Navy chief warns of terror strikes through sea

New Delhi


Underlining that India is facing state-sponsored terrorism, Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Tuesday said there are reports of terrorists being trained to carry out attacks through various ways including via the sea route.

Addressing the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue, Admiral Lanba without taking names hit out at Pakistan for abetting terrorism in the region.

He said that the Indo-Pacific region has witnessed multiple forms of terrorism in recent years, and few countries in this part of the world have been spared by this scourge. 

"The global nature which terrorism has acquired in recent times has further enhanced the scope of this threat. India, however, faces a far more serious version of terrorism -- state-sponsored terrorism," Lanba said as he cited the example of February 14 Pulwama attack in which at least 40 paramilitary troopers were killed. 

"This violence was perpetrated by extremists aided and abetted by a state, which seeks to destabilise India. We also have reports of terrorists being trained to carry out attacks with varying modus operandi, including through the medium of sea," he said. 

"We have seen how quickly terrorist groups evolve across the globe and this particular 'brand' of terror may well become a global problem in the near future," he added.

The Navy chief said that the Indian security establishment is continuously working to address this menace, and stressed that it is "imperative" that the global community acts to contain and eliminate terrorism, in all its forms. 

"As maritime economic endeavour increases across the region, there is need to enhance maritime security, both individual and collective. Given the wide range of threats at sea, from piracy and crime to maritime terrorism, it is important that all stakeholders work together," he said.

He said that enhancing regional security cooperation will "allow us to optimally coordinate efforts to counter common challenges", optimise responses to shared situations and continuously learn from each others' best practices. 

In a related development, Pakistan on Tuesday said that it thwarted an attempt by an Indian submarine to violate Pakistani territorial waters. However, the Indian Navy refuted the allegations, saying its deployment is to "protect national maritime interests". - IANS