India for Global Cooperation to Combat Terror: President

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Thursday said "the foremost threat" the world faces today was terrorism and India wanted the menace to be combated by using all the force at its command and in close cooperation with the international community.

"One of the foremost threats that the civilized world is confronted with is from terrorism and India has been its victim… India believes that terrorism has to be confronted with all the force at our command and in close cooperation with the international community," Patil told a seminar at the National Defence College (NDC) here.

The prestigious NDC is celebrating its golden jubilee with an international seminar on 'The Role of Force in Strategic Affairs'. The seminar was held at the newly constructed Manekshaw Centre.

Speaking at the seminar, the president said the worldwide network of non-state actors was threatening regional peace and security.

"As the horrendous attacks in Mumbai demonstrated two years ago, terrorist groups have become more sophisticated and are able to use advanced technology and equipment in their objective of killing innocents," she said.

Calling terrorism a "global challenge", she said the world community has woken up to it.

She said India's strength was the moral force, its commitment to democracy, rule of law, pluralism and values that have enabled the country to earn the world's respect.

"The protection of the values that India stands for is a matter of national priority," she said.

She commended "the brave personnel of our armed forces who risk their lives to defend our freedom".

"We have had a number of officers, who throughout their careers showed the way through their sterling qualities. Many of them have even made the supreme sacrifice. They remind us that we cannot take our security for granted," he said.

She added that no nation could prosper without its borders being secure as security remains the basic edifice on which developmental pursuits are built.

"We need to be adept at managing the constantly changing nature of warfare and threats to our national security. A strong defence and an effective deterrence are essential to preserve peace," she said.

"We have to remain alert for any eventuality and provide our armed forces the necessary resources to deter any aggression or threat even as we pursue the goal of creating an external environment that is conducive to our development process."

Patil said NDC successfully fostered a culture of "strategic thinking and analysis" and has emerged as a premier institution of strategic studies in India.

She mentioned the alumni of the institute who have risen to the highest positions in their careers and in their countries. "We have among us the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and we are proud and I warmly welcome him," she said.


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