Rajnath cites Agni-5 test in veiled message to China

Rajnath cites Agni-5 test in veiled message to China

Singh, however, said India’s growing strength was not aimed at attacking any country

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Credit: PTI Photo

Amid tensions with China on the boundary issue, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday referred to India’s growing military prowess, particularly the test firing of 5,000 km range Agni missile.

Singh was delivering the valedictory address at the three-day National Conference on ‘Delivering Democracy: Two Decades of Narendra Modi as head of Government’ organised by the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini.

“You know what is Agni missile I will not say anything more about it,” Singh said referring to the testing of a nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni 5 on Wednesday night.

In the same breath, Singh said India’s growing strength was not aimed at attacking any country.

“We believe on the policy that only a strong person respects another strong person. This is the reason why we are increasing our strength,” the defence minister said, adding, that India’s long history showed that it had never occupied an inch of foreign land, nor has it attacked any country.

Earlier, Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ability to take tough decisions has brought about a paradigm shift in the approach to matters of national security.

“The successful test of Agni-5 is in line with India’s stated policy to have ‘credible minimum deterrence’ that underpins the commitment to ‘No First Use’,” the Defence Ministry had said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Pakistan, the defence minister said India had sent a clear message that there will be action against terrorism on this side of the border, and if required, across the border.

After the 2017, incident in Uri and the 2019, incident in Pulwama, surgical strikes and air strikes were carried out as it was felt necessary.

“We achieved what we had decided to do. It is not like we think of a certain thing and were unable to implement it,” he said and credited Modi’s leadership for the strong position on national security.

Singh said the BJP’s paradigm approach to national security was evident since the days of the Jana Sangh.

“The Jana Sangh had passed a resolution favouring nuclear tests in the 1960s. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the prime minister, nuclear tests were carried out,” the defence minister said.

Similarly, BJP was mocked for promising repeal of Article 370 in every election manifesto, with critics saying that the party only raked up the issue during elections, but had no plans to deliver it.

“But, Modi did it swiftly after renewing the mandate in 2019,” Singh said, adding that the move had broken the resolve of militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

Check out the latest DH videos:

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox