Tezpur, Nov 21: Cautioning against various threats facing the subcontinent, President Pranab Mukherjee today said it was imperative for India to have an effective deterrence and strong defence to promote development and it must be prepared to use its "might" if the need arises.
"Today, our nation is on the path of growth in all fields. While the nation grows and develops in all realms, the subcontinent also faces varied threats especially from non-state actors. "To preserve peace and harmony and promote all round development, it is imperative for us to have an effective deterrence and a strong defence," Mukherjee said at the Tezpur Air Force base.
The President, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, said though as a nation India was "firmly" committed to peace, "we must be prepared to use our might to safeguard the sovereignty of our nation, should the need ever arise." "We are a nation which believes in equality in all realms. The men and women who stand before us today epitomise our grit and determination towards this underlying cause.I am immensely proud of our Armed Forces for leading the path in this respect," he said.
Earlier, he presented the prestigious Presidential Standard to 115 Helicopter Unit and 26 Squadron of the Indian Air Force here in "recognition of their selfless devotion and outstanding performance both during the time of war and in peace".
The Presidential Standard, considered one of the greatest honours for an Air Force Unit, was presented at a grand ceremonial parade at the strategically located Tezpur Air Force Station, one of the premier air bases of the Indian Air Force in the eastern sector. Saarang helicopters and Sukhoi fleet performed manoeuvres at the function where Air Chief Arup Raha was also present.