Categories
-Top News Europe India News

Zelensky dials Modi, seeks India’s political support in UNSC

India had abstained from the UN Security Council voting saying that the path of the “diplomacy was given up”, reports Asian Lite News

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday over the current situation in his country and urged India for its political support in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against Russia which is continuing its military operations in Ukraine.

Taking to Twitter, Zelenskyy said, “Spoke with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Informed of the course of Ukraine repulsing Russian aggression. More than 100,000 invaders are on our land. They insidiously fire on residential buildings. Urged India to give us political support in UN Security Council. Stop the aggressor together!”

Notably, Russia on Friday (local time) vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution on Ukraine, while India, China, and UAE abstained from the vote. The vote was 11 in favour, one against, and three abstentions. India abstained from voting saying that the path of the “diplomacy was given up”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday also urged Germany and Hungary to back Russia’s expulsion from the SWIFT banking system as Moscow continues its military operation in Ukraine.

“We have almost full support from EU countries about disconnecting Russia from SWIFT. I hope Germany and Hungary will have the courage to support this decision,” Zelenskyy said in a video address that was posted on his Telegram channel, Sputnik News Agency reported today.
Zelenskyy said also that Ukraine has a right to EU membership, and achieving this would be a key sign of support for the country.

“This is the decisive moment to close one and for all the multi-year strategic discussion, make a decision on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. I discussed this with Charles Michele, Ursula von der Leyen, Emmanuel Macron,” Zelenskyy said, as per Sputnik.

However, as per reports, the decision of whether to cut Russia off from the SWIFT international financial network or not will be made within a few days.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities. Later, Putin ordered special military operations “to protect” the people in the Donbas region.

Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations and imposed sanctions on Moscow. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Russian cruise missiles hit Ukrainian military targets

Categories
-Top News Defence India News

PM Modi, President Kovind greet soldiers on Army Day

On this day in 1949, the Indian Army got its first chief after Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa took over as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday lauded the Indian Army’s contribution towards national safety on the occasion of Army Day.

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said: “Best wishes on the occasion of Army Day, especially to our courageous soldiers, respected veterans and their families. The Indian Army is known for its bravery and professionalism. Words cannot do justice to the invaluable contribution of the Indian Army towards national safety.

“Indian Army personnel serve in hostile terrains and are at the forefront of helping fellow citizens during humanitarian crisis, including natural disasters. India is proud of the stellar contribution of the Army in Peacekeeping Missions overseas as well.”

Also extending his wishes, Rajnath Singh said in a tweet: “Our Army has distinguished itself as a courageous and professional force, unwavering in their commitment to defend the country. The nation is proud of the Indian Army.”

The Indian Army Day is celebrated to acknowledge the importance of the Indian Army and to honour each soldier of our country for their selfless service.

On this day in 1949, the Indian Army got its first chief after Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa took over as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday extended his greetings on Army Day and said that the Indian Army has been pivotal in ensuring national security.

The President highlighted that soldiers have displayed professionalism, sacrifice and valour in defending borders and maintaining peace.

“Greetings to Army personnel and veterans on Army Day. Indian Army has been pivotal in ensuring national security. Our soldiers have displayed professionalism, sacrifice and valour in defending borders and maintaining peace. The nation is grateful for your service. Jai Hind!,” Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted today.

ALSO READ: Army’s healing touch in Kashmir

Categories
-Top News India News Punjab

Panel to Probe Lapse in Modi’s Security

Three-member committee will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat and comprising of Balbir Singh, Joint Director, IB and Shri S. Suresh, IG, SPG, reports Asian Lite News

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday constituted a three-member committee to enquire into the serious lapses in the security arrangements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab’s Ferozepur a day ago, which led to the exposure of the VVIP to grave security risk.

Home Ministry spokesperson in a Tweet shared the move taken by the Ministry informing that the “three-member committee will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat and comprising of Balbir Singh, Joint Director, IB and Shri S. Suresh, IG, SPG”.

The committee is advised to submit the report at the earliest, the spokesperson said.

The moves come after the Home Ministry on Wednesday also sought a detailed report from the Punjab government over the security lapse.
The Home Ministry in a statement had then informed that it asked the state government to “fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action”.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah

The action was taken after the Prime Minister’s convoy during his visit to National Martyrs Memorial in Punjab via road reached a flyover where the road was blocked by some protestors.

