India staunchly believes in peace and is committed to taking it forward, but it would not be at the cost of compromising its self-respect and sovereignty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday as he asserted that the armed forces will give a befitting reply to any attempt to destroy the atmosphere of peace in the country.
Recalling the 2016 surgical strikes, he said Indian troops gave a befitting reply to the "audacity of a proxy war" under the "garb of terrorism".
In his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio address, Modi said, "It has now been decided that our soldiers will give a befitting reply to whosoever makes an attempt to destroy the atmosphere of peace and progress in our nation."
He said India staunchly believe in peace and is committed to taking it forward, "but not at the cost of compromising our self-respect and sovereignty of our nation. India has always been resolutely committed to peace."
India has never eyed someone else's territory maliciously. "This in itself was our commitment and dedication towards peace," the PM said.
His remarks came days after India called off the planned meeting of foreign ministers in New York, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir.
The ministry of external affairs had said talks in the current circumstances would be futile and also cited stamps issued by Pakistan in July to "glorify" Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani as a reason for the cancellation.
Modi pointed out that India is one of the largest contributors to various United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in terms of sending its personnel.
"For decades, our brave soldiers wearing blue helmets have played a stellar role in ensuring maintenance of world peace," he said to drive home his point. -- PTI