Challenges to our national security are varied and manifold: Antony

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New Delhi, Aug.14 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K.Antony on Saturday said that the challenges to our nation's security are indeed varied and manifold.

In his address to the Armed Forces personnel broadcast over All India Radio on the eve of 64th Independence Day, Antony said: Our rising economic stature has brought with it several challenges. The developments in and around our neighbourhood have forced us to review and upgrade our security apparatus."

"The security measures taken by us are often misunderstood by some nations. However, we have always been a peace-loving nation and we will continue to strive for peaceful relations with all our neighbours," he said.

"Post-26/11, we have taken several steps to strengthen the security apparatus, particularly along the coastline. We have cleared the setting up of four air enclaves at Goa, Kochi, Vizag, and New Mangalore. Coastal security has been strengthened, with acquisitions of new systems and platforms," the Defence Minister informed.

Stating that Armed Forces all over the world are modernising and becoming technology-intensive, Antony said: "I wish to take this opportunity to assure you that our modernisation plans are on the right track. We want to give our Armed Forces the latest and the best possible equipment."

"We would like the modernization process to proceed hand-in-hand with indigenisation. The success in the development of the indigenous nuclear submarine - INS Arihant must be replicated in other fields too," said Antony.

"We have accorded top priority to create infrastructure and build all-weather roads in inaccessible areas," he added.

The Minister informed that the Border Roads organization has been given the responsibility of constructing the Rohtang tunnel. This tunnel will ensure that the remote areas in the northern region, which remained inaccessible for over six months, will now be connected and accessible throughout the year.

The Rohtang tunnel would be the longest tunnel in our country at such a high altitude.

He appreciated the jawans acknowledging that they have been doing a creditable job despite all odds both during warlike situation and in peace.

"During my visit to Siachen in June this year, the jawans raised the problems and difficulties being faced by them.........I have directed the concerned officials and departments to take immediate remedial action," said Antony.

The Minister said that though the pressure on our Armed Forces personnel is tremendous, the need for exercising maximum restraint cannot be over-emphasised.

The Defense Minister, however, at the same time also stressed that any instance of human rights violation anywhere will not be tolerated. (ANI)

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