Addressing armed forces personnel on the eve of 73rd Independence Day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said Pakistan is keeping a sinister eye on Jammu and Kashmir and sends terrorists into Indian territory to disturb peace in the Valley.
"Our neighbouring country is continuously keeping a sinister eye on Jammu and Kashmir. It sends terrorists into our territory and disturbs peace in the Valley. On February 14, 2019, 40 brave jawans of CRPF were martyred in Pulwama in a suicide attack. Our Armed Forces hit back by destroying the terror launch pads with airstrikes across the border in Pakistan before it could plan another Pulwama like attack," said Rajnath Singh in his customary broadcast to the Armed Forces.
"On this solemn occasion, I extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes to each one of you serving in the Armed Forces. I extend my greetings to all serving personnel as well as ex-servicemen of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard. I also extend my best wishes to the family members of our personnel, many of whom are deployed far away from their homes in mountains, jungles, deserts and even deep seas serving the county day-in, day-out," said Singh.
"On this auspicious occasion, my thoughts and gratitude are with the near and dear ones of all those who had laid down their lives in the line of duty. We are forever indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice," said Rajnath.
"Friends, this year we are commemorating 20 years of Kargil War. The Prime Minister while paying homage to the martyrs said that every Indian was remembering the inspirational saga of our brave hearts for their valour and dedication to the nation. We 'remember' our martyrs by revisiting their sacrifices, we 'rejoice' by celebrating the victory in Kargil and we 'renew' our resolve to safeguard the honour of the Tricolour.
"In the new and emerging world, the battlefield is not only limited to land, air, and sea but will also spread to space and cyberspace. Therefore, India has to be ready for any eventuality keeping pace with technological advancements in the area. Keeping this in mind, we successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite missile test 'Mission Shakti' on March 27 this year," he said.
"The DRDO-developed Ballistic Missile Defence Interceptor Missile successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit in a 'Hit to Kill' mode. With this, India joined a select group of nations, like the USA, Russia, and China which possess such a capability. However, let me reiterate that defence policy of the country is for peace and stability at regional, continental and global level," he added.
"Since the Armed Forces are at the forefront of our nation's defence, I assure you that the Government will do all that is necessary to keep your morale high and to meet your functional requirements. Under the able leadership of the Prime Minister, the Armed Forces are being rapidly modernised. We are working tirelessly to achieve his vision of 'jointness' among the three wings of the Armed Forces," he said.
"We have now delegated greater financial powers to Vice Chiefs of the three Services in order to expedite the decision-making process involved in the revenue procurements. With the new delegation, the financial powers of the Vice Chiefs have increased from Rs 100 crore to Rs 500 crore. It will augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the Armed Forces," he said. (ANI)