Warning that the situation in Pakistan is "very serious", Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday said terrorism is "spreading" in that country and asserted that India is prepared to meet any challenge from Taliban militants.
"The situation in Pakistan is very serious and terrorism is spreading," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Territorial Army Day parade in Delhi.
Pakistan has been in the grip of a terror wave with six major attacks in the last fortnight by suspected Taliban militants, the latest being a suicide bomb attack in Peshawar in the restive North West Frontier Province on Friday last killing 14 people.
Asked if Talibans' threat to carry out attacks on India was a cause of concern, Antony said, "We are always prepared to meet any challenge to our territorial integrity and national security from any quarter. Our security forces are keeping eternal vigilance".
Replying to a query on Coastguard and Navy's joint operation 'Raksha', he said, "We learnt a lot of lessons from 26/11 last year. After that, now there is a coordinated effort for coastal security and Indian Navy and Coastguard are taking serious steps. Government is also giving all out support to strengthen them".
On the possibility of involvement of Pakistan based terror groups in yesterday's blast in Iran, Antony said, "I cannot say anything off hand. But the thing is that terrorism is spreading. It is the real menace to the world. Terrorism is a reality. Fight against terrorism is a common challenge to all peace leaving nations and communities".
Asked if India was prepared to tackle the threat from China, he said there will no compromise on national interest. "We will protect all our territory and at the same time, we will continue our effort for extending relations with all our neighbours," he said. PTI