New Approaches to Security and Development 9789812306142

This paper was delivered by Shri Lal Krishna Advani, Deputy Prime Minister of India, at a Public Lecture organized by th

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New Approaches to Security and Development
 9789812306142

Table of contents :
CONTENTS
I. Introductory Remarks
II. New Approaches to Security and Development
III. Closing Remarks
About the Author

Citation preview

NEW APPROACHES TO SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) was established as an autonomous organization in 1968. It is a regional research centre for scholars and other specialists concerned with modern Southeast Asia, particularly the many-faceted problems of stability and security, economic development, and political and social change. The Institute’s research programmes are the Regional Economic Studies (RES, including ASEAN and APEC), Regional Strategic and Political Studies (RSPS), and the Regional Social and Cultural Studies (RSCS). The Institute is governed by a twenty-two-member Board of Trustees comprising nominees from the Singapore Government, the National University of Singapore, the various Chambers of Commerce, and professional and civic organizations. An Executive Committee oversees dayto-day operations; it is chaired by the Director, the Institute’s chief academic and administrative officer.

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Shri L.K. Advani NEW APPROACHES TO SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT

INSTITUTE OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES Singapore

Published in Singapore in 2003 by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies 30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Pasir Panjang Singapore 119614 E-mail: [email protected] World Wide Web: http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. © 2003 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. The responsibility for facts and opinions in this publication rests exclusively with the author, and his interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views or the policy of the Institute or its supporters. ISEAS Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data Advani, Shri Lal Krishna. New approaches to security and development. 1. India—Foreign relations—Asia, Southeastern. 2. Asia, Southeastern—Foreign relations—India. 3. Security, International. 4. Terrorism. 5. United Nations. 6. International cooperation. 7. Weapons of mass destruction. 8. Singapore—Economic conditions. I. Title. DS450 A9A24 2003 sls2003008007 ISBN 981-230-219-0 Typeset by Superskill Graphics Pte Ltd Printed and bound in Singapore by Stamford Press Pte Ltd

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CONTENTS

I Introductory Remarks George Yeo 1 II NEW APPROACHES TO SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT Shri L K Advani 5 Singapore’s Miracle Journey from the Third World to the First World 5 Security and Development: Indivisible and Inter-dependent Imperatives 7

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Contents

Lessons of the Past, Adapted to the Present 8 Strengthening the UN and the Multilateral System 11 India and ASEAN: Extending the Success of Regional Co-operation 13 Strengthening Regional Co-operation to Combat Terrorism 16 Jehadi Terrorism: Global Web Extending to Southeast Asia 17 Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction 20 III Closing Remarks K Kesavapany 23 About the Author 27 vi

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This paper was delivered by Shri Lal Krishna Advani, Deputy Prime Minister of India, at a Public Lecture organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore on 4 February 2003.

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Introductory Remarks

I Introductory Remarks George Yeo

Your Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister Advani, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to the ISEAS Public Lecture. We are honoured to have His Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani with us today, on his first official visit to Singapore as the Deputy Prime Minister of India. His last visit to Singapore was many years ago. Deputy Prime Minister Advani has a long and distinguished career in Indian politics. He has held numerous party positions and appointments in government. He was interested in politics at an early age, joining the RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh) 1

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at the age of 14 and has always persisted in his political goals. His detention by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the emergency in the late 1970s did not only not deter him, it strengthened his resolve to serve both his people and his country. His political career now spans more than four decades, culminating with his recent appointment as Deputy Prime Minister. His reputation as a future Prime Minister of India precedes him. As Home Minister and as one of the principal architects of India’s policies on security, we are honoured that Mr Advani chose to share his vision on “new approaches to security and development” with us. It is a timely topic indeed. We live in a period of great uncertainty. The diabolical attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001 focussed world attention on global terrorism. There is also the terrible terrorism that has afflicted the Indian sub-continent for many years. For India, the problem of terrorism is bound up with the tense relations between India and Pakistan. It is not easy for Singaporeans to understand the emotional quality of that relationship. Deputy Prime Minister Advani put it poignantly when he reminded me last November when I called 2

