Peace Can Come Only Through Strength: Kalam
3 May 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Rajouri: President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has said that peace was essential for any nation and can come only through the strength of its Armed forces. Dr Kalam, who is the first Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country to visit forward locations on the Line of Control in Rajouri-Poonch sector, today said that with ceasefire, some progress has been made towards peace process and we hope for further improvment in the overall scenario in this region. In his address to the soldiers and officers, the President said that strength of the country should enhance continuously. The security forces provide the strength to the nation and with this the mission of economic development progresses go unhindered. He said India has always stood for peace during its history of 3000 years. Invaders after invaders came to our country, took away our wealth, destroyed the national fabric and our culture, he reminded , adding that India also wants to become economically strong and a peaceful nation. For this, there is need to enhance defence capabilities, he suggested. The soldiers of our country have the responsibility of defending the world's largest democracy having more than one billion souls. There is vision for our nation to become a developed country by the year 2020, he said. In his brief message to the soldiers, the Supreme Commander said one important way in which man can attain happiness and freedom , joy and ecstasy is by not staying at home with family and dearest ones but in sacrificing their relations during the time of war or the national call. Even in our epics, they celebrated the participating warriors for fighting for the cause of 'dhrama'. He said our soldiers will soon be the smartest warriors surrounded by technological innovations that are entirely Indian and would operate with the traditional dedication of the Indian jawan. Training for battle inoculation, mountain warfare and desert warfare need to be tuned to the emerging battle-field scenario. And ultimately, military motivation will act as force multiplier, he maintained. Referring to the defence research and missile programme, Dr Kalam said that officers and men from Army, Navy and Air Force are working hard with utmost dedication with the Scientists and they take pride in the development of indigenous systems, which will be eventually in the hands of soldiers in the forward areas. Whether it is main battle tank, Prithvi or Agni missiles, small arms systems, electronic warfare systems, NBC protection systems or the high altitude food, scientists and technologists from R&D Labs and Armed Forces personnel have always worked as partners for national cause. Dr Kalam further said that mobility, survivability and lethality can be provided through integrated helmet, body protection and the weapon instrumentation. The weight carried by our soldiers need to be considerably reduced atleast by 50 percent through development of light weight clothing, weapons, computers, communication systems which will ensure greater mobility to the soldiers and improve combat efficiency. The President who also inspected three tier fencing work being carried along the 640 kms LoC in KG sector of Poonch, said that this three tier fencing being raised as counter infiltration measure will contain the activities of the terrorists and act as an excellent physical barrier. He lauded the work of Corps of Engineers and hoped that project will be completed by the end of June 2004. He termed it as a remarkable achievement of the troops in Poonch-Rajouri sector. He said the fencing supported by the electronic surveillance radars, intruder alarm systems and long- range reconnaissance and monitoring systems will make this sector difficult to penetrate by the intruders. Dr Kalam recalled his earlier visits to Siachen Glacier and 12 Infantary Brigade of Northern Command said that inspite of many challenges being faced in the mountain warfare and cross border terrorism all faces of the troops were looking afresh and combat ready. ' I see in your face the powerful radiation of enthusiasm which shows the determination in your mind and will power that you will not allow any aggression in any part of our land, particularly in Rajouri-Poonch sector. The power of 'Agni' is with you and in you, when challenges occur, you will destroy the injustice, the enemy and the evil design where ever they come from,' Dr Kalam maintained. Earlier, on the LoC, the President was briefed by the Corps Commander Lt Gen Ashok Kapoor and GOC 25 Inf Division, Maj Gen A S Sekhon. He was shown the progress on the fencing work and a surveillance centre at a Brigade headquarters in Mendhar area of Poonch. They disclosed that when this electrified fencing is used in conjuction with the surveillance devices and underground sensors, it makes difficult, rather impossible for the inflitrators to intrude into this side. The President took keen interest in mechanics of surveillance grid. He also gave valuable advice on the technical aspects. A 'Bada Khana' was also arranged on this occasion for soldiers and guests. Dr Kalam also interacted with soldiers and officers during grand lunch.