India faces threats to its security from almost all its neighbours, — be it the spillover of domestic ethnic conflicts, large-scale illegal migration or the base they provide for terrorism directed against India — says the former Foreign Secretary, Muchkund Dubey.
“It is now well documented that Pakistan has been encouraging and assisting terrorists to cross over the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and the international border to indulge in acts of terrorism in India,” Mr. Dubey writes in his soon-to-be-released book India’s Foreign Policy: Coping with the Changing World.
“For this purpose, it maintains a whole infrastructure of terrorist organisations and their training camps on its territory. This is a part of its strategy to keep militancy alive in the State and, generally, to destabilise India.”
Mr. Dubey, who retired from the Indian Foreign Service in 1991, says both Pakistan and China, “from which India faces a direct threat to its security, have been busy augmenting and improving” their nuclear arsenals.
“Besides, there was very recently a sharp deterioration in the international security environment because of some of the unilateral measures adopted by the United States under the Republican administration... In such a situation, India cannot afford to take too long in putting in place its minimum nuclear deterrent and, for that purpose, acquiring a second strike capability. It must adopt a phased programme within a time-bound framework for achieving this target,” he said.
He said Bangladesh has contributed to the destabilisation of the northeast by allowing the United Liberation Front of Assam and other militant groups to operate from its territory with a view to carrying out terrorist activities in India.
“These groups have been provided shelter in Bangladesh and allowed to run training centres there. Another non-military threat to India’s security from Bangladesh is the large-scale illegal migration of its citizens, which has created law and order problems in the adjoining Indian States and also imposed economic and social burdens on the country.”