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on him in Delhi that he was born in Karachi while President Mussharaf was born in Delhi. Bilaterally, the relations between India and Singapore are excellent. When India embarked on its new policy of economic reform and opening up in 1991, Singapore positioned itself as a long-term partner of India. Since then, successive Indian administrations have persisted in this economic policy and our bilateral relations have grown from strength to strength. Last April, Prime Minister Vajpayee proposed to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in Singapore a Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement between our two countries. The Joint Study Group formed after that will be submitting its report to the two Prime Ministers in March. Both sides are working on the launch of negotiations after that. In parallel, India has proposed to ASEAN the establishment of a Free Trade Agreement between the two sides in 10 years. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the proposal and a Task Force to bring this about has been formed. I know that both initiatives are strongly supported by Deputy Prime Minister Advani. We have everything to gain in strengthening the links between India and Singapore and between India and ASEAN. 3

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It is now my honour to invite Deputy Prime Minister Advani to share with us his perspectives on the twin challenges of security and development. * *

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New Approaches to Security and Development

II New Approaches to Security and Development Shri L. K. Advani

I am very happy to be present among you when you have just ushered in the Chinese New Year. May I take this opportunity to wish a very happy and prosperous Year of the Goat to our Singaporean friends. I am honoured to have the opportunity to address the prestigious Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. I am equally honoured to have my friend George Yeo at my side. He has been generous in his remarks about my country and me. Singapore’s Miracle Journey from Third World to First World I begin by doing the most obvious thing — paying rich and heart-felt tributes to the spectacular successes of your little-great 5

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country. Singapore amazes me for many reasons. It is hard to imagine that an ordinary city, small in area and population and not particularly well endowed in natural and energy resources, could have developed into such a prosperous city-State in such a short time. This is truly a testimony to what visionary leadership — provided first by your Senior Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew and later by your Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong — fully backed by an industrious and enterprising citizenry can achieve within the span of a single generation. Singapore’s success has inspired many more success stories in this region. I have no hesitation in saying that it has also created a large constituency of admirers in India. One proof of this is that, in the Southeast Asian region, Singapore is the preferred destination of the largest number of Indian visitors. We feel special affinity for Singapore because of the presence of a large number of people of Indian origin here. They, along with other ethnic groups who constitute the mosaic that Singapore is, have contributed significantly to its prosperity and development. In this, both Singapore and India share a common feature — unity in diversity — of which we both are proud. 6

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New Approaches to Security and Development

Security and Development: Indivisible and Inter-dependent Imperatives Friends, the theme of my lecture is “New Approaches to Security and Development”. The problems of security and development have been with us ever since humans learned to live in organized society. The two are inseparably inter-related. One cannot think of development without security, nor security without development. The ancient Indian texts bear witness to the attention given to these twin issues by the leading thinkers for as long as 4,000 years. We see a similar preoccupation among ancient Chinese thinkers. Through the ages, the nature of the challenges to development and security has changed as a result of certain key factors such as external aggression, internal instability, changing trends in trade and advances in technology. The interplay of these factors is the stuff of the history of individual nations and societies and, on a larger canvas, the history of the world as a whole. In the course of history, several traditional societies in a region and, sometimes, many countries in a continent have had to face common challenges, at the same time, to 7

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their development, security and even their right to live in freedom. This was the sad era of colonialism, in which Asia suffered so much. But Asia not merely suffered, it also struggled — for national liberation, for peace, for development. And Asia ultimately triumphed. Even the continent where the instinct for colonial subjection of far-off lands arose, and wreaked havoc wherever it set foot, had to suffer from its negative consequences. The two World Wars not only destroyed the edifice of colonialism, but also brought untold destruction upon the competing and warring colonial powers themselves. Thus, history of all the previous centuries — and the 20th century in particular — bears witness to the inevitable triumph of freedom over subjugation, of peace over aggression, and of co-operation and friendship over conflict and hostility. Lessons of the Past, Adapted to the Present So when I speak of “New Approaches to Security and Development”, I am compelled to emphasize that all new approaches have to be rooted in certain age-old lessons that 8

