Expressing concern over the rising incidents of terrorism along the Line of Control, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that non-traditional threats and terrorism remain foremost challenges to South East Asia region.
He was delivering the keynote address at the 20th ASEAN Regional Forum hosted by the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi on Thursday.
Parrikar stressed the need to oppose terrorism resolutely everywhere, delegitimize it as an instrument of State policy and cooperate unreservedly to locate and destroy terrorist networks.
“Terrorism remains the foremost challenge to our region. We need to oppose terrorism resolutely everywhere, delegitimise it as an instrument of State policy and cooperate unreservedly to locate and destroy terrorist networks,” he said
The Minister referred to the maritime domain as a key enabler of prosperity that has a wide spectrum of threats.
India believes that States should resolve disputes through peaceful means without threat or use of force.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for the Indian Ocean as captured in the acronym SAGAR or Security and Growth for All in the Region shows India’s approach to the broader Indo-Pacific region”, said Defence Minister.
Parrikar further stated that India is not only committed to safeguard its land and maritime territories and interests, but will also make its capabilities available to other regional countries.
He exhorted member countries to increase the dynamism and efficiency of the ARF and enhance cooperation on multi-national responses to non-traditional security challenges including climate change, space and cyber security.
The three-day meet is being attended by representatives of 23 member nations and organisations including China, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Russia, EU and ASEAN Secretariat.
Participating countries will have detailed deliberations on how to further reinvigorate professional military education to meet contemporary challenges to efficient and effective military leadership.
They will also discuss reinvigoration of Professional Military Education (PME) to build capacity to counter non-traditional threats like natural disasters, pandemics, transnational crimes and demographic issues.
It will also have a brainstorming session on how to promote effective defence diplomacy for better mutual trust and understanding.