"India has exhibited measures to disrupt and deter the activities of terror groups and their patrons and would not hesitate to do so again if required", Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday, in a veiled reference to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.
While speaking at a meeting of ASEAN defence ministers in Singapore, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said:
The presence of terrorist infrastructure and support to terrorists in the "immediate neighbourhood" constantly tested India's patience and as a responsible power, it exercised "great restraint" in dealing with the menace. However, India had exhibited measures to disrupt and deter the activities of terrorist groups and their patrons and would not hesitate to do so again if required in future".
Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized upon the following issues:
The theme of this year's dialogue was 'Strengthening Cooperation, Building Resilience'. The dialogue adopted two resolutions on 'Countering the Threat of Terrorism' and 'Practical Confidence Building Measures'.
Sitharaman lauded the ADMM-Plus mechanism for emerging as a credible and effective platform forging practical cooperation among the members of the armed forces. She informed the partners of India's active participation in all the ADMM-Plus mechanism contributing effectively to their success.
India and Myanmar are the co-chairs for the Expert Working Group for Military Medicine for this cycle and a standalone Field Training Exercise on Military Medicine will be held in Lucknow in March 2019 along with the release of ASEAN Military Medicine Handbook, Sitharaman said.
The defence minister emphasised India's commitment to a rules-based international order that was inclusive and democratic. She reiterated India's desire to work both bilaterally with ASEAN member states as well as institutionally and welcomed Thailand's taking over the chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus.
(With inputs from PTI)