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our collective history has taught us. Humanity has learnt and re-learnt these lessons at great cost. Nevertheless, we tend to forget them. And whenever we forget them, and act out of the ignorance and arrogance that such forgetfulness induces, we pay the cost yet again in terms of deaths, devastation, disease and human suffering. And the cost is always higher than in the past, because of the advances in military technology. Six Lessons Succinctly put, these lessons of history, adapted to contemporary conditions, are: • A just co-operative order, with the willing participation of all members of society, provides a stable basis for addressing the security concerns of the world. The compelling story of Emperor Ashoka of India exemplifies this line of reasoning from ancient times. • In today’s increasingly inter-dependent and integrated world, no nation can enjoy security and development at the cost of others. • While self-defence is the legitimate right of every nation, the security of all nations 9

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is enhanced through collective security — sub-regional, regional as well as global security. While development is the legitimate right of every nation, it too is best achieved through collective development — through sub-regional, regional and global co-operation. No ideology — political, economic or religious — has the right to claim that it has all the answers to the world’s problems and demand that all must embrace it, or else. The intolerance, extremism, hegemonism and proneness to violence that such ideologies breed pose a grave threat to development and security — both within nations and in the world as a whole. I shall elaborate this point later. Pockets of extreme poverty in various parts of the world endanger the social fabric, undermine economic development and the environment, and threaten political stability in many countries. To wage a meaningful fight against poverty we need to strengthen international cooperation, unleash entrepreneurial opportunities and provide productive resources to the needy people.







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Strengthening the UN and the Multilateral System It is evident that the international community has learnt some of these lessons and acted upon them in the post-World War II period. The founding of the United Nations in 1945 has been by far the greatest peace and security initiative in the history of mankind. The UN rightly recognized that initiatives for disarmament, conflict resolution and peacekeeping, while necessary, are not sufficient conditions for security. As the UNESCO Constitution states: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of man that the defences of peace must be constructed.” In recent decades, the UN system has begun to be seen not only as a platform for peace and security, but also as an instrument for sustainable and equitable global development. Issues of trade, investment, technology, food and energy security, environment protection, disaster prevention and management, and co-operation for improving Human Development Indices throughout the world, especially in the developing and least developed countries, have dominated the deliberations in, and activities of, UN organizations. 11

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Some new multilateral organizations like the World Trade Organisation have also been founded in recent years to deal with specific developmental issues. All these must be strengthened. India is committed to continue to work with the members of the international community for greater economic co-operation. The asymmetry in trading relations between developing and developed nations; the problem of declining prices for commodities from developing countries and all unjustified barriers to their exports must be addressed. Trade liberalization and globalization can have both positive and negative effects on societies. There is a continued need to support efforts by developing countries to integrate themselves into, and derive benefits from, the multilateral trading system. On a parallel track, recent decades have seen a lot of positive activity in the area of regional co-operation. The economic, security and political landscape of Europe has undergone a dramatic transformation, bearing little resemblance to what prevailed before and soon after World War II. In Asia itself, we have an excellent example of regional co-operation in ASEAN. 12

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If there is any part of our continent where the face of the New and Resurgent Asia can be seen, where proof can be seen that the 21st century will truly be an Asian Century, it is ASEAN and its neighbourhood. India and ASEAN: Extending the Success of Regional Co-operation India today seeks greater partnership with the countries of the region. We have a shared perspective on important issues. India and ASEAN have no disputes. India is convinced that unless we are able to jointly work together, we will not be able to remove underdevelopment from our midst; we will not be able to give better livelihood to our people; we will not even be able to secure sustainability of the development already achieved. India’s traditional policy of friendship and co-operation with the region has sought closer ties of political, economic, and technological engagements. We attach importance to enhancing our close economic co-operation and to work towards India-AFTA Linkage. India has supported Mekong-Ganga Cooperation bringing together Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and India. We 13

