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India should not rely on defence imports: Rajnath

Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh addresses at the 4th Defence Attachés conference, in New Delhi, Oct. 13, 2022. Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan,Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and the Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande are also seen. A PTI Photo

NEW DELHI (PTI):  India cannot and should not rely on imports of military hardware and the government is committed to achieve self-reliance in defence production to remain prepared to deal with any future security challenges, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said.

He also noted that 'Atma Nirbharta' (self-reliance) does not mean isolation from the rest of the world, but to ensure national security and strategic autonomy through a modern military.

The defence minister was  on Thursday addressing a conference of defence attaches (DAs) posted in Indian missions across the globe.

The conference was also attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan and the three service chiefs.

In his address, Singh described the defence attaches as the bridge between India and friendly foreign countries for mutual defence cooperation.

He also urged them to showcase the capabilities of the Indian defence industry in their countries of postings.

Appreciating the performance of the DAs, the Raksha Mantri said they are making a significant contribution in securing national interests in line with the country's foreign policy.

The defence minister called upon the DAs to carry forward the government's vision of achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing, describing it as the only way to make India strong and respected at the world stage amid the constantly-evolving global security scenario.

"Asserting that India cannot and should not rely on imports, Singh reaffirmed the government's commitment to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing to remain prepared to deal with future security challenges," the defence ministry said in a statement.

He termed the defence attaches as the forerunners of 'Aatmanirbharta' in defence.

"India is manufacturing world class and cost-effective weapons, equipment and platforms, which are being internationally recognised. Our defence products are not only world class and reliable in quality but also relatively economical," Singh said.

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