Prime Minister Modi lauded Indian Army soldiers for their efforts in protecting the nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who prefers to celebrate his Diwali with Indian soldiers posted on borders, visited the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday to celebrate the festival of light with jawans of the Indian Army.

While addressing them in the Nowshera sector in the Rajouri district, Prime Minister Modi said, “Our soldiers are the protective shield of Mother India.”

“Our soldiers are the ‘suraksha kawach’ of 'Maa Bharti'. It is because of you all that people of our country can sleep peacefully and there is happiness during festivals,” PM Modi said, adding, “Your capability and strength ensure peace and security for the country.”

“I have spent each Diwali with soldiers guarding our borders. Today, I have brought along with me the blessings of crores of Indians for our soldiers here.”

Prime Minister Modi also paid tribute to heroes of Nowshera including Brigadier Usman, Naik Jadunath Singh and Lt RR Rane. Praising jawans for their role during the surgical strike, PM Modi said, “It fills every Indian with pride on the role this brigade played during the surgical strike.”

India had conducted the surgical strike on September 29, 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.

Prime Minister Modi also spoke about the “self-reliance in the defence sector” and said, “We have to enhance and adapt our military capabilities in line with the changing world and mode of war.”

“Earlier, it used to take years together to procure defence equipment for the security forces. The commitment to self-reliance in the defence sector is the only way to change old methods,” Prime Minister maintained.

“We used to depend mostly on imports in the defence sector,” the Prime Minister said, highlighting his government’s attempts to boost indigenous capabilities.

“Many attempts were made to spread terrorism here after the surgical strike but they were given a befitting reply,” Prime Minister Modi said.