Monday, April 15, 2024

Will not shrink from countering any threat that undermines collective well-being: Rajnath


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New Delhi, Feb 21:  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday called upon the international community to collectively aspire for peace in this age of democratic and rules-based world order, where individual countries proactively collaborate for shared peace and prosperity.

While Rajnath Singh batted for peace and shared goodness, he also said that “we will not shrink from countering any threat that undermines our collective well-being, piracy and trafficking included”.

He said this while addressing the formal opening ceremony of the 12th edition of the multi-nation Exercise MILAN in Visakhapatnam.

Sharing his insights on the concept of ‘peace’, the Defence Minister asserted that the absence of wars and conflicts is the most irreducible minimum element of peace.

He spoke of “negative peace” which, he said, often stems from dominance or hegemony, where one power imposes its will upon others. He said such peace, not backed by fairness and justice, is what physicists and economists call “unstable equilibrium”.

Rajnath Singh elaborated on what he called “cold peace” where parties do not kill each other in the open, but do their best to undermine one another.

He described cold peace as merely an interval between direct conflicts.

The Defence Minister was of the view that the concept of positive peace goes beyond the mere absence of direct military conflict and encompasses broader notions of security, justice, and cooperation. He said: “The positive peace is the shared peace of one and all, with the cooperation of one and all. There is no Indian peace or Australian peace or Japanese peace, rather it is the shared global peace. This sentiment was also eloquently set forth by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he said this is not an era of war. But it is one of dialogue and diplomacy.”

Singh emphasised that armed forces play a dual role – conduct wars as well as maintain peace and good order.

“Historically, navies and armies were established and maintained with the primary objective of extending political power through military conquests. Our historical experience informs us that the Armed Forces also play a significant role in preserving peace. It is seen in concepts and practices such as deterrence, conflict prevention, peace-keeping, and also in various humanitarian assistance efforts especially during disasters,” he said.

The Defence Minister stressed that in this evolution of the nature of the Armed Forces, international military exercises have emerged as crucial mechanisms for fostering friendship, understanding, cooperation, and military inter-operability among friendly nations within the framework of a democratic world order.

He termed MILAN 2024 as one such attempt to build the much-needed fraternal bonds across the oceans and mountains.



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