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Pakistan needs to match words with actions: India
May 21, 2007 18:37 IST
"Though we deserve peace with Pakistan and want to continue talks with Pakistan on various issues, it is imperative for us to maintain eternal vigil all along our borders," Defence Minister A K Antony said while inaugurating the three-day long Air Force Commanders Conference here.
The defence minister was deliberating on India's friendly and cordial relations with all nations, especially countries in our immediate neighbourhood.
Expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka, he said the air offensive launched by the LTTE "is a cause for concern. On our part we have to be vigilant and continue to safeguard our security concerns."
Antony asked the air warriors to make all efforts for developing Indian Air Force into a dominant Aerospace power, an official release said here.
The IAF was in the process of transformation and modernization and several important projects were at various stages of implementation, he said and acknowledged that the Government was aware of the challenges, issues and requirements of the IAF.
Stressing that the IAF is a technology intensive force, he said "our attempts should be to enhance the strategic reach of IAF and integrate potent capabilities in air defence surveillance, space based assets and advance weapon systems to develop it into a dominant aerospace power.
"We must also develop asymmetric capabilities against superior forces," he said.
The Minister said the IAF has an ambitious action plan for acquisition of new systems and upgrading of existing ones over the next three years. Given the substantial amount of public money being used for these efforts, it is imperative that these financial resources are utilized honestly, efficiently and optimally.
"We have been relying on outside suppliers to meet the requirement of our Defence Forces for quite some time," he said and remarked that India could not indefinitely continue to rely on outside suppliers. Self-reliance and being indigenous must be top priority. "Self-reliance should be the mantra for companies in both the public as well as the private sector," he said.
Antony also complimented the IAF for its excellent flight safety record in the last financial year and said all possible efforts must be made by aviation related organizations to ensure that loss of human and financial resources through accidents remains minimal and if possible eliminated altogether. He stressed upon the need of training and strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures relating to flight safety.
He also spoke about the problem of serviceability and said though long term business agreements have been signed a lot more remains to be done.