India’s progress would have been faster, if borders were more secure, says NSA Doval

India would have progressed at a much faster pace if its borders had been more secure, defined and not in adversarial dispossession, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said on Friday, underlining that the country’s power has grown immensely in the last 10 years.

Delivering the Rustamji Memorial Lecture organised by the Border Security Force (BSF) on its 21st investiture ceremony, Doval said India’s economic progress would have been much faster if “we had more secure borders”.

“In the foreseeable future I don’t think that our borders are going to be as secure as we will require for our fast economic growth.

So, the responsibility on the border guarding forces becomes very very heavy.

They have got to remain on alert 24×7 and they have got to see our national interest,” he said.

“Borders are important because that is the limit which defines our sovereignty. Zameen par jo kabza hai wo apna hai, baki to sab adalat aur kachehri ka kaam hai, usse farak nahi padta (The land which is in our possession is ours, the rest is the matter of courts and that is immaterial),” Doval said.

He said India will have one of the largest workforces and will be a hub of high-technology artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing and various other areas of defence and security manufacturing. “…

We are very confident that at the rate at which we are building our capabilities, we will emerge as a big military power.

We are going indigenous in our dependence on hardware, military weapons and equipment.

The country, which was an importer of arms, exported USD 2.5 billion worth of arms until March 31 because of the government’s policy of self-reliance and Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.

The NSA told a gathering comprising various CAPFs and other central police organisation heads and personnel that “retarders” related to national security need to be checked as a good number of countries have undergone degradation because of “one single factor” like internal instability.

“Pakistan got broken into two because it could not manage the internal security in its eastern wing,” he said.

“When we do strategic planning and thinking, it is necessary for us to estimate and have clarity about our borders.

It was important for a country like India to keep a check on the retarders as the country has achieved much in the last 10 years.

When somebody will be writing the history of this country…they will be able to see that accretion in national power was achieved and amongst the retarders (was) vulnerability of our borders was a major factor,” the NSA said.

Doval advised that various central armed police forces of the country should have jointness and interoperability among themselves like the ongoing plan for the defence forces.

“Should we think about the jointness in our CPOs (central police organisations). Jointness where we can have interoperability in weapons and other things.

We are a huge force now.

We have also got the same type of duties, inter-mingling duties at many places whether it’s a question of procurement, communication training standardisation,” he said.

“In defence forces it (jointness) is being done now.

We are thinking of theatre commands.

One officer from the Air force probably controls the Navy and Air force and in many areas that jointness has been brought about.

There (in defence forces) it was more difficult because their equipment is very difficult, their doctrines are different, their command and control systems are different but here (CAPFs) it is almost the same.

So, if we bring (jointness in CAPFs), we not only save money and it is not for saving money it also brings about greater homogeneity.”