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are also implementing another sub-regional initiative for a road link connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand. These are just the beginning of the journey we have jointly started with a focus on improving linkages among our countries and facilitating exchanges among our peoples. We deeply appreciate Singapore’s role in the evolution of the ASEAN process. We also greatly value the support extended by Singapore in ensuring India’s becoming the full dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992, as well as its role in bringing about the IndiaASEAN summit held in Phnom Penh in November last year. At this Summit, India expressed support for the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and its commitment to participate in IAI projects, especially in HRD. India also expressed its readiness to consider early granting of preferential tariff treatment to new ASEAN member States. We look forward to developing the Programme of Action for the Mekong-Ganga Co-operation focusing on important areas of co-operation, such as tourism, culture, education and transport and communication. The ASEAN region offers tremendous opportunities for the business communities 14

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of India and the region. We invite the business and investment community of the region to look at India as the natural market, given its proximity and attractive size. Today ours is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Most of you are aware of India’s strengths in the so-called Old Economy as well as our significant achievements in the New Economy. India is today globally acknowledged as a leading power in IT. We are making rapid strides in the development of our infrastructure, best exemplified by the National Highway Development Project. Our decade-old process of economic reforms has opened up many areas of our economy to foreign investment. The Electronics City in Bangalore, built by Singapore, is a shining example of your contribution to the development of IT in India. Singapore Telecom is one of the largest investors in Bharti, one of India’s leading telecom companies. We should now explore new areas of economic co-operation in tourism, bio-technology, and joint development of our Special Economic Zones. We also invite the large number of multinationals based in Singapore to also explore collaborative business ventures in India. 15

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Strengthening Regional Co-operation to Combat Terrorism Esteemed friends, while regional co-operation has emerged as a well-tested new approach to development, we cannot be oblivious of a new challenge to peace and security in our nations, our region and the world as a whole. As I alluded to earlier, it is the menace of religious extremism that has inspired international terrorism. The world saw it on 11 September 2001. You have seen it in Bali last year. However, we have lived with it for close to two decades in Jammu and Kashmir State and other parts of India. In India it manifests itself in a unique way — as crossborder terrorism supported and sponsored as a matter of State policy by our neighbour. It has claimed over 60,000 lives — innocent men, women and children, and security personnel. The ideology of terrorism fuelled by religious extremism rationalizes and justifies mass killings in return for rewards in the afterlife. It is wrong to identify this ideology with any religion, for no religion enjoins violence and killing. It is, however, equally important not to shut one’s eyes to the fact that jehadi terrorism has spread more violence 16

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around the world than any other extremist doctrine. Jehadi Terrorism: Global Web Extending to Southeast Asia The terrorist bomb that exploded in Bali has dramatically brought home the reality and immediacy of international terrorism. There is now a well-grounded apprehension that Southeast Asia may have been chosen as a new theatre for the spread of jehadi extremism. Southeast Asia is famous for its ethos of religious tolerance and spiritualcultural fusion. It has been an abode of peace and social harmony. However, this is now sought to be replaced by calls to bigotry, exclusivism and conflict. This fear has served to crystallize and energize an emerging regional consensus on the need to counter international terrorism, and on the desirability of closer cooperation among the States of the region, and also closer co-operation between India and the region, to meet this challenge. To be honest, we sometimes felt that we were alone in our fight against terrorism. This is why we extended full and willing co-operation to all efforts after 2001 to root out terrorism. We knew all along that jehadi 17

