Former Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane said that involvement of foreign agencies in violence-hit Manipur "cannot be ruled out," as he highlighted the role of "Chinese aid to various insurgent groups" in the north-eastern state.

In an indirect reference to China, General Naravane during a discussion on 'National Security Perspectives' at the India International Centre here on Friday said "Internal security is very important. If there is instability not only in our neighbouring country, but in our border state, then that instability is bad for our overall national security".

The former army chief expressed confidence that the government is taking steps to restore peace in the restive state.

"I am sure that those who are in the chair and responsible for taking actions due to be taken are doing their best and we should avoid second guessing them".

General Naravane expressed concern that instability does not help the country in the "overall national security construct."

"The person on the ground knows what best needs to be done. Definitely, instability does not help us in the overall national security construct and the involvement of foreign agencies cannot be ruled out. But I will say it is definitely there, especially Chinese aid to the various insurgent groups, they've been helping them for so many years so they will continue, I believe," the former Army chief said.General Naravane also highlighted the possibility that some entities might benefit from the ongoing violence in Manipur leading to a reluctance to restore normalcy in the region."There could probably be agencies, other actors in the game who benefit from this violence who would not want normalcy to return to the state because while this instability is there they stand to benefit," the former Army chief said.

"That may be one of the reasons why we are continuing to see violence despite all the efforts which I am sure are being put in by the State and central government to bring it down," he said.

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic violence for nearly three months.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited Manipur during which he announced several steps to restore peace.