For peace, we need the ability to deter war: Defence minister

‘India is a peace-loving country. We believe that differences should not become disputes. We attach importance to the peaceful resolution of differences through dialogue,’ the defence minister said

Amid the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday (November 5) said India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of “unilateralism and aggression”.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the National Defence College on its 60th anniversary, Singh said India is a peace-loving country and differences should not become disputes.

“India is a peace-loving country. We believe that differences should not become disputes. We attach importance to the peaceful resolution of differences through dialogue. We are committed to respecting various agreements and protocols that India has entered into for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity on our borders. However, India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unilateralism and aggression, no matter what the sacrifice,” Singh said.

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Singh also explained about the “four broad principles” that are likely to guide India’s quest for national security in the future.

“The first is the ability to secure India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty from external threats and internal challenges. Second, the ability to create secure and stable conditions that can facilitate India’s economic growth… Third, we remain steadfast in the desire to protect our interests beyond the borders in areas where our people reside and our security interests converge. And finally, we also believe that in a globalised and interconnected world, a country’s security interests are interlinked by shared and secure commons,” he said.

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The eighth round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China is likely to take place on Friday.

The defence minister also talked about efforts being made to enhance India’s military prowess as well as to boost domestic defence production.

“Peace can only be ensured through the ability to deter war; we have attempted to build deterrence through capability development and indigenisation,” Singh said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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