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India should engage Pakistan, China in a way that war doesn't remain an option: NSA

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday said India must engage with its neighbours--China and Pakistan--and build deterrence capabilities in a way that war does not remain a "necessary option".



New Delhi: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday said India must engage with its neighbours--China and Pakistan--and build deterrence capabilities in a way that war does not remain a "necessary option".

At the same time, Doval called for a preparedness for a "two-front war".

Doval said there are different types of issues with all the neighbouring countries barring Bhutan and the country will have to prepare itself in view of the neighbourhood settings.

The former Chief of Intelligence Bureau said Pakistan has been using terrorism as part of state policy as they feel that they will be able to carry out this asymetric warfare for an indefinite period at a nominal cost.

"We have got two neighbours. Both of them are nuclear powers. Both of them do not have very representative democratic government. Both of them have got a strategic relationship which is very very deep and both have got an adversarial view of ours," he said.

He said India is engaging with both the neighbours and lot of ground has been made with China. He said efforts have been made towards Pakistan also.

"The challenge for today is to engage them diplomatically, able to create economic interdependence, engage in various other fields and at the same time build our force levels deterence capability, to an extent that war does not remain a necessary option. That will require deeper engagement," the NSA said at the HT Leadership Summit.

He said this will also require support for democracy in the neighbourhood and economic cooperation.
 

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