NATIONAL

Navy chief warns of terrorism via sea

Sunil Lanba

Sunil Lanba  

Highlighting the threat of state-sponsored terrorism that the country faced, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said on Tuesday that the Pulwama terror attack was perpetrated by extremists, aided and abetted by a “state which seeks to destabilise India”.

“We also have reports of terrorists being trained to carry out attacks with varying modus operandi , including through the medium of the sea,” Admiral Lanba said at the Indo-Pacific regional dialogue jointly organised by the Navy and the National Maritime Foundation.

He said terrorist groups had been evolving quickly across the globe and this particular ‘brand’ of terror could well become a global problem in the near future. “The Indian security establishment is continuously working to address this menace,” he said. It was imperative that the global community acted in concert to contain and eliminate terrorism in all forms.

Talking of the Indo-Pacific region, Admiral Lanba said it held great promise but its future was mired in the “shifting plates of global politics and the fault lines of history”.

Renewed pressure

“A unique blend of strategised financial aid, creeping territorial accretion, information operations, legal ambiguity and military assertiveness is being wielded by aspiring great powers to establish regional dominance. This is putting the region’s historically delicate stability under renewed pressure,” he said. Some projects had also, arguably, been undertaken “solely to support political and strategic designs with almost no benefit to locals”. He called for steps to avoid getting “entrapped” by those with unscrupulous designs.

Several countries, including Sri Lanka, had been caught in huge debts due to large infrastructure projects funded by China, which turned out to be economically unviable.

In the political domain, Admiral Lanba, without taking names, said in more than one nation, individuals who lost the democratic mandate had sought to undermine political stability. The support to such individuals from certain quarters was “well known”. Though the “resilience of democracies had been affirmed” so far, one must neither assume that these tactics would not be repeated nor presume that they would continue to be ineffective.

“Unilateral actions in direct violation of international arbitration mechanisms have furthered undermined security and stability in some regions,” he said.

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