the Ministry at one of the most critical junctures of history as the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were deployed in Sri Lanka as a stepping stone to the tortuous journey for peace in the island nation.
"The Indian troops were also deployed at short notice in Maldives to abort a coup attempt, in a clear manifestation of our commitment to the promotion of peace and stability in South Asian Region," he said.
Antony also remembered Pant as one who bolstered the armed forces in a big way with the acquisition of country's flagship aircraft carrier INS Viraat and MIG-29 aircraft among many other acquisitions.
"He was also instrumental in the setting up of the first Coast Guard Air Station at Daman," Antony said.
Born in 1931 in Nainital, Pant was a post graduate in science and joined Congress to enter politics. Pant first got elected to Lok Sabha in 1962 and was reelected in 1967, 1971 and 1989.
Pant, who later became the Chairman of Tenth Finance Commission, was also elected to Rajya Sabha in 1978 and was Leader of the House during 1979-1980.
PM, Defence Minister express grief over Pant's demise
(PTI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony and other leaders today expressed grief over the demise of former Union Minister K C Pant, recalling his service to country during a long political career.
In a condolence letter to Pant's wife Ila, the Prime Minister said the country has lost an eminent public figure and an able administrator.
"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of your husband Shri K C Pant. Shri Pant served our country and people with great distinction in his long political career," Singh wrote in the letter.
Expressing his "deepest condolences" to the family, Singh said, "He (Pant) distinguished himself as a Member of Parliament and as a Minister in the Union Council of Ministers holding important portfolios like Home, Defence and Finance."
"On this sad occasion, I convey my deepest condolences to you and other members of the family. I pray for the departed soul," Singh added.
Defence Minister A K Antony in his message expressed "profound grief" at