NEW DELHI, Oct 22 � Observing that terrorism was being used to destroy the core values of the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked the armed forces to remain a step ahead of terrorists to ensure their defeat, reports PTI.
Singh also listed Naxalism as a grave threat to national security and asserted that the Indian State cannot and will not allow its authority to be challenged.
Terrorism has been used as a means to destroy the values on which the nation is built, he said adding that terrorist groups enjoy patronage and sanctuaries and do not lack in resources.
�We therefore have to ensure that our capabilities to combat terrorism remain a step ahead of those of the terrorists. They should be left in no doubt whatsoever about our ability and resolve to defeat them,� Singh said addressing the golden jubilee function of the National Defence College.
He acknowledged that there was a development deficit in all parts of the country and Naxalism was posing a threat to national security.
�But we should be equally clear that the Indian State cannot and will not allow its authority to be challenged,� the Prime Minister said.
Citing the incidents of piracy off the Somalia coast, Singh said non-State actors were becoming increasingly fused and employing the best technologies to target open and democratic societies like India.
�We have therefore to modernise our defence doctrines to respond to new and non-traditional threats to our national security,� he said.
Despite a complex regional and global environment, Singh said India�s policies were marked by a sense of responsibility and restraint. �India�s military spending has been assessed to be just below the world average as a percentage of GDP,� he said.
At the same time, he said, the government would not hesitate in ensuring that all necessary resources are provided for national security needs.
With the issue of the expansion of the UN Security Council apparently on his mind, Singh said the �reality of international relations is that power is unevenly distributed.
�We should not expect those who have power to willingly part with it. We have to stand up on our own feet to defend the values that define us as a nation,� he said.
The Prime Minister said that India has always opposed the unilateral use of force in resolving disputes between States.
�We have worked consistently for a rule-based international order, whether in the field of security, trade or climate change. We have worked to strengthen global security,� Singh said.
Noting that energy security was another major challenge, Singh said that the country must keep all options open including nuclear energy.
�Till such time as we are dependent on fossil fuels we must have the capability of safeguarding the security of the sea lanes of communication. The bulk of international oil cargoes pass through the Indian Ocean and this is a region of vital interest to us,� he said.