The Prime Minister was stuck on the flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Modi landed at Bathinda Wednesday morning from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter.

Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out, said a Home Ministry statement.
“When the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours,” the statement said.

PM then proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police, mentions the statement.

President Ram Nath Kovind met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday and received from him a first-hand account of the security breach in his convoy in Punjab on Wednesday. The President expressed his concerns about the serious lapse.

“Around 30 kms away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protestors.

“The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister,” reads the statement.
The Home Ministry said the Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan were communicated well in advance to the Punjab government.

As per procedure, the Home Ministry said, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready.

“Also in view of the contingency plan, the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed. After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport,” it added. (ANI)

ALSO READ: President Kovind Expresses Concerns Over Lapse in Modi’s Security

Categories
-Top News India News

President Kovind Expresses Concerns Over Lapse in PM Modi’s Security

Prime Minister Modi’s convoy faced a serious security breach in Punjab on Wednesday as it was stranded on a flyover on the outskirts of rally venue with protestors jamming the road for almost 20 minutes, reports Asian Lite News

President Ram Nath Kovind expressed “concerns about the serious lapse” when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met him on Thursday to inform about the security breach in his convoy in Punjab.

“President Ram Nath Kovind met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today and received from him a first-hand account of the security breach in his convoy in Punjab yesterday. The President expressed his concerns about the serious lapse,” tweeted the Rashtrapati Bhavan handle after the meeting.

Modi’s convoy faced a serious security breach in Punjab on Wednesday as it was stranded on a flyover on the outskirts of rally venue with protestors jamming the road for almost 20 minutes. Modi had abandoned the plan to fly to the rally venue due to inclement weather and had taken the road from Bhatinda.

The incident has created a lot of political upheaval.

Supreme Court to hear the matter

The matter connected with the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab a day ago was raised before the Supreme Court on Thursday. The top court agreed to hear the matter on Friday.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the petition before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana seeking a probe into the security breach in the PM’s cavalcade in Punjab.

The bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli asked Singh to serve a copy of the petition to the Punjab government and posted the matter for hearing on Friday.

Singh submitted that it was a serious lapse on the part of the Punjab government. The PM’s cavalcade was stranded on the road causing an unacceptable security breach.

Supreme Court of India

The top court asked Singh, what is he expecting from the court? Singh said it is to be ensured that this is not repeated again and a thorough probe is required.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security was breached during the Punjab visit on Wednesday. Taking cognisance of the security breach, the MHA has sought a detailed report from the Punjab government.

The MHA also asked the Punjab government to fix responsibility for this lapse and take strict action.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said, “Today morning Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed at Bathinda from where he was to go to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala by helicopter. Due to rain and poor visibility, the Prime Minister waited for about 20 minutes for the weather to clear out. When the weather did not improve, it was decided that he would visit the National Martyrs Memorial via road, which would take more than two hours. He proceeded to travel by road after necessary confirmation of necessary security arrangements by the DGP Punjab Police,” the MHA said.

Around 30 km away from the National Martyrs Memorial in Hussainiwala, when the Prime Minister’s convoy reached a flyover, it was found that the road was blocked by some protesters. “The Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes. This was a major lapse in the security of the Prime Minister,” the MHA said.

The MHA further stated that the Prime Minister’s schedule and travel plan was communicated well in advance to the Punjab Government. “As per procedure, they have to make necessary arrangements for logistics, security as well as keep a contingency plan ready. Also in view of the contingency plan the Punjab Government has to deploy additional security to secure any movement by road, which were clearly not deployed. After this security lapse, it was decided to head back to Bathinda Airport,” the MHA said.

READ MORE: Major Security Lapse During Modi’s Punjab Visit

Categories
-Top News India News

‘May We Keep Scaling New Heights’: Modi Extends New Year Greetings

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday extended greetings on the first day of 2022 on Saturday and expressed hope that the New Year will bring an abundance of joy and good health to everyone.

“Happy 2022! May this year bring abundance of joy and good health in everyone’s lives. May we keep scaling new heights of progress and prosperity, and work even harder to fulfil the dreams of our great freedom fighters,” PM Modi tweeted.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath extended greetings to the nation early this morning.

Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Nitin Gadkari were among others who extended greetings to the nation on New Year 2022. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Modi cracks the whip amidst Omicron scare

Categories
-Top News Defence India News

Modi chairs security meet after CDS chopper crash

As a mark of respect, the government will announce national mourning on Thursday, reports Asian Lite News

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the country’s top security officers held a meeting on Wednesday over the situation arising out of the IAF chopper crash in Tamil Nadu that killed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others onboard the ill-fated helicopter.

During the meeting, it was decided that as a mark of respect, the government will announce national mourning on Thursday.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and top military, security and intelligence officers were part of the meeting. Discussion was also held over selecting the next Chief of Defence Staff designate.

Before the meeting, Rajnath Singh had spoken to Modi about the crash. He also asked Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari to rush to the accident site.

An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat with his staff and some family members on board, met with an accident near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, December 08, 2021. (Photo:photo screenshot)

In the meantime, Singh visited the residence of Rawat in Delhi and spoke to his daughter. Earlier, Chief of Army Staff General M.M. Naravane had briefed Singh about the crash and related issues.

Earlier on Wednesday, General Rawat and his wife were among the 13 persons who were killed after the Mi17V5 helicopter they were travelling in crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.

“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that General Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons onboard have died in the unfortunate incident,” the Indian Air Force said in a statement.

General Rawat was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington in Nilgiri Hills to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course.

Out of the 14 people onboard, the lone survivor, Group Captain Varun Singh, Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College, is currently undergoing treatment at the Military Hospital in Wellington.

General Bipin Rawat was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington in Nilgiri Hills to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course.

Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier L.S. Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Naik Vivek Kumar, Naik B. Sai Teja and Havaldar Satpal were travelling along with General Rawat.

Apart from them, two pilots, a Group Captain and a gunner were onboard the ill-fated chopper.

Singh, along with his wife and seven staff, boarded a flight at Delhi for the Sulur IAF base near Coimbatore at 8:47. They landed in Sulur at 11:34 am. From there, they boarded the Mi17V5 helicopter at 11:48. At 12:22 pm, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) lost contact with the chopper, which crashed in a forest area around 7 km from Coonoor.

The IAF said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the accident. The report is expected in one month.

The mortal remains of all the deceased will be brought to Delhi on Thursday.

Categories
-Top News Defence India News

Putin likely to flag key deals under ‘Atmanirbhar’ logo

With the defence ties being an integral pillar of the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between the two countries, India has welcomed Russia’s willingness to actively engage in its ‘Make in India’ initiative for co-development and production of high technology defence items, a report by Ateet Sharma

The Military-Technical Cooperation (MTC) between India and Russia is expected to grow stronger when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit in New Delhi on Monday.

Delivery of the S-400 air defence system and purchase of nearly seven lakh Kalashnikov assault rifles from Moscow, along with plans on joint research and development activities to create new weapons and military equipment systems, will be at the top of the agenda of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu when they both meet for the inaugural 2+2 Dialogue.

With the defence ties being an integral pillar of the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between the two countries, India has welcomed Russia’s willingness to actively engage in its ‘Make in India’ initiative for co-development and production of high technology defence items.

“A lot of preparatory work has been done, during which Russian specialists, together with Indian partners, have developed an effective production model,” Bekkhan Ozdoev, Industrial Director of the weapons complex of Russian state-owned technology conglomerate Rostec, told Moscow-based media group RBC last week on India signing a $590 million contract with Kalashnikov during Putin’s New Delhi visit.

(Photo_India Narrative)

India has last month carved out seven new defence companies out of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) which, as PM Modi said on Vijayadashami, would play an important role in import substitution, in line with the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

If all goes well, the production of the latest AK-203 series of the iconic Kalashnikov rifles will begin in the first quarter of 2022 at Korwa Ordnance Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi.

Expanding Indian-Russian military cooperation

The growing Modi-Putin camaraderie, and the increasing multifaceted bilateral cooperation, is highlighted by the fact that the two leaders have met each other 19 times since 2014.

After their last meeting at the BRICS Summit in Brasilia in November 2019, both have had six telephonic conversations during the Covid-19 pandemic and several virtual interactions on various multilateral platforms.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the establishment of the India-Russia Strategic Partnership and the 11th anniversary of its elevation to a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

Russian RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems are seen on the Red Square for the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2019. (XinhuaBai XueqiIANS)

Russia ranks first in the field of military-technical cooperation between India and foreign countries, acquiring more than 60% of military and technical equipment, including the procurement of spare parts and components for licensed production of weapons and military equipment.

