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India doesn't believe world order where few considered superior: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh addressed the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) in New Delhi on Friday.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (File Photo)

By Manjeet Negi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India did not believe in a world order where a few are considered superior to others. He said that the country stood for a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific and the same was important for economic development and the wider global community.

Addressing the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) in New Delhi on Friday, Singh highlighted India's vision and quoted the prime minister.

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"The Prime Minister had said that India stands for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, which embraces us all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. He put forth our idea of ASEAN centrality in the region and said that our common prosperity and security require us to evolve, through dialogue, a common rules-based order,” the Defence Minister said.

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Singh emphasised that dialogue is the only civilised mechanism for resolving disputes and disagreements and creating regional or global order. He cited PM Modi's resolute message during the G-20 summit in Bali recently that “the era of war is over”.

He noted that the era is embroiled with major challenges, such as Covid-19, climate change, and widespread deprivation, and it was important to overcome these challenges unitedly. The defence minister also described the importance of enhancing trade and connectivity, and capacity building as time-tested ways of working together.

He shed light on the ‘Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative’ launched during the East Asia Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2019. He said, regional cooperation and participation are important pillars of this initiative, focusing on the vision of SAGAR i.e., Security and Growth for All in the Region.

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“We have proposed the ASEAN-India Initiative for women in UN Peace Keeping Operations which would contribute towards effective conflict resolution and lasting peace through a more humane approach. We have also proposed ASEAN-India Initiative on Marine Plastic Pollution Response towards improving the marine ecosystem,” he said.

Rajnath Singh termed it as a moral responsibility to strive towards building a secure and just world. “In India, our philosophers and visionaries have always dreamt of a human community, transcending political borders. We have always seen security and prosperity as a collective pursuit of the entire humankind, in which there is no possibility of island security or prosperity,” he said.

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Rajnath Singh reiterated India’s belief in a multi-aligned policy and asserted that India does not believe in a world order where few are considered superior to others.

At the three-day IPRD, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar spoke about the threats and challenges to India’s holistic maritime security and reaffirmed Indian Navy’s committed resolve to preserving the nation’s maritime interests.