A secure, stable, peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood is central to India's security perspective. The regional security environment in South Asia continues to be dynamic, with terrorism, insurgency and sectarian conflict emerging from our immediate neighbourhood, increasingly threatening the stability of our region. Amidst the ongoing efforts to impart fresh vigour and dynamism to strengthening relations with neighbours in a comprehensive manner, the need to enhance a cooperative security construct is of immediate relevance in this period of strategic uncertainty. India is committed to build an open and dialogue based security cooperation with all partners in the neighbourhood on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and respect.


As the international military forces in Afghanistan approach the phase of drawdown, the security situation in Afghanistan requires close monitoring. With the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) taking full responsibility for the security of the country, the international community must ensure sustained support to the equipping and capability building requirements of the ANSF, to enable them to deal with the entire spectrum of security challenges that they may be required to face. The present political transition in the country is a significant milestone for Afghanistan, with renewed opportunities for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation process. The Strategic Partnership Agreement between India and Afghanistan provides the framework for the commitment of both countries to build bilateral relationship in all spheres, including though defence and security cooperation aimed at enhancing mutual capacity in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges.


India wishes to develop peaceful, friendly and cooperative ties with Pakistan. However, security concerns vis-a-vis Pakistan have remained due to the continued activities of terrorist organisations functioning from territories under its control. India has clearly indicated that we are willing to resolve all outstanding issues through a peaceful, bilateral dialogue process. However, for this dialogue to be meaningful, an environment free from terror and violence is required. During the recent meeting of the DGMOs of both countries at Wagah in December 2013, Pakistan has expressed its commitment to ensuring ceasefire and peace and tranquility on the Line of Control. However, the existence of terrorist camps across the India-Pak border and Line of Control and continued infiltrations and incidents on and across the LoC, demonstrate the challenges in this regard. India's view is that a selective approach by Pakistan in tackling terrorist groups operating on its territory will not serve the interests of the region, nor indeed, those of Pakistan, particularly since these organisations pose a danger to Pakistan's own internal security.


Although the unresolved boundary dispute between India and China is a major factor in India's security calculus, India has engaged with China on the principles of mutual trust and respect for each other's interests and concerns. Both countries are agreed on the need to maintain peace and tranquility on the border and a number of measures are being pursued to promote interactions and confidence building measures between the Armed Forces of both sides. The conclusion of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement with China in 2013 is a significant step in the direction of promoting confidence building measures between both countries, and is expected to contribute to maintenance of peace and tranquility along the LAC. India also remains conscious and watchful of the implication of China's increasing military profile in our immediate and extended neighbourhood, as well as the development of strategic infrastructure by China in the border areas. India is also taking necessary measures to develop the requisite capabilities to counter any adverse impact on our own security.


India and Bhutan have traditional and unique bilateral relationship, characterized by utmost trust and deep mutual understanding which has matured over the years. India and Bhutan have been privileged socio-economic partners since 1961. Today, there is extensive cooperation between the two countries in all areas including in the area of trade and economy including hydropower, defence and security as also people-to-people linkages.


As close neighbours, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation, which is characterized by open borders and deep-rooted people-to-people contacts of kinship and culture. There has been a long tradition of free movement of people across the borders. The misuse of the open borders by some elements inimical to Indian interests is a challenge that both countries are addressing jointly. As the security and economic interests of both countries are intertwined, India is determined, as a close friend and neighbour, to partner with the Government and people of Nepal in all areas of national endeavour, based on the principles of mutual respect and equality.


India's relations with Myanmar are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties that have stood the test of time. An MOU on Border Cooperation, concluded between India and Myanmar in May 2014, provides a strong framework for security cooperation and intelligence exchange between Indian and Myanmar security agencies in areas of coordinated patrolling, intelligence sharing, counter-insurgency, arms-smuggling, drug, human and wildlife trafficking. Under an MOU on Border Area Development concluded in 2012, projects pertaining to school, hospital and bridge construction in Myanmar are being supported by the Government.


Cooperative relations between India share a unique relationship of friendship and and Bangladesh remain a positive factor in the regional security scenario. There is a high degree of convergence in the concerns and views of both countries on security issues and on managing border security concerns. India continues to emphasize its security concerns to Bangladesh, especially the use of Bangladeshi territory by Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) and terrorists of other nationalities.


A Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP), signed between the two countries in July 2011, synergizes the efforts of the Border Guarding Forces of both countries, for more effective control over cross border illegal activities and crimes, as well as for maintenance of peace and harmony along the India-Bangladesh border. A system of institutionalized interactions for discussion on border management through meetings at all levels, addresses all such concerns.


Relations between India and Sri Lanka are based on shared cultural, religious, linguistic and historical ties and remain cooperative and constructive. Maritime security challenges and the maintenance of peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region are common concerns which provide for a convergence of strategic interests between both countries and the underpinning to ongoing cooperation in the field of defence. India has been supportive of the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka and supports a lasting political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka which would meet the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, peace and dignity.


Security cooperation between India and Maldives is a highly significant dimension of bilateral cooperation, as the security interests of both countries are interlinked. Bilateral relations are being nurtured and strengthened through regular contacts at the highest levels and at various levels of the defence forces of both countries.


The commonality of regional maritime security challenges is the foundation for the trilateral defence and security cooperation framework through which India, Sri Lanka and Maldives are working to develop joint capabilities to respond to a variety of maritime challenges. The initiative enables the defence and security establishments of all three countries to pursue dialogue and practical cooperation on a regular basis. It is expected that the initiative will contribute to the development of a cooperative vision of security in the region.


The challenge posed by non-traditional threats such as WMD proliferation, terrorism, drugs, human trafficking, etc continue to remain high on India's security agenda. New challenges have emerged in the domains of Cyber and Space, with the demonstration of offensive capabilities by certain countries. These are likely to shape the security situation, in the future. Hence they are being addressed through an across-Government, multi-agency approach, of which the Armed Forces are an important and intrinsic part.