India believes in peace, but not at cost self-respect: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India believes in peace but it will not compromise its sovereignty in the pursuit of peace.

In his Mann Ki Baat radio address, Modi said, “It is now clear that our soldiers will give a befitting reply to those who try to disrupt the atmosphere of peace and progress in our country. We believe in peace and are committed to preserve it, but not at the cost of our self-respect and sovereignty.”

These remarks have come a day after India marked the second anniversary of the Army’s surgical strike that destroyed terror camps across the Line of Control or LoC in September 2016.

The Prime Minister’s address today focused on the armed forces, though he also dwelled upon other subjects such as human rights and the Swachh Bharat Mission.

“India is committed to world peace. India’s youth must know more about the valour of our armed forces,” he said.

Recalling India’s contribution to maintaining peace in the world, he said, “Our more than one lakh soldiers have sacrificed their lives for peace in two World Wars. They made the sacrifice when India had no relation in those wars. Our intention has never been to occupy the lands of other countries. Our only commitment was to maintain peace.”

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he said, “Bapu gave an inspirational mantra to all of us which is known as Gandhi Ji’s talisman. This mantra is extremely relevant today.” He also congratulated the National Human Rights Commission on completing 25 years.

STRONG STATEMENT

* It is now clear that our soldiers will give a befitting reply to those who try to disrupt the atmosphere of peace and progress in our country

* We believe in peace and are committed to preserve it

* But not at the cost of our self-respect and sovereignty

* Our more than one lakh soldiers have sacrificed their lives for peace in two World Wars

NT Bureau