SRI NAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday celebrated Diwali with troops posted along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez sector of Jammu and Kashmir and said soldiers guarding the border are symbols of bravery and dedication. The PM arrived in Gurez sector of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district in an unannounced visit in the morning to spend Diwali with the personnel and officers of the army and Border Security Force deployed at the frontier.Army chief general Gen Bipin Rawat and top army commanders also accompanied the PM.
The PM interacted with the personnel and officers and extended Diwali greetings to them. He also offered sweets to them during his two-hour stay with them. His visit to the LoC comes a day after eight civilians, including a two-year-old girl, were injured in Pakistani troops firing and mortar shelling in Poonch and Rajouri districts Wednesday.It was also the fourth consecutive Diwali celebrated by Modi with the jawans and officers on the border. He said he gets new energy after spending time among the jawans.
The prime minister appreciated the men and officers’ sacrifice amid harsh conditions at the frontier. The troops stationed along the LoC have to remain alert round-the-clock to counter ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops and prevent militants from sneaking into the state to foment trouble.
Speaking about yoga, the PM said he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practice yoga. He said this would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm. “The jawans, who leave the armed forces after completing their tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently,” the PM said.
While speaking about the new resolve that each citizen must make for 2022, the 75th Independence anniversary, he urged the jawans to innovate so that their routine tasks and duties become easier and safer.
The PM also mentioned how best innovations are now being recognised and awarded on the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day. He said the Central government was committed to the welfare and the betterment of the armed forces in every possible way and mentioned the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP). “Protecting the motherland far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation’s borders are symbols of bravery and dedication,” Modi wrote in the visitors’ book. “I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border on this festive occasion lights the lamp of hope and generates new energy among crores of Indians,” he said, adding, “To accomplish the dream of ‘New India’, this is a golden opportunity for all of us to work together. The army too is a part of it.”
Omar thanks PM
Former J&K chief minister and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah thanked the PM for spending Diwali in Gurez. He urged Modi to gift physical and mobile connectivity to the people in the area on the festive occasion. “You will have noticed that you can’t tweet from there sir. That’s because there is no data and almost no mobile service. Please do help with it,” Omar tweeted. “Physical and mobile connectivity would be your biggest gifts to the area this Diwali,” he added.