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ajit doval: India would have progressed much faster if borders had been more secure, defined: NSA Ajit Doval

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India would have progressed at a much faster pace if its borders had been more secure, defined and not in “adversarial dispossession”, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said, 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 our borders are going to be as secure as we will require for our fast economic growth. So, the responsibility on border guarding forces has become very, very heavy. They have got to remain on alert 24X7 in perpetuity. They have got to see that our national interests and country are protected,” he said.

Borders are important because that is the limit which “defines our sovereignty”, he said.

“Jameen par jo kabja 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.

The government has paid very, very high attention to border security during the last 10 years, a period in which “our comprehensive national power has grown immensely”, Doval said on Friday.

The national security advisor said India is changing very fast and, in the next 10 years, “we will be a USD 10 trillion economy and the third largest economy” that he called a “major achievement”. He said India will have one of the largest workforces and be a hub of high-technology artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing and various other areas of defence and security manufacturing. The country, which was an importer of arms, exported USD 2.5 billion worth of arms until March 31, emerging as a big exporter because of the government’s policy of self-reliance and Atmanirbhar Bharat, Doval said.

In this changing India, prosperity guarantees security to some extent and increases vulnerability in much larger areas, he said.

“All these are ingredients of national power or what the Chinese call comprehensive national power. Your economy, your geographical expanse, your geo-strategic positioning, defence forces, technological achievements, and India’s comprehensive national power will be very high,” he said.

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