We live in perilous neighbourhood, says Narayanan | delhi | Hindustan Times
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We live in perilous neighbourhood, says Narayanan

National security advisor struck a note of caution saying that Islamabad was acquiring weapon systems from abroad "with a view to confronting India", reports Rahul Singh.

delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2008 03:07 IST
Rahul Singh

National security advisor MK Narayanan struck a note of caution on Wednesday saying that Islamabad was acquiring weapon systems from abroad "with a view to confronting India."

Narayanan voiced his views a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed hope that India-Pakistan ties could evolve to become the "best ever".

Speaking to the "crème de la crème of the country's military leadership, the NSA welcomed the return of democracy in Pakistan, but did not disregard the "strong pockets of anti-India sentiment" there. Delivering the Air Chief Marshal PC Lal memorial lecture on National Security and Building a Consensus for the 21st Century, Narayanan said Pakistan's military strategy was India-centric. He said ISI continued to "mentor terror groups."

He expressed his concern over China and Pakistan sharing military technologies in the "nuclear and missile areas" and China augmenting its space capabilities and modernising its military.

"We need to evolve a national consensus on whether China is a threat or a neighbour… We confront challenges rather than threats from China but the situation is reversed in Pakistan… Unfortunately national consensus is more elusive today than in the past, even though we are living in a dangerous neighbourhood," Narayanan added.

The NSA said the collapse of a ceasefire in Sri Lanka could lead to an explosive situation as Colombo, pursuing a single-minded military policy, was seeking weapons from beyond the region. "There has to be a consensus on how much assistance to give or pressure to exert," he said, demanding the minority Tamil community be treated with dignity.