NEW DELHI: India today strongly condemned the coordinated terrorist strikes by the Taliban in Afghanistan and said the security situation in the Af-Pak region continued to be a cause of concern toNew Delhi.
Addressing the biannual army commanders’ conference here, Defence Minister A K Antony asked the top brass of the Indian Army to be vigilant and take steps keeping in view the terror attacks in Afghanistan. He, however, made it clear that India was committed to providing support and assistance to Afghanistan so that it evolved into a stable country, strengthened by pluralism and free from external interference.
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna conveyed his profound concern over the violence in the trouble-torn nation to President Hamid Karzai and the people of Afghanistan.
“Indian believes that the people of Afghanistan will have to settle issues among themselves in a civilised manner without resorting to mindless violence,’’ he said. Krishna said it was India’s earnest desire that normalcy would be restored in Afghanistan so that the country could move ahead and develop itself.
Meanwhile,Antony, in his address, also referred to the sharp increase in its defence spending by China. “We will continue to bolster our infrastructure and strengthen our capabilities along the border areas. However, our efforts are focused on safeguarding our security interests and not dictated by what other nations are doing,” he added.
On the modernisation of armed forces, the minister said the government’s endeavour was to provide the desired impetus to arming the forces in a systematic manner. “There is clearly an urgent need to achieve self-reliance in the field of critical defence equipment.’’