Pakistan security situation cause of worry, says Defence Minister

Pakistan security situation cause of worry, says Defence MinisterNew Delhi, Apr 20: Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony on Monday said that the grim security scenario in Pakistan is not only a cause of worry for the region but also for the international community.

Addressing the top brass of the Army on the first day of the four-day Commanders’ Conference here, Antony said the terror attacks in Mumbai have gravely undermined peace and security in the region.

“Despite being provided with irrefutable evidence, the Pakistani Government has not displayed the sincerity and decisiveness in dealing with the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks. In fact, it continues to pursue the policy of State-sponsored terrorism and either refuses to, or is incapable of, dismantling the terror infrastructure. The grim security scenario in Pakistan ought to be a source of worry for the region and the international community. On our part, we have to maintain eternal vigilance to pre-empt such threats and respond to these challenges. We are firmly committed to safeguard the lives our citizens at any cost and have taken several measures to beef up the security, particularly in coastal areas”, Antony added.

The Defence Minister said the recent developments in Swat and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan are ominous signs not only for the region but the entire world.

Referring to the situation in Sri Lanka, Antony said, the ethnic conflict there has a potential spillover effect in our country.

“India and indeed the entire south Asian region stand to gain from a political solution and restoration of peace in the island nation,” he added.

Antony said the successful conduct of free and fair elections in Jammu and Kashmir was a tribute to the success of democratic process in India.

“It reflects the strong desire of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to move towards economic development and progress. The peaceful atmosphere in the State must be maintained and our security forces must ensure that the gains are not frittered away. The ‘moral ascendancy’ over terrorists must be maintained to further improve the situation. Upholding human rights remains the cornerstone of our anti-terrorist operations,” he added.

Antony called for greater synergy and reduction in procedural delays among various headquarters and departments to achieve the objective of modernization of the Armed Forces.

He also called for jointness in operation, training and administration to keep pace with technological changes, geostrategic imperatives and for tackling changing nature of conflict.

“The jointness of approach must address areas such as common defence communication network, missile programme, exploration of space and integrated logistics”, he added.

Antony asked the top brass of Army to develop appropriate doctrines and vocabulary to institutionalize the process while retaining the pluralistic, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual fabric of the society.

The Defence Minister paid glowing tributes to the armed forces perssonel, who laid down their lives in the service of the nation.

The four-day conference will focus on macro level issues pertaining to military strategy, operational logistics and matters impacting the welfare and enhancement of satisfaction level amongst all ranks.

During the session the conference will address in specific and strategic restructuring and reorganizing of Indian Army, review on the existing scales of accommodation and futuristic recommendations, review functioning of military farms and also improvements to the existing Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme. (ANI)