Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers
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India unbound?

For this year´s Mid-Winter-Meeting, CIOR invited Major General (ret.) Ashok Hukku from India to speak about the country´s defense and security strategy. He presented the country´s security approach to CIOR.

His military career brought him to various assignments, such as defense attaché to the UK, and which gave him broad knowledge of security issues in the world. As being retired it is his aim to promote the Indian perspective on the world to the global community. His statements were made on his personal opinion and can be seen as process motivating critics. 
 
As the approach of NATO is not to become a global police but a global security partner, it is a core interest of the alliance to intensify dialogue to establish mutual understanding with countries beyond the alliance territory. The final aim of this process is the setting of global security partnerships. India is more and more recognized by the rest of the world as an emerging global power. Since the mid-ninety´s the country´s economy has reached an annual growth level which impresses the industrial world. And India has the third largest armed forces behind China. This raises the questions about the country´s security policy, especially on regional stability and the strategy to reach this goal? 
 
In his speech General Hukku immediately made clear to the audience that India is an emerging power in both, economy and military matters in the South Asian region. According to him, the world need not to fear about India as it is the world’s largest Democracy. In the past the global community couldn’t be sure about the country´s position as being nonaligned with pro-soviet tendencies which are still recognizable in the country today. Currently India tries to positioning itself, considering the problematic with its borders and thus its close neighbors, its geographic position between the Muslim and Asian world and its relation with the West world. India still has to struggle with internal and external challenges concerning to the past and the future. The domestic challenges are focusing the future and do contain questions about the developing process, General Hukku claimed. Following the discourse of the General, the democratic evolution of the Indian takes concept of a plural and harmonic society. This new situation is being reflected with changes at the societal level, such as to overcome barriers of the caste system, at the political and the military level to establish a clear anti-terrorism position, at economic level to continue on a countrywide industrialization, and specifically on the integration of all Indian citizens in a common project. “The construction of a future orientated India as a solid and stable country must be a model to other countries in the world especially to the Asian subcontinent countries,” General Hukku stated.
 
Afterwards General Hukku went over to analyze external dimension regarding the security environment of India and the region from different perspectives. India has realized its regional role and wants to intensify co-operation with NATO focused on the support of the ISAF mission and the assistance in the war on terror. With the words of the General “There is no doubt that a political agreement about Afghanistan cannot be successful without a great regional treaty.” But the question of regional stability is strongly interlinked with the unresolved Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Both countries are stakeholders on a stable Afghanistan and a stable region. Thus India’s and Pakistan’s efforts should not be overshadowed by the Kashmir conflict. During the last year bilateral talks to enhance security have been resumed between New Delhi and Islamabad, which are still full of resentments. “The success of regional consensus lays in a joint strategy”, the General sums. And he went on to give recommendations how to proceed to bring both countries close together.  A first step would be to create a group of contact for the region, authorized by the Security Council of United Nations, with a calendar of activities that would be modified according to the circumstances. This group (based on the former SEATO) will be able to promote the dialogue between India and Pakistan about its respective interests in Afghanistan as well as the necessity to find a solution to the dispute of Kashmir. 
With his speech General Hukku gave new and fresh insight of security concerns in the South Asia region to the CIOR and CIOMR audience. This once again shows CIOR´s relevance being up to date on global security developments related to NATO and to provide unique knowledge to the participating reserve officers. CIOR represents the interests of over 1.3 million reservists across 36 participating nations within and beyond NATO. Regarding on this, CIOR provides knowledge combined with national best practices on reserve matters to NATO and Ministries of Defense. 
 


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