Underscoring the importance his government gives to the armed forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that India’s national security will not be decided by, or will succumb to any pressure or influence.
Speaking at a Kargil Vijay Diwas event in Delhi marking the 20th anniversary of the Kargil victory, the Prime Minister said: “Rashtra ki suraksha ke liye, na kisi ke dabaav mein kaam hoga, na prabhaav mein, aur na hi kisi abhaav mein.” (When it comes to the country’s national security, work will not be done under anybody’s pressure, influence or scarcity.) He said that wars have reached space today and cyber-warfare is also a reality, which is why Indian forces need to be modernised.
“From the deep seas to limitless space, wherever there is a need for India’s national security, India will use all its capabilities,” he said, adding that the modernisation of Indian armed forces is happening at a fast pace and is the government’s priority.
“The nation’s security has been impregnable and it will remain so,” he said. And referring to Pakistan, Modi called terrorism a “pseudo battle” and said that those defeated in war “are using pseudo war to fulfil their political objectives and encouraging terrorism”. He said that the nature of war has changed and terrorism is challenging mankind.
“The need of the hour is for all countries to come together against terrorism, only then can terrorism be challenged effectively.” Speaking about the Kargil victory, the Prime Minister said that it had changed the global perspective. “Even those countries which had their eyes shut about the activities of our neighbouring country earlier, their perspective started to change.”
With several military personnel and ex-servicemen present at the event, Modi said: “The Kargil victory was a symbol of India’s might, determination and capability…Wars are fought not by governments but by the whole country. The Kargil victory still inspires the whole country…Kargil was the victory of every Indian.”
Modi said then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had foiled Pakistan’s plans for global intervention in Kashmir through its Kargil misadventure. He said Pakistan had expected that India will “protest” and “oppose”, and “the world will get scared of the tension”.
“Rone gidgidane ke bajay prabhavi jawab dene ka yehi rannitik badlav dushman per bhari pad gaya (An effective response, instead of whining and complaining, is what defeated the enemies),” he said. He said the Kargil victory was a victory of India’s strength, patience, expectations, discipline and Indian principles. He recalled that before he visited Kargil in 2014, just after taking over as the Prime Minister, he had visited the region when the fighting was at its peak. “I had gone to Kargil 20 years ago… the enemy was playing its games sitting on high peaks,” he said. “Death was staring in the face yet our jawans, carrying the Tricolour, wanted to reach the valley before anyone…It was like a pilgrimage for me.”
Pakistan, Modi said, has been deceptive about Kashmir since the beginning. Mentioning the wars of 1948, 1965 and 1971, he said that Pakistan had done the same then too. In 1999, too, “pehle ki tarah phir ek baar chhal ki chhalni kar di gayi,” he said, but Pakistan’s deceptions were decimated.
“History is proof that India has never been an aggressor,” he said, adding that peaceful conduct in the favour of humanity is India’s tradition. He said that if within the country, the forces are seen as a defender of national security, internationally India is also the defender of humanity and peace.
The PM also emphasised the need for a “jointness” of approach in dealing with external security challenges and assured that the government was committed to leverage its technological capabilities for the country’s security.
As examples of the government’s commitment towards undertaking all desired endeavours for effective national security, he cited the successful trials of the INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine that completed its maiden deterrence patrol last year, and the successful test of an anti-satellite missile by ISRO earlier this year.