Amid tensions with Pakistan over terrorism, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said India is “definitely” for peace, but asserted he is not a “coward” who will compromise on security in fear of a war.
“We are definitely for peace. This country has never in its history strived for war. But those who compromise in fear of war are called cowards and I do not intend to call myself a coward,” he said.
Speaking at the Agenda Aaj Tak here, he added, “I am very clear that many a time peace is established by a strong country.”
Parrikar, who has often stressed the need for greater military might arguing it becomes a ‘detrimental factor’, underlined that “national security should be paramount”.
He said one should be willing to go back on their own words in case of national security but stressed that international commitments have to be met. When tension escalates (on the border), Indian jawans also die even if more damage is caused to the other country, Parrikar said, adding that no one likes loss of lives.
Stating that the recent surgical strikes carried out by India across LoC led to “unpredictability” in Pakistan’s mind, the Defence Minister pointed out that he only took credit for “taking a decision” and never for the operation.
He said action by the Army at the LoC forces the “other side” to reach out and talk, which has now brought down the ceasefire violations.
In the aftermath of a firing blizzard by the Indian Army, the Pakistan’s Director General of Military Operations had reached out to his Indian counterpart on November 23.
Following the talks, the ceasefire violations have drastically come down along the LoC.
Miscalculation of balance may have caused tipping over of INS Betwa: Parrikar
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday indicated that one of the reasons for tipping over of guided missile frigate INS Betwa during undocking at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai could be “miscalculation of balance”.
Parrikar, who has been briefed by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, spoke about the importance of centre of gravity. He explained that when a ship undergoes refit, a lot of machines and fixtures like propeller, engine, etc are removed due to which the balance gets disturbed.
“You are supposed to maintain it. Something must have gone wrong in that,” Parrikar said speaking at Agenda Aaj Tak. He said there could have been a “miscalculation” and added that a Board of Inquiry is on and it will pinpoint the reasons.
Parrikar was responding to a question as to whether the INS Betwa accident showed Navy’s inability to absorb high technology.
Rear Admiral Deepak Bali, Flag-Officer Offshore Defence Advisory Group, is heading the Board of Inquiry.