Hailing the valour of security forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that India has been giving befitting replies to those who challenge the country's soverignty. The prime minister was addressing the nation on 74th Independence Day celebrations from the ramparts of Red Fort.
"What India can do, world has seen it in Ladakh. Respect for India's sovereignty is supreme for us," the prime minister said referring to a violent clash in the Galwan Valley on June 15 in which as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) were killed.
"Today neighbours are not only those with whom we share our geographical boundaries but also those with whom our hearts meet," Modi added.
In his around 90-minute marathon speech, the Prime Minister said whoever has raised an eye on the sovereignty of the country, India and its Army has responded in the same language from the Line of Control (LoC) to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Modi said India is connecting its relations with its neighbours, whether they are connected to it on land or from the sea, with the partnership of security, development and trust.
Noting that one-fourth of the world's population lives in South Asia, the Prime Minister said we can create untold possibilities of development and prosperity of such a large population with cooperation and participation.
"All the leaders of the countries of this region have an important responsibility towards the development and progress of this huge mass group."
Referring to the present scenario, Modi said the neighbours are not only those who meet our geographical boundaries but also those who meet our hearts. "Where there is harmony in relationships, bonding occurs."
As much as India's efforts are for peace and harmony, Modi said the more commitment it has for its security and to make its Army stronger.
"India is also fully equipped for self-sufficiency in defence production," he added.
(With IANS inputs)