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India won’t hesitate using force to protect its sovereignty: President Kovind

He said, while we remain firmly committed to peace, we will not hesitate using our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation, if the need be.

punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2018 22:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
ram Nath Kovind,Indian Air Force,Halwara air force station
President Ram Nath Kovind at the Halwara air force station to award the President’s Standard to the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s 51 Squadron and Colours to the 230 Signal Unit in Ludhiana on Thursday.(HT Photo)

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said India will not hesitate using might to protect its national sovereignty as our men and women in uniform will rise to the occasion, if need be.

The President was at the Halwara air force station to award the President’s Standard to the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s 51 Squadron and Colours to the 230 Signal Unit.

“India has gained a standing as the world’s fastest growing economy. While we remain firmly committed to peace, we will not hesitate using our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation, if the need be. Our armed forces reflect this firm national resolve,” he said while addressing the gathering.

The President said the 51 Squadron and the 230 Signal Unit have distinguished themselves in service to the nation. “They have a rich history of professional excellence and have served India with honour and distinction both during peace and hostilities,” he said.

‘Chinese jets not out of India’s radar’

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said the Indian Air Force is capable of carrying out any kind of surgical strike if the need arises as they have a strong, hi-tech mechanism when compared to many countries. He rejected the suggestion that Chinese Air Force’s jets and other equipment are out of the reach of Indian’s radar system.

He said the Indian government has been purchasing 40 Rafale fighter jets for the IAF which would strengthen the force.

The Air Chief Marshal’s statement comes days after the Indian Army chief voiced concerns about China’s military build-up in the Doklam region, where the troops of the two countries were engaged in a stand-off for over two months last year.

“The air force is on a strong wicket against China. Whatever requirements are there from the budget, have been sent to the government. We have elaborate plans to increase the strength of the squadrons in the IAF, which are nine less than the sanctioned strength of 42,” he said.

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 22:39 IST