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terrorism is a global web with its operational centre in our neighbourhood. The recent history of Afghanistan provides a compelling illustration of what I mean. Many of you would recall the hijacking of an Indian aircraft on its way from Kathmandu to Delhi. The aircraft, with 160 people on board was taken to Kandahar, where the Taliban gave the hijackers open support. Under pressure of public opinion, anxious to get their friends and relatives back to India, the Indian Government released three men held on terrorist charges in India. Among them was Omar Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani origin. He soon found his way to Karachi from where he remitted $100,000 to Mohammad Atta, one of the men who planned the 11 September attack in the United States. The same person is also being investigated for complicity in the killing of Daniel Pearl. This illustrates that the nature of the terrorist threat is common to all of us. While on Afghanistan, we should note the continuing resistance from the terrorist outfits who continue to be active both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. International opinion has come around to the view that terrorism in all its forms and all its manifestations is evil and cannot be 18

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tolerated. But, there is still a disconnect between the kind of instruments that we are prepared to use for dealing with terrorism and terrorists and the real requirement to tackle the problem. We need to formulate and implement an integrated and co-operative approach to security. Fighting and destroying terrorism requires our commitment and sustained attention. We not only need to control the financing of terrorism, but also to design new security systems for transport, communications and energy infrastructure to make them less vulnerable to terrorist attack. We have to tackle the problem perpetrated by global terrorism and its concomitants — drug trafficking, illegal arms trade, and cross-border crime. There is emerging regional consensus and support for joint action to fight these activities that are deftly exploited by groups engaged in international terrorism. We need to work towards enhanced anti-terrorism co-operation including intelligence sharing and border controls. A beginning in this direction has been made, but more needs to be done. In recent years, the international community has taken some collective decisions to choke off the lifelines of terrorism. UN 19

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Security Council Resolutions have proved their worth in this regard. We have proposed a draft for a comprehensive resolution for combating terrorism in the UN, and felt that its adoption now would be timely. We need to enforce compliance by States known to be sponsoring, sheltering, funding, and arming and training terrorists.

Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction I shall now speak briefly on another threat to security. Weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery pose a continuing threat to the world in the 21st century. There is need for increased co-ordination and cooperation on preventing such weapons and missiles falling into terrorists hands. In recent years there have been serious breaches in the area of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. There are numerous welldocumented reports of the involvement of Pakistani scientists in the transfer of nuclear technology to third countries such as North Korea. Similarly, there is also evidence of transfer of missile technology by North Korea to countries in our region. All of this is a serious worry to the Government of India. 20

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While the threat of clandestine production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is indeed a serious issue, and must be firmly dealt with, I wish to underscore that this has to be done within the framework of the UN system. Unilateral military action, which threatens peace and could lead to unforeseen negative consequences, is not the way to deal with this problem. Which is why India has been consistently of the view that the serious situation currently developing in West Asia should be peacefully resolved. As our Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee recently said, mega powers should show mega restraint in such situations. This is important to both India and Singapore for another important reason. Rising tensions in the Middle East could have a profound effect on global energy markets. The recent volatility in global energy markets has been unsettling the trade and fiscal balances of developing countries. The implications of these developments on the energy security and sustainable development cannot be overlooked. The economic growth and social development depend on energy use and, to meet the needs of a growing world population, global energy consumption continues to increase substantially. The challenge, 21

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therefore, is how to meet the rising demand for energy while mitigating the impact of energy supply and use on the environment and thus guarantee the long-term quality of our habitats. The oil market will continue to be influenced by new sources of supply in the decades ahead. We need to provide for greater energy security through developing alternative energy technologies. Before I conclude, I wish to recall the observations of our Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during his Singapore Lecture 2002 delivered from this very forum. He said, “The ASEAN Regional Forum, with Southeast Asia as its nucleus, is developing into a unique platform for security and development dialogue. The trends of the last century indicate that this new century will be dominated by the power of technology and a globalized economic system. It is inevitable that the global socio-economic center of gravity should shift to Asia. (We) have to respond creatively to absorb this change through a web of co-operative arrangements, which would promote the transition in a stable manner.” Thank you. 22

