State-sponsored terrorism testing India’s patience: Rajnath Singh
New Delhi, Feb 03 : State support to terrorism by a neighbouring country poses a serious challenge to India, but it has displayed capability to “disrupt and deter” terror networks and their patrons, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.
Addressing a conference, Singh also announced creation of 10 new defence wings in as many Indian missions so that more Defence Attachés (DAs) could be appointed.
“This will further strengthen India’s defence diplomacy,” he said at the conclave of India’s Defence Attaches (DAs) posted across the globe.
On threat of terrorism, Singh, in a clear reference to Pakistan, said “continued presence of terrorist infrastructure and state support to terrorists” in the country have tested India’s patience.
“As a responsible and powerful nation, India had displayed that it was able to disrupt and deter the activities of terrorist groups and their patrons,” the defence minister said.
“Terror and its related violence have posed serious challenge to the international security environment and the inter-play between state and non-state actors as proxies to spread violence have further increased the threat,” Singh said.
The defence minister also delved into security threats in the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region.
“We need to be more focused to secure our interests. We have adopted pro-active measures to promote peace and stability in the region as well as to increase defence and security cooperation with the Indian Ocean rim countries so as to create a stable maritime environment,” he said.
Singh also asked the DAs to work for attracting foreign direct investment in India’s defence manufacturing sector.
“With the establishment of two industrial corridors in the states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, it is expected that this will increase defence manufacturing and exports.
“There is a lot of scope for DAs to work and attract FDI in these corridors,” he said, adding a large country like India cannot restrict its defence cooperation to a few countries.
“The government has introduced a new scheme to promote defence exports through DAs to their respective countries. Under this scheme, funds have been allocated for export promotion to 34 countries,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
It said Singh hoped that the DAs will use the fund judiciously to promote defence exports.
The Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) have also opened offices in countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, Oman, etc.
“An Export Promotion and Investor Cell has been set up under the Department of Defence Production to facilitate Indian companies’ efforts for exports,” the statement said.
Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar also addressed the DAs. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane attended the conference.