Undefined borders have set India back economically, says Ajit Doval

Doval underscored the importance of borders, stating that they define the nation’s sovereignty.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.AFP

NEW DELHI : India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Friday stated that undefined borders in the west and north have adversely affected the country. He highlighted that these borders have significant implications for internal security, including terrorism, radicalism, and drug trafficking, posing a liability to the nation.

Doval noted that India’s economic progress has also been negatively impacted by the troubles at the border. However, he emphasised that the policy initiatives implemented by the current government over the past ten years have significantly enhanced the country’s power.

Delivering the Rustamji Memorial Lecture during the Border Security Force’s (BSF) 21st investiture ceremony, Doval said, “In the foreseeable future, I don’t think our borders are going to be as secure as required for our rapid economic growth. Therefore, the responsibility of border-guarding forces has become very heavy. They need to remain on alert 24/7 in perpetuity to ensure our national interests and country are protected.”

The NSA also suggested that paramilitary organizations consider the idea of “seamless interoperability” and creating “joint command structures” in different theatres of operation, similar to the armed forces. “I am giving you this idea to think about, as you already operate in areas where more than one paramilitary personnel are deployed,” he said.

Doval underscored the importance of borders, stating that they define the nation’s sovereignty. “The land which is in our possession is ours; the rest is a matter for courts and is immaterial,” he said.

He stressed that the current government has placed significant emphasis on border security over the past 10 years, during which India’s comprehensive national power has grown immensely. Doval projected that, in the next 10 years, India will become a US$10 trillion economy, making it the third largest in the world. Doval highlighted that India will have one of the largest workforces and become a hub for high-technology areas such as artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing, and various other fields of defense and security manufacturing. He noted that India, once an importer of arms, has emerged as a significant exporter, with US$2.5 billion worth of arms exported until March 31, due to the government’s policy of self-reliance and Atmanirbhar Bharat.

“Your economy, geographical expanse, geo-strategic positioning, defence forces, achievements—all contribute to India’s high comprehensive national power,” the NSA concluded.

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