counter proxy war operations'.
It said relentless and intensive operations by the security forces had resulted in killing of 1,432 terrorists, capture of 274 and surrender by 26.
Though the government had made an unilateral ceasefire offer, 'there were clear indications that Pakistan is seeking to sabotage the peace initiative' of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Stating that the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) had stabilised following Islamabad's announcement of a policy of maximum restraint, the report described the measures as 'self-serving in nature and did not address New Delhi's concerns of Pakistan's continued sponsorship of cross-border terrorism'.
Referring to China, it said Beijing was rapidly modernising its armed forces and every major Indian city was within the reach of Chinese missiles and this capability was being further augmented by production of submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
The report also voiced concern over growing activities of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in Nepal and Bangladesh for launching subversive activities in different parts of India, particularly the North East.
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