Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today asserted that the Balakot strike by the IAF on terror camps in Pakistan in February 2019 and the Galwan Valley clash between Indian and Chinese troops in June last year were clearly signaled by India to ”all aggressors” that it would no longer tolerate internal and external threats to its security.
He was addressing the graduates of 59th National Defence College (NDC) course (2019 batch) during their convocation ceremony in New Delhi.
Singh said the bold approach of the government on issues like border disputes and cross-border terrorism has made India stronger in the recent past and it has now assumed a greater global role and responsibility.
He reiterated that India was a peace-loving nation, but would give a befitting reply to anyone who threatens its integrity and sovereignty.
He expressed concern that violent radical forces were attempting to gain legitimacy the world over by creating a new normal. ”There is a widespread realisation amongst responsible nations to come together against the menace of terrorism,” the minister added.
The NDC, he said, could play a key role in fostering a common understanding among friendly countries against terrorism and finding long-term solutions to deal with the menace.
Sharing his views on the situation in Afghanistan, Rajnath said the developments have highlighted the harsh reality of our times. “The only certainty about evolving geopolitics is its uncertainty. Changes in state boundaries may not be as frequent today. However, the fast-transforming structure of states and the influence that external powers can have on it is clearly evident,” he said.
He emphasised the need to draw lessons from the situation in Afghanistan, far beyond the immediate reverberations being felt in the region and beyond. “When these events are viewed, it is tempting to believe that terrorism, fear, medieval thoughts and actions, discrimination drawn on the basis of gender, practices that are seeped in inequality and dogmatic thought, can sweep aside the wishes of the people, plural ideas and inclusive structures.”
He exhorted the NDC to focus more on the new and fast-emerging areas such as cyber, space, artificial intelligence and big data analytics. “The world has witnessed rapid transformation in all these areas of scientific knowledge. This technological progression must be accompanied by its military interpretation within the strategic community,” he said.