Slamming Pakistan for not putting an end to terror groups operating from its soil, Defence Minister A K Antony on Friday said that country has allowed them to thrive, demonstrating no will to act against such outfits. He also said that the China-Pakistan military nexus is a matter of serious concern.
India needs to 'closely monitor' the developments in Pakistan, he said, noting that "Islamabad must put an end to terror activities emanating from its soil. However, the terror infrastructure on the ground remains intact and is actually thriving".
"Pakistan is yet to demonstrate any will to take speedy action against terrorists and international criminals," he said while speaking at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses founders' day event in New Delhi.
"The nexus between China and Pakistan in the military sphere remains an area of great concern. We have to carry out continuous appraisal of Chinese military capabilities and shape our responses accordingly. At the same time, we need to be vigilant at all times," he said.
However, the defence minister said India was hopeful that China would reciprocate to its initiatives aimed at mutual prosperity and understanding.
"India wants to develop a friendly and cordial relationship with its neighbours including China. We continue our efforts. At the same time, there are issues that are a matter of concern to us," he later told reporters.
Noting that India's profile was growing in the international arena, Antony said other nations expected much more from New Delhi for meeting some common challenges.
"We are making sincere and continuous efforts to resolve long-standing issues with our immediate neighbourhood. We have always striven for peaceful relations with all our neighbours. As a vibrant democracy and a prospering economy, we cannot ignore the security calculus in the region," he said.
Antony said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's willingness to resume dialogue with Pakistan must be seen in the context of India's eagerness for peace in the region. On the security challenges faced by India, the defence minister said the government had already taken several steps for capacity-building of the armed forces "to meet the new and emerging challenges".
However, India will remain steadfast in its pursuit of regional and global peace, he added. Later, replying to a query on the recent failure of the test-firing of Agni-II, Antony said, "These types of tests are many times successful and sometimes a failure. We cannot expect success in all tests. We are absolutely confident that the Defence Research and Development Organisation will be able to finally achieve the target at the earliest."
The defence minister rubbished a query on whether the failed test put a question mark on India's nuclear deterrence, saying, "It is absolutely not relevant."