President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said that if maritime frontiers and assets are safe India can achieve sustained high growth.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of accomplishment of 'Sagar Parikrama-II' - Solo Non Stop Unassisted Circumnavigation done by Lt. Cdr. Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy here today, Mukherjee said: "Our resolve to achieve sustained high growth can be realized only if our maritime frontiers and assets are safe, stable and act as enablers. The Indian Navy, as the primary element of India's maritime power, has the challenging task of safeguarding the country's maritime interests."
"Our country's security situation predicates that the Navy plays a leadership role. It is indeed a matter of great pride that the Indian Navy continues to discharge its responsibilities with professional excellence and elan, whilst simultaneously building bridges of friendship and goodwill across the oceans," he added.
He said to sustain a long voyage of over 150 days at sea, solo, non stop unassisted and sailing through some of the most treacherous oceans of the world, is a remarkable feat.
He hoped that the achievement of Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy would continue to be a source of inspiration for future generations of young seafarers.
His epic voyage has placed India into the ranks of a few select countries whose citizens have been successful in braving such an arduous voyage.
The President said a nation's social and economic well-being is intricately linked to the seas, not only for trade, but also how it faces threats to its security that develop across the seas. Sponsorship of terrorism through non-state actors, and across the seas, is a matter of deep concern to the entire nation.
"Historically, India has always stood for peace. Our commitment to peaceful co-existence stems not from weakness but is based on a mature understanding that peace alone can help a nation achieve its objectives of social and economic development," the President said.
"Peace can, however, be sought only from a position of strength - strength sufficient to safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime interests, both economic and strategic," he added. (ANI)