The prime minister said this while addressing soldiers on the occasion of Diwali at Nowshera sector in the border district of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir
Nowshera, Jammu and Kashmir: India must enhance its military capabilities in line with the changing world and modes of war, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday and noted that modern border infrastructure has been built to augment connectivity and troop deployment.
Modi made the remarks while addressing soldiers on the occasion of Diwali at Nowshera sector in the border district of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir.
The prime minister lauded the role played by the brigade here in surgical strikes. India had conducted the surgical strike on 29 September, 2016, across the Line of Control (LoC) as a response to a terrorist attack on an army base in the Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Modi said many attempts were made to spread terrorism here after the surgical strike but they were given a befitting reply.
India must enhance its military capabilities in line with the changing world and modes of war, the prime minister said. He said that connectivity in border areas has improved — be it from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Borders and coastal areas lacking normal connectivity now have roads and optical fibres, and this boosts deployment capabilities as well as facilities for soldiers, the prime minister said.
Modi also said that earlier the country had to depend mostly on imports in the defence sector but with his government’s attempts indigenous capabilities have gotten a boost.
He hailed the courage of soldiers and said their capability and strength has ensured peace and security for the country.
“I want to spend Diwali with family members, so I join you on this festival,” he said. Since taking over as prime minister, Modi has made it a point to meet troops in a border region on Diwali, starting from a visit to Siachen in 2014. Official sources shared photographs of him at an army post in Nowshera.
Last year, Modi while celebrating Diwali with soldiers at Longewala in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan had said that as long as the Indian soldiers are present, this country’s Diwali celebrations would continue in full swing and be luminescent.
In 2019, the prime minister had celebrated Diwali with soldiers in the Rajouri district along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. He had called soldiers as his family and lauded them for guarding the borders even during festivals. He had exchanged Diwali greetings with the Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel at Pathankot Air Force Station.
In 2018, Modi had celebrated Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), at Harsil in Uttarakhand. Following that he had offered prayers at the Kedarnath shrine.
In 2017, the prime minister celebrated the festival of light with army soldiers and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in the Gurez Valley of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora District.
In 2016, he went to Himachal Pradesh to celebrate the festival with Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel at an outpost. He visited the Punjab border to celebrate Diwali with soldiers in 2015.
Army chief General M M Naravane had carried out an aerial reconnaissance of forward areas, including Rajouri, on Wednesday and he was briefed about the prevailing security situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region.
An army operation against terrorists has been going on through the forest belt in the Poonch-Rajouri area. This has been the longest such operation in the recent past and it entered the 26th day on Thursday.
Meanwhile, when Modi left his residence in the morning, there were minimal security arrangements in place and no traffic route was deployed to minimise any inconvenience, official sources said.
With inputs from agencies