New Delhi: Even as India secures her borders
against possible external threats, the country needs to pay
more attention on non-conventional threats from within, Vice
President Hamid Ansari said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a book launch in the capital, Ansari stressed
on the need to address "non-conventional" threats like
pandemic which, he said, was an equal threat to national
"Increasingly we are coming across them (non-conventional
threats), to mention just one -- pandemic. India hasn`t been
affected by it, but the few brushes we`ve had with epidemics
should make us take this threat more seriously and start
seeing it as a threat to national security," said Ansari.
Talking about India`s foreign policy, the vice president
said that India would succeed in maintaining good relations
with her neighbours only after she addresses certain "domestic
"In a democratic polity like ours, in the typology of
threat, the domestic threats to polity are looming very large
and if we are not able to address them in an adequate way then
we can`t really address external threats and our diplomatic
relations with other nations will eventually be affected," he
Ansari also emphasised on the need for "inclusive growth"
of the country which, in the long term, will help India to
maintain cordial relations with her neighbours.
"Economic view of foreign policy is essential in itself,
but thinking only in terms of economic policy is not going to
get us where we want to be, because I don`t think we can bring
the sum total of all our powers together...but the word is
"In the name of growth we can`t ignore a lot of other
problems that loom large," he said, adding that although India
had progressed in various areas there were certain areas that
are yet to witness progress.
Ansari also said that south Asia had a lot of potential
for development and India would play a "critical" role in the
"There is a lot of potential in southern Asia. Our
interaction with them is critical and it is in our interest to
bring the nations together, but that is also the greatest
diplomatic challenge for India," he said.