“Signal is clear. Will not be aggressive, but will not take it lying down threat to national security,” said Defence minister Manohar Parrikar while addressing the audience at the commissioning of INS Chennai in Mumbai on Monday.
Speaking about relations with Pakistan, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally visited Pakistan and he does not mind friendly relations with the neighbours.
“Being friendly with neighbours always helps, but not at the cost of national security,” Parrikar said, adding India was not taking the initiative to fire upon than fired on and the temperature on borders has cooled down. Commenting on the claims by Pakistan that an Indian submarine was ‘blocked’ in their waters, the defence minister said the Naval PR had already rubbished it as a blatant lie.
Speaking on other issues, he said the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is highly capable and should use it capability so that projects get completed early. On the light combat helicopter, Parrikar said approval has been already given.
“Many pending projects will get approval within one year or two, and the backlog will be cleared. I have to also see transparency in the process,” he said.
On Chandu Chavan , the Indian soldier who accidentally ventured into Pakistan, Parrikar said that the standard procedure is being followed and that the government has raised the issue. “Many a time this has happened, and we have exchanged people,” he added.
On the commissioning of INS Chennai, one of the largest destroyers made in India, he said there was a need to focus more on advanced technology and ensure that development and research also happens at the right time. Congratulating the builder, Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai, Parrikar said the naval growth must keep with nation’s growth. Commissioning of INS Chennai into the Indian Navy marks the completion of Project 15A.