Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday suggested that the country modernise its defence doctrines to respond to new and non-traditional security threats, while underscoring India's resolve to defeat terrorism.
Besides these challenges, Dr. Singh said cyber warfare was another emerging area of concern, while Naxalism and left-wing extremism posed the “greatest threat” to national security.
“We have to be prepared to deal with threats to our security from non-state actors and groups. The problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden is a case in point. Non-state actors are becoming increasingly fused and employing the best technologies to target open and democratic societies like ours. We have to, therefore, modernise our defence doctrines to respond to new and non-traditional threats,” he said in his valedictory address at the golden jubilee function of the National Defence College here.
Dr. Singh said that despite a complex regional and global environment India's policies were marked by a sense of responsibility and restraint. The country had always opposed the unilateral use of force in resolving disputes between states and worked consistently for a rule-based international order, be it in the field of security, trade or climate change.
“We have been working towards global, universal and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament and for a world free of nuclear weapons. We have consistently advocated the adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.”
In his address, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said some of the country's neighbours were always on the lookout to provoke and encourage threats to the country's security and national integrity.
The Minister said that India's strategic location gave rise to many of these crucial challenges, but still the country always desired and worked for peaceful relations with all nations, and its neighbours.
Terrorism, he said, posed a serious threat to all nations, and pointed out that the increase in clandestine proliferation of networks in India's neighbourhood made the fight against terror more complex.
Referring to other challenges, Mr. Antony said the world now faced the dangerous possibility of nuclear materials and technologies falling into the wrong hands, and in such a scenario, autonomy in decision-making in strategic affairs and in the developmental process was an inalienable right of the people.
The Minister flagged that space and cyber domains were being talked of as the next frontiers that needed to be conquered, and said that India needed to make its cyber system both secure and non-porous.