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Believe in peace, but not at cost of sovereignty

Believe in peace, but not at cost of sovereignty
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In a veiled warning to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Indian soldiers will give a befitting reply to whosoever attempts to ruin...

New Delhi: In a veiled warning to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Indian soldiers will give a "befitting reply" to whosoever attempts to ruin peace and progress in India. While India fiercely believed in peace, it would not compromise with its honour and sovereignty at any cost, he said.

Modi's remarks came in his 48th episode of monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', a day after India celebrated the second anniversary of the 2016 surgical strike by the Army on terrorist hubs in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Recalling the surgical strike as a reply to the "audacity of a proxy war under the garb of terrorism", Modi, without naming Pakistan, said: "It has now been decided that our soldiers will give a befitting reply to whosoever tries to destroy the atmosphere of peace and progress in our nation. "We staunchly believe in peace; we are committed to taking it forward… but not at the cost of compromising our self-respect and sovereignty."

"India has always been resolutely committed to peace. In the two World Wars, over a lakh of our soldiers made the supreme sacrifice; that too in a war where we were not involved in any way. "We have never eyed someone else's territory maliciously. This in itself was our commitment and dedication towards peace. "Even today, India is one of the largest contributors to various UN Peace Keeping forces in terms of sending personnel. For decades, our brave soldiers wearing blue helmets have played a stellar role in ensuring maintenance of world peace."

The Prime Minister called the Indian Air Force (IAF) one of the "mightiest and bravest" air forces and hailed its contribution both during wars and natural disasters. "Be it the relief and rescue work or disaster management, our country is indebted to our Air Force for the commendable efforts of our Air Warrior," he said, mentioning its role during the 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and 1999 wars.

The "Swachh Bharat Mission", he said, had become a success story globally. Noting how a small step of people can bring changes in the life of the most underprivileged, the Prime Minister invoked Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy and mantras and called upon the people to purchase khadi and handloom products on special occasions.

He urged the people to participate in the 'Run for Unity', on the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, on October 31. He recalled former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, saying his mild persona always fills every Indian with a sense of pride.

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