Defence Minister Rajnath Singh speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo/ANI
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo/ANI

Global terrorism a challenge, Navy a guarantor of India's security: Rajnath Singh

ANI | Updated: Oct 22, 2019 20:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 22 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that global terrorism continues to be a challenge for all security forces, and the sea routes have their own vulnerability.
Addressing the Naval Commanders' conference here, Singh noted that the Indian Navy has taken several steps to strengthen coastal security to counter emerging threats after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
He urged the naval commanders to continue reviewing procedures and strengthen the Coastal Security framework so as to counter emerging threats and challenges effectively.
Singh also urged the senior leadership to maintain its focus on futuristic capability development to ensure that the nation's maritime power grows in tandem with our economic interests.
According to a Defence Ministry release, the minister said a strong navy remains a necessary guarantor of India's security and prosperity and the need for a modern, potent and credible Navy cannot be over-emphasised.
The minister said Navy has a crucial role of safeguarding the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) to create a stable environment for the country to become a USD $ 5 trillion economy and expressed confidence that it will continue to perform the duty of safeguarding the maritime interests of the nation.
He referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement about the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff and said it would improve the overall coordination among the three services.
Singh said the Navy had launched 'Operation Sankalp' in a swift and calibrated manner in the wake of the incidents involving attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May and June this year.
The Minister said that the Navy again displayed its ability to defend India's critical national interests by escorting merchant vessels with Indian flag through "the energy lifeline of the country" during 'Operation Sankalp.'
According to the release, the minister said: "For the Indian economy to reach the USD 5 trillion mark by 2025, there is requirement for a stable and balanced environment in which Navy has a crucial role to play in the form of safeguarding the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) - the economic lifeline."
Speaking on global terrorism, Singh said: "It continues to be a challenge for all security forces and that sea routes have their own vulnerability."
"Post 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the Navy has made concerted efforts to strengthen security and stability of our waters and coastal regions and enhance inter-agency cooperation and coordination," the release said.
He said the Navy's anti-piracy patrol duties in the Gulf of Aden since 2008 have been successful in safeguarding the country's maritime interests and contributed immensely to maintaining maritime security of the region.
The Minister also complimented Navy for efficient Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations undertaken in the recent past both on Indian and foreign shores.
He said these had shown reach, mobility, sustenance, ability and persistence of the Indian Navy to undertake operations not only within the country but in the entire Indian Ocean Region (IOR) in peace and during war.
The Minister said that the Indian Navy has also established itself as a vital tool for military diplomacy, furthering the national and foreign policy objectives through active cooperation and engagement with not just IOR nations but maritime nations across the globe.
Lauding Navy's foreign cooperation initiatives and sustained efforts at capability enhancement and capacity building of foreign navies, he said these initiatives have not only strengthened maritime security and stability in the region but have also resulted in transforming the Indian Navy into a preferred partner for engagement in the IOR.
Singh also lauded the role of Navy in the field of indigenisation in consonance with the 'Make in India' initiative of the government.
He said dedicated thrust has also been accorded to marine infrastructure projects in line with the ongoing and future expansion plans of the Navy. These include strategic infrastructure projects like the Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock at Mumbai.
Referring to some recent inductions in the Navy, he said these platforms bear testimony to the self-reliance in warship building that the nation has achieved.
He emphasised the need to increase the indigenous content with respect to complex machinery, and cutting-edge weapons and urged all stakeholders to put in all-out efforts on these fronts.
Singh expressed confidence the naval commanders would identify key focus areas and strategies to further enhance the capability and efficiency of the Navy.
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar were among those who were present on the occasion. (ANI)