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Commitment to peace as strong as commitment to safeguarding territory, says PM

Friday, April 13, 2018
By Manash Pratim Bhuyan

Thiruvidanthai (TN): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India's commitment to peace is just as strong as its commitment to protecting its territory and listed his government's efforts in making the country a hub of defence manufacturing and bolstering the armed forces.

His remark, after formally inaugurating the Defence Expo here, comes amid increasing Chinese activities along the nearly 4,000-km-long border with India as well as Beijing's efforts to expand its influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Spelling out his government's initiatives to promote defence production in India, Modi also accused the previous UPA dispensation of policy paralysis in the sector, which he said affected the country's military preparedness.

"There was a time when the critical issue of defence preparedness was hampered by policy paralysis. We have seen the damage such laziness, incompetence or perhaps some hidden motives, can cause to the nation. Not now, not anymore, never again," he said, in presence of top executives of foreign as well as domestic defence firms.

He said issues that should have been long addressed by previous governments are being resolved now.

Though the four-day-long Defence Expo - India's biennial exhibition of military platforms and weapons began yesterday, it was formally inaugurated by the prime minister today.

Modi also invoked Indian thinker Kautilya, who wrote the 'Arthshastra' more than 2000 years ago and quoted him to say that "the king, or the ruler, must protect his people".

"Our commitment to peace is just as strong as our commitment to protecting our people and our territory. For this we are ready to take all necessary measures to equip our Armed Forces,” he said. His visit to Tamil Nadu comes amid widespread protest in the state over the Cauvery issue.

Talking about modernisation of armed forces, Modi also mentioned about the long-drawn but unsuccessful initiative of the previous UPA regime to procure 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) .

"You would recall the long-drawn process of procurement of fighter aircraft that never reached any conclusion. We've not only taken bold action to meet our immediate critical requirements, but have also initiated a new process to procure 110 fighter aircraft," he said.

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