New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday (November 5) said the government will not allow the sanctity of India’s borders to be breached, while addressing an event. Rajnath Singh said, “We won’t allow the sanctity of India’s borders to be breached. No matter how big a price we have to pay.”

Talking about ‘Malabar Exercise’ in the Bay of Bengal since November 3, in which India, along with the United States, Japan and Australia is participating, the Defence Minister said, “This exercise makes all countries in the Indo-Pacific Region feel secure.”

Rajnath Singh said, “In 1965 and 1971, there were two wars between India and Pakistan in which Pakistan was defeated, adding “Defeat in these wars proved to those who administer Pakistan that they are not in a position to wage a full-scale war with India.”

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Addressing an online seminar, the Defence Minister today said that a three-pronged approach is being adopted to address internal security challenges that includes development of areas hit by terrorism and a desire to go “more than halfway” to negotiate with dissatisfied groups to secure political settlements of issues.

He also said the government was willing to challenge the status quo if it becomes a tool for the exploitation of helpless citizens and the provisions of governance. 

Although he did not refer to any specific situation or issue, his comments come in the backdrop of the government’s renewed push for socio-economic development in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in the militancy-infested states of the north eastern region.

He said, “We have undertaken a three-pronged approach towards internal security challenges as well. This includes development of areas affected by terrorism along with the provision of justice to the aggrieved,” while addressing the seminar at the National Defence College.  

“It also includes the ability and desire to go more than half way to negotiate settlements with dissatisfied groups to enable a political settlement. And finally, we are also willing to challenge status quo, if the status quo becomes a tool for the exploitation of helpless citizens and the provisions of governance,” Singh said.

The defence minister also noted that the government was cognisant of the fact that India’s stability and security are closely associated with the ability to grow economically at a desirable rate.

Talking about the country’s overall approach in dealing with multiple security challenges, he said the government has developed a blueprint to confront them over the next decade.

He said, “The first is the ability to secure India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty from external threats and internal challenges. Second, the ability to create secure and stable conditions that can facilitate India’s economic growth.” 

“Third, we remain steadfast in the desire to protect our interests beyond the borders in areas where our people reside and our security interests converge. And finally, we also believe that in a globalised and interconnected world, a country’s security interests are interlinked by shared and secure commons,” he added.

The defence minister said each of these principles is defining the way in which India is approaching various elements of its security policy, adding “Based on these principles, we have brought about drastic changes in our security policy which are oriented towards strong, legally and morally tenable actions.” 

Rajnath Singh also listed various reform measures undertaken by the government to stimulate the economy including in areas of infrastructure, health, education, sanitation, drinking water, energy and defence.

(With Agency Inputs)

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