New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh has warned Pakistan against initiating an armed conflict with India, stating that with the strength of the Navy and the "strong resolve of our government... we are capable of giving (Pakistan) a much bigger blow."
The defence minister's comments come after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, in which he warned the international community of "consequences" if India and Pakistan - both with nuclear-arms - waged war.
"Pakistan needs to understand that the Indian Navy has become much stronger with the commissioning of the INS Khanderi. They should know our capabilities and we can use them if required," he said, referring to the Scorpene-class attack submarine that he commissioned in Mumbai on Saturday. The Scorpene-class submarine is a state-of-the-art diesel-electric naval asset that can fire anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes. It is fitted with stealth technology and can cruise at speeds of 20 nautical miles per hour.
"India is proud of its Navy and can never forget the exceptional role it played in the 1971 war when Operation Trident and Operation Python broke the backbone of the Pakistan navy," he added, citing the importance of submarines in modern strategic warfare.
The minister’s comments also come in the backdrop of multiple intelligence alerts recently that include threats to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and at least 30 major cities.
Last week Punjab Police said that Pakistani drones had dropped AK-47 assault rifles and grenades in Amritsar. The weapons were meant for terrorists to create trouble in Kashmir, news reports have said.
Earlier this month the Indian Army said intelligence had warned that terrorists could target South India. That warning came only weeks after ports in Gujarat were put on high alert over inputs that Pakistani commandos may try to infiltrate Indian waters through the Kutch area.
"State-sponsored terrorism is a big challenge. Our government is strong-willed, and we do not hesitate when it comes to taking tough decisions," defence minister Rajnath Singh said in Mumbai, where he also launched a P-17A stealth frigate.