Peace can only be ensured through ability to deter war: Rajnath on Ladakh stand-off

Rajnath Singh (File photo)

New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said that India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unilateralism and aggression, no matter what the sacrifice, and that peace can only be ensured through the ability to deter war.

Singh’s remarks came ahead of the eighth round of military-level talks between Indian and China to ease tensions in the Eastern Ladakh.

“We have attempted to build this deterrence through a judicious combination of capability development and an emphasis on long term policy of indigenisation,” Rajnath said while addressing a Webinar of National Defence College’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Singh was delivering a keynote address at a two-day Webinar with the theme- ‘India’s National Security- a Decade Ahead’.

“Perhaps the most fundamental lesson that the roller coaster of the rise and fall of nations taught us was that peace cannot necessarily be achieved by a desire for peace but by the ability to deter war. Unfortunately, the mere desire to seek peace, if not reciprocated by others, does not necessarily succeed in building a harmonious environment in a world beset by conflicting ideas of security, sovereignty and national interests,” Rajnath said.

“Recently, India has been facing other challenges on its borders. India is a peace-loving country. We believe that differences should not become disputes. We attach importance to the peaceful resolution of differences through dialogue,” the Raksha Mantri said.

The Defence Minister also outlined four broad principles that are likely to guide India’s quest for national security in the future.

“The first is the ability to secure India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty from external threats and internal challenges. Second, the ability to create secure and stable conditions that can facilitate India’s economic growth, thereby, creating the resources for nation building and to meet individual aspirations.

“Third, we remain steadfast in the desire to protect our interests beyond the borders in areas where our people reside and our security interests converge. And finally, we also believe that in a globalised and interconnected world, a country’s security interests are interlinked by shared and secure commons,” Singh said.

He further emphasised that India has proved that countries that employ terrorism as an instrument of national policy can also be deterred through options that were considered “un-implementable” in the past.

He said “Pakistan continues to remain adamant in the use of terrorism as state policy. However, we have achieved substantial success in working with progressive and like-minded countries to not only expose Pakistan’s regressive policies but also make it increasingly difficult to continue with its previous business as usual approach,” he said.

The next round of Corps-Commander-level talks will be held along the LAC in the Chushul sector tomorrow. Earlier, Indian and Chinese military commanders met for the seventh time on October 12 in a bid to defuse border tensions.