India wants to manufacture BrahMos missiles not to attack any country but so that no other country has the audacity to cast an evil eye on it, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday, while stressing the need to maintain nuclear deterrence.

"The BrahMos missile and other weapons and defence equipment we are manufacturing are not to attack any other country. It has never been the character of India to attack any other country or grab even an inch of land of any country," Singh said in Lucknow.

"We want to manufacture BrahMos on Indian soil so that no country has the audacity to cast an evil eye on India," he said, referring to the missile that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

"India should have nuclear deterrents so that no country in the world can attack us, and we have shown this," Singh said.

The defence minister laid the foundation stone of the Defence Technologies and Test Centre and the BrahMos Manufacturing Centre here, along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, during the day.

"There is a neighbouring country. It got separated from India sometime back. I don't know why its intentions vis-à-vis India are always bad. It committed acts of terrorism in Uri and Pulwama," the defence minister said, referring to Pakistan.

"And then our prime minister took a decision, and we went to the soil of that country and destroyed terrorist hideouts, and when there was a need for airstrikes, we did that successfully. We gave the message that if somebody dares to cast an evil eye on us, then not just on this side of the border, but we can go to the other side and hit them. This is India's strength," Singh said.

India carried out cross-border strikes in September 2016 and February 2019 in response to terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama.

Speaking on the occasion, Adityanath said, "The stand of the country is clear, and it does take security lightly. This is the new India, which does not provoke first, but also does not spare anyone who provokes it."

The defence minister praised him for expediting land acquisition for the projects they inaugurated.

"When I spoke to Yogiji and expressed the desire to establish this project, he did not take a second, and said that land will be made available at the earliest. I express my thanks that the chief minister for making 200 acre of land available in just one and a half months," he said.