The Indo-Pacific region, which houses nearly 60 percent of the world’s population, faces both traditional and non-traditional maritime challenges for which the Indian Navy functions as a ‘Net Security Provider’ in the Indian Ocean region, Indian Navy chif Sunil Lanba said here on Tuesday.
Listing these, he said the traditional challenges include unresolved sovereignty issues, territorial disputes, contradictory positions on international norms, maritime muscle flexing and general militarisation of the region.
Among the non-traditional challenges, Admiral Lanba named piracy and maritime terrorism, and warned that any disruption of trade in the region will have an adverse impact not only on the regional but also the global economy.
Speaking during The Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue, ‘Indo-Pacific: Possibilities and Portents’ organised jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and think tank Gateway House, he outlined the significance of this region in terms of conflict, population density, peculiarity of maritime trade routes, availability of natural resources and as the fastest growing economic region in the world.
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As far as India’s viewpoint was concerned, he said they are charting a course of economic growth using a civilisational ethos of Realism, Co-existence, Cooperation and Parntership.
In order to achieve these goals, Indian Navy will continue to be the ‘Net Security Provider’ in the Indian Ocean Region and has already taken several initiatives like anti-piracy operations, Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief, Indian Ocean Naval Symposiium and resource-sharing with other navies in the region.
Any disruption of peace and stability in this region would adversely affect India’s economic growth and aspirations of empowering our masses, he pointed out.
Stating that India and Indian Navy’s maritime strategic is built on strategic deterrence, maritime cooperation and capacity building, Lanba expressed hope this region would emerge as a aregion of opportunities’ and do their best to overcome portents to the extent feasible.