I am very pleased to address this prestigious gathering on India's perspectives on buildinginternational stability. At the outset, let me thank the Government of Singapore through mycounterpart Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, for the excellent arrangements they have made.Equally, I would express my appreciation to the International Institute of Strategic Studiesparticularly to its Director Dr. John Chipman for bringing together so many distinguishedparticipants from different countries.Most of us gathered here today are professionally focussed on security issues. We deal withdifferent dimensions of security from internal and regional, to the continental and global. Wealso envisage the definition of security in varied ways from the traditional hard securityviewpoint to its larger and softer concepts. We have been made aware too that the nature ofthreats that societies face are constantly changing. Obviously, our responses which are so criticalto ensuring international stability must keep pace with those changes. Today, I share India'sthinking on these subjects, less as a projection of static interests vis-ÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â -vis an external world, andmore as a viewpoint of a country integrating with a larger global canvas. I hope thus to bring outhow India's security policies contribute to building international stability.For some international stability is the absence of conflict among the major powers. As wasnotably the case during the Cold War, international stability in this perspective is also related to abalance of power between major contenders for influence. The Cold War is gone but theconcepts of deterrence, balance, arms races and arms control are still seen as important factorsin international stability. This point of view may still be valid to a degree but just as our view ofsecurity has evolved so too must our view of international stability.Given today's unprecedented globalisation in trade, technology, media, and a host of other areas,our lives are linked together in myriad ways. This interdependence is in itself a major dampenerof conflict, reducing the incentive for major players to seek a resolution of differences by a showof strength. However, globalisation has highlighted new threats to international stability such asmeltdown of currencies and financial markets a new domino theory if you will cascadingprotectionism, pandemics, uncontrolled migration flows and inability of states to handle changeand conflict within thereby generating instability and conflict. Globalisation and interdependencehave also changed radically the nature of old threats and enhanced the threat potential of nonstate actors. For example, India had to cope with terrorism in the 80s. It was seen by many asIndia's problem. Today, post 9/11, international terrorism is seen from a very differentperspective. The old concepts of balance of power and accommodation of rising powers throughslow adjustment of existing frameworks need to be updated and supplemented if we are tosuccessfully handle these challenges to international stability.In this background and as Minister of Defence, how do I see India's security priorities? India is theworld's most populous democracy. The well-being of its billion plus citizens has to be any IndianGovernment's first task. This well-being is not only economic. Our Constitution embodies a hostof rights and guarantees and directs us to remove social and economic disparities. When securityis accompanied by such a broad sense of well being, we can be more certainly assured ofstability. Meeting aspirations in the midst of substantial change is, however, a very complexchallenge. Yet, it has to be seriously undertaken because mitigating grievances and addressingexpectations are central to the management of such change. Values, beliefs and ideologies canmake their contribution, both positively and negatively. The point I wish to emphasise is that aneffective management of India's internal security at a time of rapid modernisation is itself a keycontribution to international stability. When one sixth of the world demonstrates an ability to meetits wants, manage its expectations and govern itself effectively, the significance of thatachievement cannot be overvalued.India has a coastline of more than 9000 kms, 300 island territories, some of which are closer toour neighbours than our own landmass, significant and growing maritime assets and 2.5 millionsquare kms of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The sea lanes going through the Indian Oceanare vital arteries of the global economy. We still have unresolved border issues and for more thantwo decades we have had to respond to the challenge of cross-border terrorism and proliferationof ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons in our neighbourhood. Our next security prioritytherefore has to be ensuring peace and stability on India's borders and in the regions with whichwe have increasing interaction - the Gulf, Central Asia, the Indian Ocean region, South Asia andSouth East Asia. This entails maintaining an adequate level of defence preparedness to keep theprobability of armed conflict low and to respond to situations such as the 2004 Indian Ocean"tsunami". Where there are disagreements, the priority has to be confidence building and arational and realistic approach based on peaceful bilateral dialogue.We have taken a number of policy initiatives both bilateral and regional that would put our tieswith immediate neighbours on a much better footing. Our relations with China have undergone asignificant improvement. As we both expand and integrate with the global economy, newopportunities offer themselves to refashion our ties. On