India is taking steps to boost its military preparedness along the border with China in the face of a growing military nexus between Pakistan and China, defence minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
He said his ministry will seek a hike in next year's the defence budget from the Rs1,93,408 crore granted for 2012 under "new ground realities and the changing security scenario". He postulated a worst-case scenario of a two-front war.
"The growing proximity of China and Pakistan is a cause of worry. We have to take a second look at the defence budget in light of the changing threat perceptions,'' he said while replying to a debate on his ministry's performance.
Antony said there was a need to "speed up" several plans already under way to boost operational capabilities as well as border infrastructure through strategic road and rail links. "If China can increase its military strength in Tibet, India can do the same in Arunachal, Sikkim and other areas," Antony said.
The minister noted that India faced a volatile and dangerous neighbourhood. ''No one can predict the situation that will prevail tomorrow. What will be the situation in Afghanistan, nobody can predict. We cannot predict the political future of some of our neighbouring countries.''
Nobody should expect ''dramatic'' results from talks with Pakistan, on the Siachen Glacier, the world's highest point of armed conflict, he said.