Bhutan calls India a leader and a friend

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 23 2010, 19:41pm hrs
Bhutan described India as not only a world leader but also an emerging economic power. India justified its traditional doctrine of the use of force when there is no alternative way for securing justice.

The visiting King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck while releasing the 50-year history of the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi on Thursday said : India as not only a world leader but also an emerging economic power. The progress of Bhutan depends much upon the bright future of India.

:I consider myself a part of the great Indian family, he said urged for strengthening Bhutan-India cooperation.

The King, who is an alumni of NDC said : I completed my 45th course here before becoming King in 2006. I consider myself to be a part of the great Indian family

About 50 alumnis from 22 countries were present at the NDCs golden jubilee celebration.

Inaugurating the Manekshaw Centre as well as the seminar on "The Role of Force in Strategic Affairs", organized as a part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the National Defence College the President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil said that the discussions would take a holistic look at various aspects of national security and strategic issues, including the changing nature of warfare, role of force, the existence of non-state actors, nuclear deterrence and international responses to war. I am confident the deliberations at this event will significantly contribute to our understanding of changing requirements of security in the 21st Century, she said.

The President said that India was a peace loving nation. Historically, we have never coveted territory nor have we been an expansionist power. We have no aggressive intent. Our strategic doctrine is derived from our civilisational values of peace, tolerance and mutual co-existence. We wish to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours based on mutual respect, non-interference in each other's affairs and in accordance with principles and Charter of the United Nations.

No nation can prosper without its borders being secure and security remains the basic edifice on which developmental pursuits are built. We need to be adept at managing the constantly changing nature of warfare and threats to our national security. A strong defence and an effective deterrence are essential to preserve peace. Hence, we have to remain alert for any eventuality and provide our Armed Forces the necessary resources to deter any aggression or threat, even as we pursue the goal of creating an external environment that is conducive to our development process the President said.

Saying that terrorism has emerged as a global challenge and India has become its victim, the President said : There are other challenges to security, many of them far removed from the classical notions of inter-state conflict. As the world has globalized, so too have these challenges, no longer respecting national borders. Transnational crimes, piracy, drug trafficking and cyber attacks are all examples of these new threats, many of which are interlinked.

Delivering the valedictory address on Friday, the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh said that an enlightened national security policy should be based on a holistic appreciation of many inter-related as pects and concerns that impinge on a nations overall wellbeing as internal and external aspects of security were getting increasingly interlinked and that there was a need to understand the concept of contemporary national security within a wider strategic and economic matrix.

Despite a complex regional and global environment, Indias policies are marked by a sense of responsibility and restraint. Indias military spending has been assessed to be just below the world average as a percentage of GDP. The Government of India nonetheless will not hesitate in ensuring that all necessary resources are provided for our national security needs, the Prime Minister said.

He said that India had always opposed the unilateral use of force in resolving disputes between States. India had worked consistently for a rule based international order, whether in the field of security, trade or climate change and also to strengthen global security. Indias troop contributions to the United Nations have been noteworthy and have received acclaim. India have been working towards global, universal and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament and for a world free of nuclear weapons and have consistently advocated the adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

We have to be prepared to deal with threats to our security from non-state actors and groups. The problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden is a case in point. Non-state actors are becoming increasingly fused and employing the best technologies to target open and democratic societies like ours. We have to therefore modernize our defence doctrines to respond to new and non-traditional threats to our security, he said and added cyber warfare is an area of emerging concern. I am glad that the Armed Forces and our other agencies are paying increasing attention to building expertise in this area.

The Prime Minister said that energy security was another major challenge. We do not have the luxury of choosing between one source of energy and another. We must keep all options open, including nuclear energy. Till such time as we are dependent on fossil fuels we must have the capability of safeguarding the security of the sea lanes of communication. The bulk of international oil cargoes pass through the Indian Ocean and this is a region of vital interest to us, he said.

The Indian Defence Minister, AK Antony said that some nations were always on the lookout to provoke and encourage threats to the countrys security and national integrity. He said Indias strategic location gave rise to many of these crucial challenges in no small measure.

The use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in general and nuclear weapons in particular, constitutes the gravest threat to peace and stability in the region and the world. Today, not just India, but the international community faces the dangerous possibility of nuclear materials and technologies falling into wrong hands. In such a scenario, autonomy in decision-making in strategic affairs and in the developmental process is an inalienable right of the Indian people,he said

On its part, India had always exercised self-restraint in proliferation of nuclear weapons, despite not being a signatory to NPT. Our avowed No First Use principle and active participation in disarmament initiatives are ample evidence. The proposed moves must ensure that there is no differentiation between India and the nuclear weapon states, he said.

Quoting ancients texts like Ramayana and Mabharata, the national security advisor, Shivshankar Menon justified the use of force when there is no alternative way to render justice. This he said was the Indian doctrine for the use of force in statecraft. He also quoted Mahatma Gandhi advocating the use of force for securing justice when other alternatives are not available.