Bengaluru, Nov 18 (PTI) The Indian Navy is playing a key role in supporting a free, open, rule-based and inclusive Indo-Pacific region where no country gets excluded, chief of the Indian Navy Admiral R Hari Kumar said on Saturday.
The Navy will remain persistent and patient in its efforts while ensuring a regular presence in the wider Indo-Pacific region, Kumar added.
Addressing a session on 'Indo-Pacific Challenges and Way Ahead' at the Synergia Conclave, Kumar said the Indian Navy acts as a uniting force for bringing friends together to exchange views and address the common concerns for holistic maritime security.
"We are traversing through a very contested present into an uncertain future. Bhartiya Nausena (Indian Navy), for its part, will remain persistent and patient in our efforts while ensuring a regular presence in the wider Indo-Pacific," he said.
He said safe and secure seas become an imperative if the Indian Navy have to secure India and the Indo-Pacific region's interest.
"We recognise that no one can do it alone, and we need to collaborate with like-minded partners. Bhartiya Nausena is collaborating and cooperating with like-minded navies to strengthen collective maritime competence," Kumar said.
He reiterated the Navy's commitment to an inclusive Indo-Pacific, saying, "We support a free, open, rule-based, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region where no country should be excluded".
Highlighting the Navy's proactive engagement, he said at any given point of time, there are assets deployed across India's areas of interest to respond to contingencies that may arise.
"Our credibility has been further strengthened by the fact that we are fast becoming self-reliant to a large extent in our defence capabilities, especially with regard to ship-building," he said.
The Navy chief underscored the significance of maritime transport as the most efficient means for the foreseeable future.
He underscored the role of the Navy in providing overarching security, with the Indian Navy actively contributing to the Indo-Pacific's security and advocating for an inclusive approach.
He introduced the VALUE acronym, representing Vision, Assurance, Leveraging Self-Reliance, Uniting Force, and Engagements and elaborated on how these principles guide the Indian Navy's approach in the Indo-Pacific.
"We remain poised for rapid response in any situation, increasing our familiarity with the area of operations and assuring friendly nations of our readiness to assist when called upon," Kumar explained, highlighting the Navy's proactive involvement in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Admiral Kumar emphasised the Navy's growing self-reliance in defence capabilities, particularly in ship-building, aligning with the principles of Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign.
He stressed on the Navy's role as an "igniting force" in the Indo-Pacific region.
Kumar outlined the Navy's active pursuit of strategic initiatives, such as the Act East Policy, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Indian Ocean Rim Association, Indian Ocean Peace Initiative, and the Djibouti Code of Conduct.
He said these initiatives serve as frameworks for constructive dialogue and engagements with like-minded maritime nations.
He also highlighted the Navy's role in acting as a preferred security partner and first responder, engaging in coordinated patrols and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Admiral Kumar stressed the importance of regional solutions to regional problems, advocating for the free flow of ideas and experiences to enhance maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. PTI UZM MNK MNK MNK MNK