Prez calls for strong defence, effective deterrence

Bagdogra: President Pratibha Patil today said a strong defence and an effective deterrence were essential to preserve peace in the country.

"No nation can propser without its borders being secure. Though as a nation we are firmly committed to peace, we will not hesitate to use all out might to safeguard the sovereignity of our nation", the President said at the Air force station here.

Presenting the President`s standards to 44 Squadron and 110 Helicopter Unit, popularly known as the "Mighty Jets" and "Vanguards", Patil said, "Our Armed forces, exemplified by the men and women who stand before us, reflect our determination to protect our interests."

"We do not wish to encourage conflict, but should it be thrust upon us, I am confident that our Armed Forces will form a fortified wall against the adversary and keep the Indian flag flying high", she added.

Besides safeguarding the nation`s sovereignity, the IAF also acts a life saver in times of peace.

"Apart from the maintenance of our icy mountainous borders, the helicopter and transport units of the IAF have been extending yeoman service whenever called upon, during natural calamity, or during attacks by anti-national elements", the President said.