National Security Advisor Ajit Doval stated on Thursday that the Indian Ocean, which had previously been a “ocean of peace,” is now the scene of rivalries and competitions and that India needs to safeguard its interests because the area may experience conflicts of interest.
The security on the high seas and economic prosperity are intrinsically intertwined, according to Doval, who spoke at the first meeting of the Multi-Agency Maritime Security Group (MAMSG), and all stakeholders must cooperate.
The Indian Ocean, which has historically been an ocean of peace, is progressively more competitive in the changing geopolitical landscape. We anticipate a potential conflict of interest, therefore we must guard against it and exercise caution, he said.
“This country’s future course is clear. We are aware of our destination. And when the time comes, our country must be powerful. India will not be able to get to the level of dominance it merits until it has a very robust marine infrastructure, according to Doval.
Vice Admiral G. Ashok Kumar (retired), the nation’s first National Maritime Security Coordinator, presided over the meeting. Admiral R. Hari Kumar, the Chief of Naval Staff, was present during the discussions.
The Indian Navy and other government agencies, together with top representatives from all 13 coastal states and Union Territories, attended the meeting.
The risk and demand for security in the marine realm would increase as we developed, produced more assets, and were more rich, according to Doval.
The significance of land borders and marine borders are viewed significantly differently in national security discourse, according to Doval. He asserted that it is impossible to fence off maritime borders and that maritime issues are addressed through international norms and regulations, as opposed to bilateral disagreements on land.
He added that it is difficult to prevent access for foreign intelligence agencies seeking to conduct espionage operations.
Doval mentioned programmes like the Colombo Security Conclave as examples of how like-minded nations may cooperate in the maritime sector and how it could be expanded.
As a leading maritime force, “our obligation” is crucial, he declared.