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'India's int'l stature grew in last 8 years'

pune: Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Friday that in the last eight years, India's stature has grown and it is no longer a weak country.

He was speaking before a gathering of BJP workers during a visit to the city. Referring briefly to the ongoing stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh, he said if full information about the valour shown by Indian soldiers was given, it will make every Indian proud. The country was also endeavouring to end its dependance on foreign countries for military hardware, he said.

"The stature of India, the reputation of the country has increased immensely in the last eight years. Earlier, whenever India spoke at international forums, nobody took it seriously, but today when India speaks at any global forum, the entire world listens," Singh said.

India evacuated its citizens stranded abroad quickly at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and also brought back its students safely when the tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated, the senior BJP leader said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stature is such that he could ask Russia's President Vladimir Putin to stop bombing of Ukrainian cities "till our students were evacuated to safety," the Union minister added. "We used to purchase arms and ammunition, tanks, missiles from other countries in the past, but now I have issued a list of over 300 items (and directed) that after a certain date, these items will not be imported but manufactured internally," he said.

"Indo-China! Stand-offs! I will not say much....The kind of valour and courage our soldiers have shown, I would like to say that if complete information is given, every Indian will feel extremely proud," he said.

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