India has taken measures to disrupt and deter the activities of terror groups and their patrons and would not hesitate to do so again if required, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Saturday, in a veiled reference to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.
Ms Sitharaman, speaking at a meeting of ASEAN defence ministers in Singapore, also said that the presence of terrorist infrastructure and support to terrorists in the "immediate neighbourhood" constantly tested India's patience and as a responsible power it exercised "great restraint" in dealing with the menace.
"However, India had exhibited measures to disrupt and deter the activities of terrorist groups and their patrons and would not hesitate to do so again if required in future," she said, according to a statement released by the Defence Ministry in New Delhi.
Ms Sitharaman emphasised India's concern on the grave challenges to international peace and stability due to the threat of terrorism.
Condemning the use of terror as an instrument to further state policies, she said that the interplay between states and non-state actors used as proxies to foment violence had worsened this menace.
Speaking at the Fifth ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), she reiterated India's view on the Indo-Pacific, as outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as an open, balanced region, connected by open and secure seas, integrated by balanced trade and shaped by a rules-based order, and anchored in ASEAN centrality.
She asserted that India was committed to maintaining a sustained focus of its Act East policy in terms of economic, cultural and developmental engagement of the region.
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