HYDERABAD: Taking a dig at Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that while the names of India’s missiles were indicative of their aggression, “Look at our neighbours; their missiles are named after tormentors. They are called ‘Babur’, (Muhammad of) ‘Ghor’ and (Mahmud of) ‘Ghazni’ because the country wants to adopt aggressive posturing.”
While Muhammad of Ghori is regarded as the ruler who laid the foundation of Muslim rule in India, Ghazni invaded the Indus Valley area near Punjab 17 times during his reign.
Babur was the first Mughal emperor, and of the dynasty that saw rulers such as Akbar and Aurangzeb.
“However,” Singh added, “Our army has not been strengthened by the idea of attacking others. They are there to maintain regional, continental and global peace. Our defence preparedness is along similar lines.”
The defence minister made these statements while speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations of Bharat Dynamics Limited in Kanchanbagh.
“Our pure intent-ions are evident in the names of our missiles — ‘Prithvi’, ‘Akash’, ‘Naag’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Brahmos’. These names encourage and symbolise peace and stability. But, if needed, they can also destroy,” Singh said and claimed that the NDA government’s “zero-tolerance policy” on terrorism was bringing many who were earlier inclined towards extremism, back to the fold of democracy.
“We have been successful in making the world understand that there is no good and bad in terrorism. Terrorism is terror for everyone. There cannot be anything besides zero-tolerance on this issue. We are starting to see results on the policy now. Many who were previously inclined towards extremism are slowly returning now, instead opting for peace and democracy,” the defence minister said.
Stressing on the need to modernise the armed forces, Singh said all demands of the army would be met through indigenisation. “To increase the preparedness and capability of our defence forces, we need to promote indigenous production. Not only that; we want to make a mark in defence exports by 2025.”
He also indicated that the drive behind indigenisation is related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim of achieving a $5 trillion economy.
“In realising the $5 trillion economy goal, the Defence Ministry, through FDI and offset in manufacturing and investment, would play a huge role,” Singh said.
The defence minister added that weapons which the country earlier used to import from France and Russia are now being made in the country.
However, for the future, Singh wants the armed forces to have hypersonic missiles and is considering adopting new missile technologies.