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Closing Remarks

III Closing Remarks K. Kesavapany

Minister George Yeo, Minister for Trade and Industry and the Chairman for this public lecture, Your Excellency Shri Lal Krishna Advani, Deputy Prime Minister of India, the Honourable Chief Justice Yong Pung How, Minister S. Jayakumar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister Lee Yock Suan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ministers, Ministers of State, High Commissioner of India to Singapore Shri P.P. Shukla, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is an honour for us at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies to host this Public Lecture by the Deputy Prime Minister of India Shri Lal Krishna Advani on the occasion of 23

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his visit to Singapore. Your visit, Sir, comes within a year of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s state visit to Singapore and soon after President S.R Nathan’s recent state visit to India. In between, there have been frequent exchanges of delegations and visits by captains of industry, including Shri Narayana Moorthy of Infosys. The World Telugu Conference was held in Singapore, at which both the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri Chandrababu Naidu and Minister Yeo were present. Such frequent interactions at all levels testify to the warm and growing ties between the two countries and the wider ASEAN region. Today, Sir, we have been honoured to listen to your insights on the “New Approaches to Security and Development”, and in this context, the lessons that we can learn from our collective history. We also note your views about regional co-operation and multilateralism as being among these new approaches, and the role that both ASEAN countries and India can play. All men of goodwill would undoubtedly endorse your views on the importance of combating terrorism and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations. 24

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Closing Remarks

We at the Institute are keenly following the growing trend of close relations between the countries of ASEAN and India. In particular, we have taken note of the proposed ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement and Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement between Singapore and India. The Institute will be conducting studies on the economic and other benefits of these free trade arrangements to both India and ASEAN. Further, ISEAS, in collaboration with counterpart organizations in India, hopes to step up research on the security and strategic aspects of India’s relations with the Southeast Asian countries. In the context of the evolving geopolitical situation in the region, we believe that such research would result in a better understanding of the region’s aspirations to move towards an Asian community of nations. In this regard, Excellency, the contents of your lecture will provide much food for thought to our researchers and to the community of scholars at large. I am sure policymakers in the region and beyond would also benefit from the insights you have provided. 25

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It is my pleasure now to invite the audience to express our appreciation for your thought-provoking address. On this note, I would like to invite Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman of our Institute’s Board of Trustees, to present a small token of appreciation.

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About the Author

About the Author Shri Lal Krishna Advani became the Deputy Prime Minister of India on 29 June 2002. He is also a Union Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Shri L.K. Advani was born on 8 November 1927 in Karachi (now Pakistan). His earlier schooling was at St. Patrick’s High School in Karachi. He later graduated in Law from Bombay University. He joined politics in 1970 and was a Member of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) for four terms, from 1970 to 1989. He was elected President of the Jana Sangh in 1973 and continued until 1977, when he was appointed the Information & Broadcasting Minister in the Janata government. During his tenure, he freed 27

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Shri L. K. Advani

the media from legislative and executive shackles, institutionalized reforms and built in safeguards to guard freedom. He abolished press censorship and repealed anti-press legislation. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was launched in 1980, he was its General Secretary for six years. In 1986, he became the All India President of the BJP, a post he held until January 1991. In 1989 and again in 1991 he was elected to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament). From 1991 to 1993, he was the Leader of the Opposition in the Indian Parliament. He was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha for the third term in 1998 and became the Union Cabinet Minister for Home Affairs. In this position, he was re-elected to the 13th Lok Sabha for his fourth term. During his political tenure, Shri Advani has extensively represented the Indian parliamentary delegation overseas for a number of conferences. These include the Inter-Governmental Conference on Communication Policies in Asia and Oceania (ASIOCOM) in Kuala Lumpur in 1977, UNESCO general conference in 1978, and Strasbourg Conference on Parliamentary 28

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About the Author

Democracy in 1991. He has been a member of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS), a social work organization since 1942, and of the Press Council of India since 1990.

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