“Talks with Pakistan won’t happen if it continues to support terrorism”

“Securing borders, safety of the people and safeguarding the unity, integrity & sovereignty of the nation is the Government’s top priority,” said Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh at an event in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Maharashtra on May 14, 2023. Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that all efforts are being made by the Government to ensure that the country is protected from all kinds of threats and it moves forward on the path of development at an unprecedented pace.

“Today, Article 370 has been abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir. Effective action has been taken against terrorism, extremism and naxalism. The country is completely safe on both internal and external fronts.After the Uri and Pulwama incident, our Armed Forces gave a strong message through surgical strikes and airstrikes that they are ready to fight and eliminate terrorism within the country or across the border. There are some anti-India forces who are unable to digest our progress & strength. Since they do not have the strength to directly face India, they resort to proxy war like terrorism. Talks with Pakistan can never happen if it continues to be the safe haven for terrorists. We have learnt from revolutionaries such as Chhatrapati Shivajiand Maharana Pratap that a befitting reply will be given to those who tries to cast an evil eye on us. Our Armed Forces are capable and ready to do that,” the Raksha Mantri said.

Shri Rajnath Singh shed light on the growth of the country’s defence sector, on the back of self-reliance,which is strengthening the Armed Forces and equippingthem with latest weapons/equipment to effectively deal with all kinds of challenges. He listed out a number of steps taken by the Government to promote ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, including issuance of positive indigenisation lists. He added that India is not only manufacturing defence equipment to cater to its own requirements, but is also fulfilling the security needs of friendly countries. “Our defence exports have skyrocketed in recent years. Seven-eight years ago, it was less than Rs 1,000 crore. Today, it has touched a record Rs 16,000 crore in Financial Year 2022-23,” he said.

The Raksha Mantri stated that all sectors, including defence, have contributed in strengthening the country’s economy and India has become the fifth largest economy in the world. He exuded confidence that India will be counted among the top three economies of the world by 2027. He emphasised that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi wants to build a strong, prosperous, self-reliant ‘New India’ which taken pride in its cultural heritage & values while making its own identity in the whole world.

Stating that ‘erasing all traces of servitude’ & ‘taking pride in our legacy’ are among the five pledges listed out by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address last year for India to realise its dreams by 2047, the Raksha Mantri called upon the people to understand the country’s cultural heritage and the heroes, like Chhatrapati Shivaji, Chhatrapati Sambhaji & Maharana Pratap, who made an unparalleled contribution for the motherland. He added that the country, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, is witnessing a cultural revival and moving towards a culturally safe environment.