Hyderabad: India gave a befitting reply to China, even in the midst of difficult times caused by COVID-19, when it displayed poor intentions at the border, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday.
“We have proved to them that India is not a weak nation,” he said while addressing the newly-graduated cadets of the Indian Air Force at the combined graduation parade ceremony at Air Force station, Dundigal on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
“This is new India which will not tolerate any aggression, though our objective is to resolve any issue through dialogue rather than conflict,” Rajnath Singh said. The defence minister said India always believed in dialogue and peace. “As of now, both the nations are amid bilateral and diplomatic talks. I am repeating again, we do not want conflict but only peace. But we will not tolerate if there is any harm to the nation’s sovereignty. In that event, we are well equipped for giving a strong reply,” Singh said.
Taking a dig at Pakistan, he said the neighboring country had not learnt a lesson despite losing four wars with India. “It is still fighting proxy wars with India through sponsoring terrorism,” he alleged.
Stating that Indian armed forces were fighting a relentless battle against terrorism, Singh called upon the forces to be prepared to wage any kind of war, be it on ground, air and water. “There is also another threat in the form of Cyber war. We have to be prepared to face it,” he said.
After inspecting the passing out parade, the defence minister conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ to the graduating trainees. The ceremony included the presentation of ‘Wings’ and ‘Brevets’ to the Flight Cadets. First in the Order of Merit flying officer Aishish Khateri was awarded the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for excelling in overall training by the defence minister.
The event also had an aerobatic display by the SU-30 aircraft, the famous Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team, Sarang Helicopter Display Team, Pilatus PC-7 trainer and a flypast by formations of PC-7, Kiran and Hawk aircraft.
Union minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy and Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria also took part in the combined graduation parade ceremony.