One of India’s biggest challenges in importing military goods is making sure that its systems are secure, says the leader of the country’s top defense research lab.

“If we are looking at true cybersecurity we have to address the basic policy of acquisition,” says Avinash Chander, who leads the Defense Research and Development Organization, “[and] ensure that the cybersecurity features are indeed part of our process.”

Chander, who spoke at the DefExpo 2014 conference here, was responding to a report that the Chinese company Huawei had allegedly hacked into India’s state-run telecommunications company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

“In today’s world, you can’t suddenly make everything secure,” Chander said. Rather his focus is on developing technology to protect certain core items.

U.S. lawmakers issued a report in 2012 specifically warning the U.S. government and its contractors against using equipment or components made by Huawei, to protect the country’s national security.

During a wide-ranging briefing with reporters, Chander also addressed the country’s ongoing pursuit of high-energy weapons.

While he wouldn’t discuss specific capabilities or time frames, Chander says India is researching technologies for short-, medium- and long-range lasers at its Center for High-energy Systems and Sciences in Hyderabad. They are also working on fiber laser technologies, but these efforts remain at the technology demonstration phase.