'You're my family': Indian PM Modi celebrates Diwali with troops in J&K's Gurez

10/19/2017

NEW DELHI, Oct. 19: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on Thursday celebrated Diwali with the jawans of the Indian Army and BSF in Gurez valley along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and said that he considers them as a part of "his family."

The Prime Minister, who offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the troops, said that like everyone else, he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family and that is why he had come among the jawans of the armed forces.

He spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez valley, which is at a shouting distance of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating terrorists in the past 27 years.

The Prime Minister added that he gets new energy when he spends time among the jawans and appreciates their penance and sacrifice amid harsh conditions.

He said that he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practice Yoga and remarked that this would definitely enhance their abilities and give them a sense of calm.

He added that jawans who leave the Armed Forces after completing their duty tenure can become excellent yoga trainers.

The Prime Minister also spoke of the new resolve that each Indian citizen must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.

The PM also encouraged the jawans to innovate so that their routine tasks and duties become easier and safer. He mentioned how best innovations are now being recognised and awarded at the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day.

Highlighting the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades, the PM said that the Centre is committed to the welfare and the betterment of the Armed Forces in every way possible.

This is the fourth successive Diwali that the Prime Minister has celebrated with jawans on the border.

Chief of the Army Staff Gen B S Rawat and other senior army officers were present on the occasion.

In the visitors' book, the Prime Minister wrote:

"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.

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.

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. Greetings to all of you on Diwali." TOI

 

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