Capable of giving 'befitting reply' if any superpower hurts national pride, says Rajnath Singh in veiled dig at China
The defence minister's remarks, made at the Headquarters Training Command of the IAF in Bengaluru, came in the backdrop of an eight-month-long border stand-off at Ladakh
Bengaluru: India does not want a war but its soldiers are capable of giving befitting reply if any ''superpower'' hurts the country's pride, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday amid the eight-month-old border stand-off with China.
"We don't want war and we are in favour of protecting everyone's security but I want to say this in clear terms that if any superpower wants to hurt our pride then our soldiers are capable of giving them a befitting reply," Rajnath said.
The defence minister insisted that India never wanted conflict with any nation and preferred to maintain peace and friendly ties with its neighbours.
"It always wanted peace and friendly ties with its neighbours because it's in our blood and culture," he said at the fifth Armed Forces Veterans' Day at the Headquarters Training Command of the Indian Air Force in Bengaluru.
Referring to the stand-off with China, he said the Indian soldiers displayed exemplary courage and patience and if that can be narrated then every Indian will feel proud.
Rajnath also hailed the Indian soldiers who showed extraordinary courage in "eliminating terrorists on the Pakistan soil".
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was also present.
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The Ministry of External Affairs said India has stepped up the construction of border infrastructure including roads and bridges for the improvement of the livelihood of its citizens
Naravane, however, added that India is committed to resolve the eight-month-long military standoff with China through talks. He was speaking at the Army Day parade in New Delhi
The last round of talks were held on 6 November, 2020. India has always maintained that the onus to carry out the process of de-escalation at friction points along the LAC is on China