Modi opens work on airbase near Pakistan border

New Delhi, October 20 (KMS): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of a new airbase coming up in north Gujarat near the India-Pakistan border and said it would emerge as an effective centre for the country’s security.

The move followed the opening of a defence exhibition in the state and the meeting of defence ministers from the Indian Ocean Rim, mostly from African countries.

After announcing the new airbase in Gujarat, Mr Modi said: “The times have changed. Earlier, pigeons used to be released, now cheetahs are released.”

He was referring to former premier Jawaharlal Nehru’s practice of releasing pigeons on special days. Mr Modi recently released a bunch of cheetahs brought from Africa.

Speaking after inaugurating the Defence Expo 2022 in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar, Mr Modi also said Indian defence forces were becoming self-reliant in producing weaponry and will release a list of 101 more items that cannot be imported.

With this, 411 defence-related goods could only be procured locally, he said, adding: “This will give a major boost to the Indian defence industry.”

The Indian premier said this was an unprecedented defence expo, as only Indian companies are participating in it for the first time.

He said the airbase coming up at Deesa city of Banaskantha district in north Gujarat would “emerge as an effective centre for the security of the country”.

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