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In a veiled attack on China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India has never attacked any country nor occupied its land, but if any country challenges India, the country is in a position to give a ‘befitting’ reply. The Defence Minister was speaking at the NDTV Defence Summit 2024 on Thursday, wherein, he highlighted the strong transformation in India’s defence sector in the last 10 years “Whether from land, air, or sea, if anyone attacks India, our forces will respond strongly…We have never attacked any country nor have occupied even an inch of anyone’s land.

But, if anyone bats an eyelid at us, we are in a position to give a befitting reply,” he said at the event. India and China have been locked in a military stand-off for nearly four years after the confrontations at friction points in eastern Ladakh in 2020. The 20th round of Corps Commander-level talks between New Delhi and Beijing was held last October at Chushul as part of the ongoing efforts for overall disengagement and de-escalation to resolve the stand-off Rajnath Singh emphasized the focus laid towards self-reliance in the defence sector, adding that the Modi government has worked on strengthening the country while believing in its capabilities.

“Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power in 2014, defence has been one of our core priorities. We moved towards Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in the sector. Whether it is the launch of the Department of military affairs, the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff, we have focused on indigenous production and export of defence equipment, as well as military modernization,” the Defence Minister said. He added, “It’s not as if the previous governments didn’t work in the direction. But the major difference between their work and ours is that of vision.

We aim to make India strong while putting emphasis on its capabilities, while the previous governments were a little sceptic and didn’t have that much faith in India’s capabilities.” The Defence Minister stated that the government’s focus had been on strengthening the Defence forces with a focus on self-reliance. “India’s defence system became stronger because we focused on Indianness along with the defense system. We not only strengthened the defense system, but also strengthened it as per the vision of Indians” the Defence Minister said “Today, not only is the Indian defense system strong, but India is also emerging strongly on the global stage.

And the day is not far when India will not only emerge as a developed nation, but our military power will emerge as the supreme military power in the world” the Defence Minister added.