major global issues, we often haveconverging positions and shared interests. We are committed to settling bilateral issues in a fairand transparent manner. With Pakistan, the composite dialogue has changed the climate of ourties for the better. With regard to bridging our differences, including on Jammu & Kashmir, weknow what has not worked in the past. The challenge is to devise more imaginative approaches.To do that, it is imperative that Pakistan delivers on its commitment not to permit any territoryunder its control to be utilised to support terrorism in any manner. I cannot emphasise enoughIndia's stakes in the emergence of a stable and moderate Pakistan, at peace with itself as muchas with its neighbours. Our quest to strengthen regional stability extends equally to otherneighbours. For example in Afghanistan, India has committed more than US $ 750 million toreconstruction and 3,500 Indians are participating in such programmes there. With all ourneighbours we are prepared to go the extra mile to encourage greater regional cooperation formutual benefit. The recent SAARC Summit in New Delhi is a testimony of our sincerity in thisregard. In security matters, India has completed a decade of engagement with the ASEANRegional Forum (ARF), which provides a vital platform for the major security players in Asia to sittogether and debate common challenges.Since the beginning of economic reforms in 1991, the Indian economy has become increasinglyintegrated in terms of trade, investment and technology flows with the rest of the world. Thereforethe third security priority for us is to safeguard the material, psychological and technological basisfor enhanced interaction with the rest of the world. Our approach in dealing with cross-cuttingthreats to security is based on a realistic assessment of global trends, capabilities and our owntechnological options - be it in terms of energy security, the security of critical infrastructure, WMDproliferation, terrorism and maritime security. The issue of non-littoral contributions to the securityof sea lanes has been discussed in this Dialogue earlier. India remains willing to workconstructively with littoral States in ensuring the security of vital sea lanes.Finally India's security priority has to be a vigorous and active participation in shaping globaldevelopments, including through strong equations with key players US, Russia, EU, China andJapan and key regions such as the South East Asia, the Gulf and the Middle East. Contrary tosome theories in that regard, we do not perceive the inter se relationships between the majorglobal players in zero sum game terms. Our defence and security interaction with the majorpowers is expanding in both scope and content. The recent naval exercises and visits that weconducted with Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, with Japan and USA, and with Russia andChina reflect the expansion of our vision as much as our capabilities.I have attempted to describe India's security priorities in terms of the requirements of internationalstability today. India's first priority may be internal, focussing on a conducive environment forrapidly improving the quality of life of our people, but when we succeed at home, given the sheernumbers involved, we also succeed in denting global poverty and in demonstrating newopportunities for developing countries to leverage the globalised economy. Equally importantlythe pluralism that sustains our society at home can be a major contribution to a more stable anddiverse international order. Regionally, our security interests are met by a peaceful anddeveloping periphery. This is the aim of our current intensifying engagement with countries inSouth Asia, South East Asia, West Asia and Central Asia. Given the challenges to peace andlong term stability in these regions, this also contributes to international stability. Globally, we arecontributing actively as a responsible partner to the search for solutions to security dilemmasconnected with terrorism, WMD proliferation and other non-traditional security threats. Ourlongstanding credentials as a good global citizen will only be further reinforced by the growingstakes that we have developed in the world economy. India's relations with the major powers -United States, Russia, China, European Union, and Japan as well as the emerging powers ofLatin America and Africa are on a path of rapid expansion. This in itself is a positive developmentfor international security and stability in a rapidly changing world characterized by multivalence,interdependence and political cooperation among the major powers. Our rise has given no causefor any apprehension with regard to regional or international stability. On the contrary this is seenas contributing to the development of a more stable world order.To conclude, it is not merely the structure of the international system that is changing at a rapidpace. The challenges themselves are evolving rapidly. When it comes to natural disasters,pandemics, illegal trafficking in goods or people or environmental problems, traditional analysisbased on national rivalries must give way to more forward looking approaches of cooperativesolutions. It will require major states, in particular, to be less tactical in their approaches to the keychallenges of our times. This will also require that no single forum perhaps assume responsibilityfor international security related issues. Only a pluralistic security order working through anetwork of cooperative structures can have the legitimacy as well as the wherewithal to deal withthe security challenges of the 21st century. India is ready to play its role in the shaping of this newapproach to collective security. I thank you for your attention.