NSA Ajit Doval On Agnipath Scheme: 'War Is Changing, We Have To Be Prepared'

NSA Ajit Doval On Agnipath Scheme: Doval said that Agniveers will never constitute the whole Army. Recruits who will join the service for full-term after their four-year tenure "will undergo intensive training, acquire experience over a period of time", he noted.

By Aalok Sensharma
Updated: Tue, 21 Jun 2022 02:09 PM IST
Minute Read
NSA Ajit Doval On Agnipath Scheme: 'War Is Changing, We Have To Be Prepared'

Strongly defending the Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday said that the war in the present era is changing and turning into a "contactless" conflict which is why India needs to prepare for tomorrow.

In an exclusive interview with news agency ANI, Doval said security is a "dynamic concept" which cannot remain "static" as stressed that India needs to protect its national interest and national assets.

"There's a need to look at it in a perspective. Agnipath isn't a standalone scheme in itself. When PM Modi came to power in 2014, one of his prime priorities was how to make India secure and strong. That required many avenues, many steps - multitude of them," Doval said.

"Broadly speaking, they come under the four heads. It requires equipment, it requires change in systems and structures, it requires change in technology, it requires change in manpower, policies and they have to be futuristic," he added.

During the interview, Doval further said that Agniveers will never constitute the whole Army. Recruits who will join the service for full-term after their four-year tenure "will undergo intensive training, acquire experience over a period of time", he noted.

"As far as regiments are concerned, two things need to be understood. Nobody is tinkering with the concept of regiments... They (regiments) will continue... The regimental system has not ended...," Doval told ANI.

Talking about the protests against the Agnipath scheme, Doval said cases have been registered and accused are being identified, stressing that a thorough investigation will be done. He further added that the new model will not be rolled back.

"I think that the protests, raising your voice is justified and is permitted in a democracy. But this vandalism, this violence is not permitted and will not be tolerated at all," he told ANI. "My message to the youth who want to become 'Agniveers' is that be positive, have faith in the nation, have faith in the leadership and also in yourself."

He also slammed critics who had claimed that Agniveers released from services will become "mercenaries for hire", calling their claims "invalid". "I can tell that if there's any guarantee in the society to keep peace and stability it'll be the civilian population that has to become law-abiding," he said.

He also spoke about Pakistan and said that New Delhi has good relations with all of its neighbours, including Islamabad. He said India would love to have normal relations with Pakistan but noted that the "tolerance threshold for terrorism is very low".

When asked about Kashmir, Doval said people in the Valley are no longer in "favour of Pakistan and terrorism" following abrogation of Article 370.

"We can't have peace and war at the choice of our adversary. If we've to protect our interests, then we will decide when and with whom and on what terms we will have peace," Doval told ANI.

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