Updated: August 30, 2021 12:46:40 am
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the ceasefire with Pakistan has held because of India’s “strength”.
Without naming Pakistan or China, he said that India was facing its adversaries with a new dynamism.
“If a ceasefire is successful today, it is because of our strength. In 2016, cross-border strikes changed our reactionary mindset into a proactive mindset, which was further strengthened by the Balakot airstrike in 2019,” Singh said at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington.
“The belief that India would not only end terrorism on its own land but also not hesitate to conduct counter-terrorism operations on their land if needed is gradually becoming stronger,” he said, and commended the armed forces for defeating the neighbour “which has been targeting our nation”.
Singh said the neighbour that had lost to India in 1965 and 1971 cannot wage a “front war” because it does not have the capacity — and for that reason, it resorts to “proxy war, and terrorism has become an integral part of their state policy”.
“Ever since our country became independent, it has been the effort of the opposing forces to create an atmosphere of instability within the country through one or the other means. If we look at the history of the last 75 years, it seems that we have inherited the challenges,” the Minister said.
Speaking on ‘Defence reforms in shifting National Security paradigm’ at DSSC, Wellington. Watch https://t.co/D3xLKGemua
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 29, 2021
But India’s paradigm for national security has now changed, he said. “I am happy to say that we have made major changes to our security policies… Under a new dynamic, we have made our attitude against terrorism proactive.”
Despite the challenges at India’s borders, “the common man is confident that there will be no compromise on India’s national security”, Singh said.
“The belief gradually became stronger, that India would not only end terror on its own land, but would not hesitate to attack on their land if needed,” he said.
Speaking about the nearly 16-month standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, which began in May 2020, Singh said: “In the northern sector too, last year a unilateral attempt was made to change the status quo on the border.” But “here too we have gone from our old response to our adversary to a new dynamic”.
Singh said that today, “the enemy no longer needs to enter the border”, and can “also target our security apparatus from outside the border”. The “alignment and realignment of global powers add to already changing security challenges”.
On Afghanistan, where the Taliban are back in power after 20 years, Singh said “the changing equations” presented a “challenge”. These “circumstances have forced every country to think on its strategy today”, he said, adding that the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, “has been formed keeping these things in mind”.
“Military power, trade, communication, economy, and political equations, this change can be clearly seen in all areas. In this era of globalisation, with these changes happening all over the world, no nation should be left untouched; I understand it is not possible,” he said.
“Keeping our security preparedness in proportion to these changes, or should I say a step ahead of that, becomes our need, not our achievement… The change in the security paradigm over time is the reality of today.
“To deal with these challenges, continuously strengthening our preparedness, and making strong strategies is not just the need of the hour, but it is also a demand.”
The Minister mentioned several “futuristic reforms” being undertaken by the government, including the idea of Tour of Duty to join the forces, creation of integrated joint theatre commands, and integrated battle groups within the Army.
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