‘Security situation in Pakistan continues to be cause for concern'
The government on Friday asked the top brass of the armed forces to assess the security situation in the country “on a continuous basis and remain prepared for any eventuality in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The government's note of caution was delivered by Defence Minister A.K. Antony at his inaugural address to the Unified Commanders Conference at the South Block here. He described the May 2 United States stealth operation in Pakistan as “a watershed in the global war on terror.” He said it “internationally stamped” Islamabad's position as the core of terrorist activities in the region. “Ripples of this event will have a wide-ranging impact on our strategic neighbourhood.”
Mr. Antony said the security situation in Pakistan continued to be a cause for concern. He reiterated that real progress in New Delhi's ties with Islamabad would need Pakistan to take concrete action to dismantle terror infrastructure on its soil.
New Delhi was not unduly concerned over Beijing's moves to modernise and upgrade its military capability, despite its continuing to be Pakistan's main strategic partner. “We must, on our part, keep up the ongoing process of upgrading our military structure,” the Minister said.
India had taken a series of steps to shore up infrastructure, including building border roads, locating frontline fighter aircraft in the northeast, raising mountain divisions and activating advanced landing grounds closer to the border with China for swifter transportation of men and materials.
Referring to modernisation of the armed forces, he asked the top armed forces leadership to adopt a change in world view. “Just as the old brick and mortar economies have given way to the new economic architecture across the world, so too modernisation of our armed forces must chart a new path. The thrust for modernisation and change has to be necessarily top-driven and that is where your role assumes a crucial significance.”
Turning to Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Antony said the situation there had shown improvement over the past few months. The violence level showed a decline and a political process was coming to the forefront.
While crediting the security forces for progress on the political front in the State, he said the armed forces would need to keep up the vigil to ensure that the violence was kept to the minimum.
“This calls for a lot of restraint and the upholding of the human rights of the local people without compromising over all our preparedness to meet any evil designs,” he said. He pointed out that the summer months would be a crucial test to the response mechanism of the armed forces.
U.S. stealth operation in Pakistan a watershed in the global war on terror Decline in violence in J&K
U.S. stealth operation in Pakistan a watershed in the global war on terror
Decline in violence in J&K