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Buddhika asked: Can India alone deal with the non-traditional threats coming from the Indian Ocean?

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  • S.S. Parmar replies: The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean and has an area of 73,556,000 sq km including the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. This vast area is home to many littorals and Island nations. Therefore, any activity in this ocean is subject to a plethora of issues stretching from strategic interests both intra and extra regional, national jurisdiction of maritime zones, varying national laws dictated by types of governance and economics, to capabilities and capacities of nations to address both traditional and non traditional threats that affect the existing security scenario.

    Non-traditional threats, such as piracy, terrorism, drugs and arms trade, and natural disasters, are trans- border issues that affect most of the nations that are either located in the region, or use the Indian Ocean as transit for their maritime trade, or have a presence for their strategic interests.

    The vast expanse of the area, number of nations involved, the magnitude of laws and the capacities and capabilities of nations make it a difficult task for one nation to deal with non-traditional threats. This is the reason why nations engage each other via bilateral and multilateral dialogues and understandings. India, on its part, engages nations in the Indian Ocean so that a comprehensive framework, optimally utilising national assets to counter the non-traditional threats, can be established.