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India has put Pak on notice: PM
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 18, 2006 20:18 IST
Last Updated: October 18, 2006 21:13 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while addressing a meeting of senior commanders of the armed forces on Wednesday said that the government of India has put Pakistan on notice and told the Pakistan government that it would not be possible to carry on peace talks if it failed to contain terrrorism.
"We have put Pakistan on notice saying that any democratic government of India would find it difficult to continue on the present path of addressing all outstanding issues unless the government of Pakistan clearly deals with the issue of terrorism. The India-Pakistan Anti-Terrorism Institutional Mechanism will be a test of Pakistani intentions and capabilities to implement the assurances they have given us since January 2004," Dr Singh said.
Dr Singh pointed out that India has a dangerous and unstable neighbour, which is a part of the Indian sub-continent itself.
"We face problems of uneven development and its consequences. We cannot afford to see states fail. Political stability and a focus on human development in the region are in our strategic interest," Dr Singh said.
He said that with North Korea going nuclear there is a threat of a change in balance of power which has trans-regional consequences.
"The spread of science has led to the emergence of weapons of mass destruction, most recently seen in its manifestation in North Korea, thus changing the regional balance of power with trans-regional consequences. The transformed security challenges now include anarchistic ideologies, communalism of various kinds, threats from pandemics and terrorism over and above conventional threats," the press handout issued by the Prime Minister's Office after the meeting said.
He underlined the threat to civil and democratic society from terrorism and said India as a nation will have to take a firm stand against it.
Terrorists are acquiring new and sophisticated arms to unleash more death and destruction.
"The fight against terrorism has to be long-term, sustained and comprehensive. It cannot be ad hoc, selective or compartmentalised in terms of region, religion or organisations. Terrorist networks sustain themselves due to acts of commission or omission by states. Our strategy cannot be restricted only to the perpetrators of terrorist acts, but should also seek to modify the behaviour of states where terrorists find safe haven, sanctuary and material sustenance," he said.
Dr Singh also referred to the ongoing conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and India's improving relations with China despite a border dispute between the two nations.
Dr Singh promised to do everything to cater to the needs of the armed forces.
"Given the complex nature of our national security, we must ensure a balanced development of our defence capability. Our army, navy and air force are in need of modernisation. We need a modernisation strategy that enables each of the forces to develop to the level required by the imperatives of our evolving defence doctrine. In pursuing that modernisation, we seek the optimal blend of developing and producing indigenously and sourcing from elsewhere," Dr Singh said.
Dr Singh said transparency in arms purchases should be a "desirable objective", but cautioned that reports critical of such processes where they are untrue could demoralise the armed forces.
"Transparency in the procurement of arms is the desirable objective, both from the viewpoint of good governance and national security," he said.
Pointing out to the commanders that the government had recently taken several steps to introduce transparency in defence procurment, including framing of new procurement procedures, Dr Singh said the policy of purchases should be addressed with an indigenious viewpoint.
He said all purchases must be aimed at giving fillip toIndian industry, particularly through the new policy of offsets.
With PTI Inputs