India is capable of tackling any kind of security challenge, be it the sea or borders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted amid the standoff with China in Doklam.
Without naming China or the two-month-long Doklam standoff, he said the country’s security is a priority for his government and that soldiers are deployed to protect the borders effectively.
In his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, Modi referred to last year’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) and said the world has realised the mettle of India’s security forces.
“It is clear that security of our country is our priority. Internal security is our priority. Be it sea or borders, be it cyber or space, India is capable of tackling every security challenge,” he said.
“Our army, our bravehearts, every personnel in uniform and not only the Army, Navy, the IAF, have shown their capability and grit whenever there was a situation. Our heroes never shied away from sacrifices,” he said.
The prime minister said the personnel in uniform were always ready to combat any kind of challenges facing the country—be it Left-wing extremism, terrorism, infiltration or tackling those trying to foment trouble inside the country.
“Be it Left-wing extremism, terrorism, be it infiltration or be it tackling the forces trying to foment trouble inside, our people in uniform have always given sacrifices,” he said.
He asserted that there will be no soft approach towards terrorism or terrorists and the government is determined to rid the country of this menace.
At the same time, he said the government has given an opportunity to the terrorists to join the national mainstream.
“We have told terrorists ‘you come to the mainstream, you have right to talk inside the country’s democratic system’. Only the mainstream can fill the energy in every one’s life,” he said.
The prime minister said that in its fight against terrorism, India is getting support from other countries.
“You will be happy to know that we are not alone in fight against terrorism. So many countries have been actively helping us. If there is hawala transaction, the world is giving us information, the world is giving us details about movement of terrorists,” he said.
“I want thank all those countries which are cooperating with India in fighting the menace and this cooperation is giving strength in ensuring overall peace and security,” Modi said.
Due to efforts of the security forces, particularly in areas under Left-wing extremism, a large number of youth have surrendered and made efforts to come to the mainstream, he said.
“India’s stature in the world is rising. The world is with us in fight against terror. I thank all nations helping us doing so,” he said.
Modi said a website is being launched to give information about security personnel who have contributed significantly towards the country.
The prime minister also referred to implementation of one-rank, one-pension scheme for defence personnel.
“For last 30, 40 years, the issue of ‘one-rank, one-pension’ was pending. When the government fulfils the demand, when the government heeds to wishes of the armed forces, then their resolve to give sacrifices for the country increases,” he said.