New Delhi/Wellington: India will not hesitate in carrying out operations from the soil of another country to fight terrorism, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.
The Defence Minister, giving a talk on ‘Defence reforms in shifting National Security paradigm’ at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, said India has updated its strategy to meet the emerging challenges.
He said the world is changing rapidly in terms of military power, trade, communication and political equations, and India is not untouched.
“Keeping our defence preparedness a step ahead in proportion to such a situation is not an achievement but a necessity,” the minister said.
He launched an attack on Pakistan without naming the country, and said India has faced several challenges since independence, mentioning the 1965 and 1971 wars.
“Our neighbour which I will not name, even today they are trying to create disruptions in our country. In both defeates, they lost morale and realised a direct war is not something they can win, so they resorted to proxy war,” Rajnath Singh said targeting Pakistan.
He said India’s approach towards tackling terrorism is pro-active now, and cited 2016 surgical strike, and 2019 strike on a terror camp in Balakot as examples.
“India will finish terrorism on its own soil, and if needed, India will also go on the soil of another country to finish terrorism. This defines the new era of national security in India,” the minister said.
The comments come in the backdrop of Afghanistan being taken over by Taliban, which is seen as a security threat to India with fear of Afghanistan-based terror groups entering India.
On Afghanistan, he said: “The changing equations in Afghanistan is a big challenge. This situation has forced us to think about our strategy… I will not go into details but formation of QUAD is a part of the strategy”.
He also mentioned the India-China border tension, without naming China, and lauded Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Navarane’s leadership.
“At the northern sector, there was a one-sided attempt to change the status quo on the border. Our soldiers displayed patience where it was needed and courage where it was required… The way soldiers have displayed courage under Army Chief General Naravane is commendable,” he said.
Singh also stressed that India has never been expansionist, and has never captured “even an inch of land” belonging to any other country.
The Defence Minister said that India’s efforts to update its security strategy include futuristic reforms, structural reforms and a focus on self-reliance.