‘India abstained from ATT, will ensure no harm on national interest’

Original Story Via:   Zeenews.India.com

New Delhi: India abstained from the Arms Trade Treaty adopted by the United Nations and the government will take all measures to ensure that it does not impact national interest, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.

In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony also said India’s position in this regard has been placed on record at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

“India abstained from the draft Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which was adopted at UNGA session on April 2, as it does not meet out requirements,” he said. The ATT aims at regulating the international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.

Antony said the government will take all necessary measures to ensure that the Treaty does not adversely impact the national interest.

In reply to a question on import of defence items, he said procurement is made from various indigenous as well as foreign sources, including the United States, in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure.

“Defence equipment has been imported from various countries, including Russia, USA, Israel, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland. The imports cover various types of weapon systems and platforms,” he said.

Some of the recently concluded defence deals with foreign vendors are for Konkurs Missiles, UBK Invar Missiles, Basic Trainer Aircraft, MI-17 V5 helicopters, Sonobuoys, Torpedoes and Surveillance Radar Systems, Antony said.

On steps taken to prevent spying activities of China, Antony said, “BSF has been continuously monitoring and gathering intelligence inputs relating to all Chinese activities along Indo-Pak border and sharing the same with other Indian intelligence agencies concerned for appropriate preventive measures.”

Replying a question whether neighbouring countries, including China, have constructed roads in Indian territory, he said, “No construction of roads by neighbouring countries has taken place in territory under possession of India.”

Answering a query on cyber security, he said, “While threats of cyber attacks have increased, adequate safeguards to protect systems through air gapped computers and intranets have been undertaken.”

He also said the Defence Services have established Cyber Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to prevent and react to cyber attacks.