New Delhi: As the Indian Navy’s nuclear submarine INS Arihant has successfully completed its first deterrence patrol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday it was a “fitting response” to those who indulge in “nuclear blackmail”, in a clear but veiled reference to Pakistan’s oft-repeated nuclear threats. Dhanteras, he said, had become even more special.
“India’s pride, nuclear submarine INS Arihant successfully completed its first deterrence patrol! I congratulate all those involved, especially the crew of INS Arihant, for this accomplishment, which will always be remembered in our history,” he said in a series of tweets.
Dubbing INS Arihant as the “harbinger of fearlessness” for the country, Mr Modi said, “Today is historic because it marks the completing of the successful establishment of the nuclear triad. India’s nuclear triad will be an important pillar of global peace and stability.”
This is a major achievement for the country, the PM said, adding INS Arihant would help protect the country from external threats and contribute to the atmosphere of peace in the region. “In an era such as this, a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour. The success of INS Arihant gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail,” he tweeted.
The Prime Minister, addressing the Arihant crew, warned the enemies of India not to “resort to any audacity”, asserting that India was a peace-loving country and does not instigate anyone but does not spare those who needle it. “Our nuclear arsenal are not a part of an aggressive policy, but it is an important means for peace and stability. Peace is our strength, not our weakness. Our nuclear programme must be seen with regard to India’s efforts to further world peace and stability,” he said.
The PM noted that this achievement has put India among a handful of countries having the capability to design, construct and operate a Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine (SSBN). BJP president Amit Shah described the achievement as a “historic feat”, as he hailed Mr Modi’s strong leadership, which, he said, had enhanced the country’s strategic and economic position globally. Noting that the feat was achieved on “Dhanteras”, which is about wellbeing, Shah said, “In that spirit, our armed forces give India the historic feat of our nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, completing its first deterrence patrol.”
The Indian armed forces ranked among the best, were fully committed to peace and at the same time, fully prepared to give a strong answer to elements who tried to disturb the atmosphere of peace, he said, adding that a grateful nation saluted their courage.
“The achievement of INS Arihant and the nuclear triad will further India’s strategic and security interests. It also reaffirms India’s historical commitment to peaceful coexistence,” Shah said.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said with this feat, India has entered the league of a few countries that can design, construct and operate Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarines (SSBN).