India staunchly believes in peace and is committed to taking it forward, but it would not be at the cost of compromising its self-respect and sovereignty, Prime Minister NarendraModi said on Sunday and asserted that the armed forces will give a "befitting reply to any attempt to destroy the atmosphere of peace in the country."
Recalling the 2016 "surgical strikes", he said that Indian forces gave a "befitting reply to the audacity of a proxy war under the garb of terrorism."
In his monthly 'Mann kiBaat' radio address, Modi said: "It has now been decided that our soldiers will give a befitting reply to whosoever makes an attempt to destroy the atmosphere of peace and progress in our nation."
He said that India staunchly believe in peace and is committed to taking it forward, "but not at the cost of compromising our self-respect and sovereignty of our nation. India has always been resolutely committed to peace."
India has never eyed someone else's territory maliciously. "This in itself was our commitment and dedication towards peace," the PM said His remarks came days after India called off the planned meeting of foreign ministers in New York, citing the killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir on September 21.
Modi pointed out that India is one of the largest contributors to various United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in terms of sending its personnel
"For decades, our brave soldiers wearing blue helmets have played a stellar role in ensuring maintenance of world peace," he said to drive home his point
He said yesterday Indians celebrated 'ParaakramParva' to mark the second anniversary of the surgical strikes.
"We remembered that surgical strike carried out in 2016, where our soldiers gave a befitting reply to the audacity of a proxy war under the garb of terrorism," he said He said such celebrations remind the youth of the "glorious heritage of the army. It also inspires us to maintain the unity and integrity of the country."
Days before Air Force Day is celebrated on October 8 to mark its birth in 1932, Modi said "air warriors: have proved themselves to be the "cynosure of every citizen's eye through display of sheer might in the skies." He also recalled the "contribution of the IAF in transporting men and material to Srinagar in 1947 when Pakistani attackers had tried to capture Jammu and Kashmir."
He said IAF played a key role in 1965, 1971 and the Kargil war.