Af-Pak developments destabilising South Asia: Antony

New Delhi, Nov 23 ( Developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan have thrust South Asia into sub-conventional conflict and are destabilising the region, Defence minister A.K. Antony said Monday.

“Various developments over the last few months in and around our neighbourhood, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, have thrust South Asia to the centre-stage of sub-conventional conflict and instability,” Antony said while addressing a seminar on “Changing Nature of Conflict: Trends and Responses”.

Antony said that presently there is no nation which is not being affected by terror and is not actively involved in the war on terror.

Antony’s remarks follow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement wondering “who to deal with” or negotiate with in Islamabad due to the fluid political situation in the country.

Commenting on the paradigm shift in the nature of conflicts, Antony said: “Though territory related issues retain their primacy, other issues like historical differences, ideological biases, economic disparity, religious prejudices, energy security and water shortage are no less a contributing factor.”

“Modern day conflicts are not merely confined to states but have expanded to include sub-nationalities, terrorists and insurgencies, religious fanatics and ethnic interests,” the defence minister added.

Underlining the threat of terrorists laying hands on nuclear weapons, Antony said conventional armed forces need to maintain an edge over such non-conventional players. He also called for more synergy among security agencies, both nationally and internationally, to tackle such threats.