Terrorists being trained, may take sea route to attack India, says Lanba in address to global experts
Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Tuesday said there are reports about terrorists being trained to carry out operations through the sea against India even as New Delhi refuted Pakistan’s claims of presence of an Indian Navy submarine in Pakistani waters in the Arabian sea.
Addressing a gathering of global experts at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue here, Lanba said the Pulwama attack was perpetrated by extremists that were “aided by a State” that seeks to destabilise India. But he did not name Pakistan.
“We have reports of terrorists being trained to carry out operations in various modus operandi, including through the medium of the sea,” he said. His warning came days after the Pulwama attack. The 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008 was carried out by 10 sea-borne terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), who hijacked an Indian fishing trawler to reach Mumbai and unleash mayhem.
While sounding a note of caution about the possibility of terrorists using the sea route for their actions, the Navy chief said this part of the world had witnessed multiple forms of terrorism in recent years and few countries in the region had been spared.
The global nature that terrorism has acquired in the recent times has further enhanced the scope of this threat, Lanba said. India, however, faces a “far more serious” version of “State-sponsored” terrorism, he said.
“We recently saw the horrific scale of the extremist attack in J&K about three weeks ago. This violence was perpetrated by extremists aided and abetted by a State that seeks to destabilise India,” he said.
He added, “We have seen how quickly terror groups evolve across the globe. A particular brand of terror can well become a global problem in near future.”
The Indian security establishment is continuously working to address this menace, the Navy chief said, noting that “it is imperative that the global community works in concert to eliminate terrorism”.
Lanba also emphasised the importance of the Indo-Pacific Region. “There is a renewed focus of the world on the seas. This is principally due to the geoeconomic and geopolitical significance of the maritime domain.”
Meanwhile, India and Pakistan on Tuesday traded charges with the latter claiming that an Indian Navy submarine was forced to return from Pakistani waters after it was detected on Monday. New Delhi termed it as “false propaganda and spread of misinformation” besides rubbishing Islamabad’s claim that its air force had shot down a SU-30 fighter plane.
On the submarine issue, the Pakistan Navy said it had identified an Indian submarine in its maritime zone. The official message said it “successfully detected and thwarted an attempt by the submarine to enter Pakistani waters.
The Pakistani Navy spokesperson also said, “The Indian submarine was not targeted keeping in view Pakistan’s policy of peace.”
The Pakistan Navy also released a video, shot from air, supposedly of the Indian submarine’s mast above water.
Brushing aside the Pakistan claim, the Indian Navy termed it as “false propaganda.” The brief statement also said the Navy does not “take cognisance of such propaganda” adding “our deployments remain undeterred.”
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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