DEFENCE Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday that Pakistan will not get anything else but defeat “in the path of a proxy war through terrorism that they have chosen.” He also said that the surgical strike and the Balakot attack have shown that India can now act across the border for national security.
Singh was speaking at the Passing Out Parade of the 137th course of the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla in Pune on Saturday. A total of 284 cadets graduated from the Academy as they passed through the portals of the prestigious Khetrapal Parade ground. There were 188 Army cadets, 38 Naval cadets, 37 Air Force and 20 cadets from friendly foreign countries. The foreign cadets belonged to Bhutan, Tajikistan, Maldives, Vietnam, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Addressing the passing cadets and the gathering, Singh said, “India has always believed in maintaining peaceful and friendly ties with other countries. We neither have any extra-territorial ambitions nor have we ever interfered in affairs of other countries. But if someone messes with us, we will teach them a lesson. We are committed to the sovereignty and security of the people of the country. But if someone runs terror camps on their soil or conspires to attack India, then we give them give a befitting reply. If required for national security, India now not only acts within our borders but also across the borders. This we have shown on at least three-four occasions in the last five-and-a- half years. The whole world watched it when we conducted the surgical strike in PoK and in 2019 when we destroyed the terror camps in Balakot.”
He added, “India has fought a long battle against terrorism. Because our neighbour has realised in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999 that they cannot win against us in conventional or limited warfare. Pakistan has chosen the path of proxy war through terrorism. But I can say with full responsibility that Pakistan will not get anything but defeat in this proxy war. On one hand, as we have to be prepared for fighting terrorism which grew in the 20th century, we also have to deal with 21st-century challenges like cyber threats and the ideologies of hatred.”
At the passing out parade, the President’s Gold Medal was awarded to Academy Cadet Captain Majji Giridhar for standing first in overall order of merit. The President’s Silver Medal was awarded to Battalion Cadet Captain Kushagra Mishra and Battalion Cadet Captain N K Vishwakarma won President’s Bronze medal. ‘Mike’ Squadron bagged the prestigious Chief of Staff Banner for being the champion squadron, which was presented during the parade.
The defence minister told the passing out cadets, “The country’s Defence Ministry is ready to support you in every way for your mission to succeed. To ensure that only the forces do not have the burden of security, the government has focused on development and diplomacy along with the deployment. So, you must have realised that under the leadership of our Prime Minister, we have not only strengthened our defences but have also focused on defence diplomacy. My effort will be to ensure that when you fulfil your soldierly duties, we too fulfil our national and social duties. So, be assured because you are now an inseparable part of my extended family.”
Rajnath Singh was received by NDA Commandant, Air Marshal I P Vipin, and Deputy Commandant Rear Admiral S K Grewal. The parade was attended by many serving and retired senior military leaders including former Chief of Air Staff, (retired) Air Chief Marshal P V Naik and Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General S K Saini. Senior Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi, who is also an alumnus of the academy, and who served as an instructor here during his IAF career, was also in the audience.
In his address, Singh said, “The resolve to protect the Constitution is a common thread that joins the military and civilian leaderships. The oath that you take is the same that I have taken as the defence minister of the country. As a defence minister, I want to assure you that now that you have adorned the uniform to protect the country, it has become our duty to protect and look after your families.”