Mukherjee presented the President's Standards to two of the Indian Air Force's Frontline Fighter Squadrons – 220 Squadron and 32 Squadron -- at a ceremonial parade at Air Force Station in Punjab's Halwara on Wednesday.

"We do not have any tall ambition in increasing our borders but at the same time we zealously need to protect our territorial integrity.”

"Our armed forces give us the confidence in the nation's ability to face any aggression and safeguard its interests," Mukherjee said.

"As a responsible nation, India is firmly committed to peace and equality," the President said, adding that the country is equally focused on building the capability to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The President's comments come at a time when concerns have been raised over China's increased activities along the border and Pakistan's recent aggression along border in Jammu and Kashmir.

"In the 81st year of its existence, the Indian Air Force has zealously guarded our sovereign skies while promptly providing humanitarian aid during natural disasters within our borders and beyond, not only for India but also for a large number of countries like China and the US," Mukherjee said addressing the gathering.

The President also appreciated the IAF's role during the recent Uttarakhand flood disaster and said, "It was yet another shining example of the fortitude and determination of its gallant air warriors.

"The nation is immensely proud of its Air Force and remains indebted to the air warriors for their selflessness and sacrifice."

The President's Standard is the highest honour bestowed upon any unit of the Armed Forces in recognition of its contribution to the security of the nation both during hostilities and peace.


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