Disturbances in neighbourhood pose security challenge: Antony

Bangalore, Feb 9 (PTI) Defence Minister A K Antonytoday said "violent disturbances" in India''s neighbourhoodpose a security challenge to the country and the Governmentwas committed to rapidly modernising the armed forces to meetthe challenge.

Inaugurating the Aero India 2011, South Asia''s top airshow that took off at Yelahanka Air Force Station here, Antonysaid India''s democratic credentials and a fast growing economyhave convinced the world that it can play a responsible and astabilising role in the region.

Noting that India has always been a votary of peace,he said, "Yet, violent disturbances in our immediate andextended neighbourhood pose security challenges for our nationand the region as a whole."

"Our Government is steadfast in its resolve to meetany challenge. We are, therefore, committed to ensure rapidmodernisation of our armed forces and equip them withstate-of-the-art systems, equipment and platforms".

Antony said, "Our current defence expenditure -- 2.5per cent of its GDP, is consistent with our projected securityrequirements and is bound to increase over the next twodecades". .

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