Western border guard will not be lowered: PM

Western border guard will not be lowered: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told top military commanders on Tuesday that the country wants to resume dialogue with Pakistan but guards at the western border would never be lowered.

“We are engaging Pakistan to try and turn the course of history, bring an end to terrorism, build peaceful relations, advance cooperation and promote stability and prosperity in our region,” he said, adding “But, we will never drop our guard on security.”

“We will continue to judge progress (in the bilateral relation with Pakistan) on their commitments on terrorism,” he told commanders from the Army, Air Force and Navy while addressing the combined commanders conference on-board INS Vikramaditya off Kochi.

This is for the first time, the combined commanders conference is being held on-board a military platform. The prime minister’s statement comes in the wake of the recent decision to restart bilateral dialogue with Islamabad because of its potential peace dividends.

Last week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj traveled to Islamabad to meet her counterpart Sartaj Aziz before announcing resumption of peace talks.

“India has started a NSA-level dialogue as a part of these efforts and would test the neighbour’s intentions to define the way forward,” Modi said. He said countries across regions were reaching out to India seeking cooperation to deal with rising terror and radicalism.

“Ours is a difficult neighbourhood with the full spectrum of security challenges. We see terrorism and ceasefire violations, reckless nuclear build-up and threats; border transgressions and continuing military modernisation and expansion. The shadow of West Asian instability is becoming longer,” he said.

On China, Modi said “We will continue to strengthen our defence capabilities and infrastructure, engage our neighbours more closely and strengthen our regional and global partnerships, including in maritime security.” 

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