New Delhi has stressed that over the years that the partnership with Moscow has gone from simple buyer-seller relationships to collaborative research, development and production of first-class combat platforms.

The production of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, jointly developed by India’s DRDO and NPOM of Russia, and the licensed production in India of SU-30 aircraft and T-90 tanks remain a standout example of India-Russia defence cooperation.

Both parties are also involved in the joint design and development of the Fifth Generation Fighter and the Multipurpose Transport Aircraft, supply of MiG-29K aircraft, MI-17 and Kamov-31 helicopters, modernization of MiG-29 aircraft, manufacturing of frigates and supply of Multiple Launch Missile Systems.

“In our January 26 parade this year, a lot of exhibits were Russian made.that is the measure of cooperation that we have in defence sector,” said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla at Moscow’s Russian Diplomatic Academy, earlier this year.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting the ‘Zvezda’ Shipbuilding Plant, at Vladivostok, in Russia on September 04, 2019. (PIB)

India has also taken a number of steps to expedite the collaboration between the Indian and Russian companies after the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on the joint manufacturing of spares in India signed in Vladivostok on September 4, 2019.

The IGA provides a framework for partnership of Russian Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) with Indian industry for manufacturing of spare parts of Russian origin equipment in use by the Indian defence forces under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Besides conducting INDRA joint military exercises, the Defence Ministers of both the countries continue to hold their annual meetings, alternately in Russia and India, even during the ongoing pandemic.

Last year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Moscow to participate in an event to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory Day Parade at Red Square, had discussed a broad range of areas of cooperation between the two countries in a meeting with Russian Defence Minister, General Sergei Shoigu.

Categories
-Top News India News USA

US Congressional Delegation Meets Modi

The US Congressional delegation is led by Senator John Cornyn, who is the co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on India and Indian Americans, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met with the US Congress delegation here and had a “frank” discussion on regional issues of mutual interest, including those related to South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.

According to an official statement by the Prime Minister office (PMO), PM Modi met with US Congressional delegation led by Senator John Cornyn which included Senator Michael Crapo, Senator Thomas Tuberville, Senator Michael Lee, Congressman Tony Gonzales and Congressman John Kevin Elizey Sr.

Senator John Cornyn is the co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

US
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with the United States Congressional Delegation, in New Delhi on November 13, 2021. (Photo PIB)

“The Congressional delegation noted the excellent management of COVID-19 situation in India in-spite of the challenges of large and diverse population. Prime Minister noted that people’s participation based on democratic ethos of the country played a key role in managing the worst pandemic of the last one century,” read the statement.

It informed that PM Modi appreciated the consistent support and constructive role of the US Congress in deepening the India-US comprehensive global strategic partnership which is anchored in shared democratic values.

“There was a warm and frank discussion on regional issues of mutual interest, including those related to South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region,” said the statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with the United States Congressional Delegation, in New Delhi on November 13, 2021. (Photo PIB)

It further stated that PM Modi and the visiting delegation noted the increasing convergence of strategic interests between the two strategic partners and expressed a desire to further enhance cooperation with an aim to promote global peace and stability.

PM Modi also exchanged views on the potential for enhancing the bilateral relationship and strengthening cooperation on contemporary global issues such as terrorism, climate change and reliable supply chains for critical technologies, the statement added. (ANI)

ALSO READ – Commonwealth Secretary General lauds Modi’s green push

Categories
-Top News India News Politics

Modi, BJP leaders visit Advani on his 94th birthday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended birthday greetings to Lal Krishna Advani who is a senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Monday celebrated veteran party leader LK Advani’s birthday at his residence in Delhi.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party’s national president JP Nadda met veteran BJP leader LK Advani at his residence to wish him on his birthday. Advani also cut a cake in the presence of PM Modi and others.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended birthday greetings to Lal Krishna Advani who is a senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister.

PM Narendra Modi and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu seen with LK Advani.

“Birthday greetings to respected Advani Ji. Praying for his long and healthy life. The nation remains indebted to him for his numerous efforts towards empowering people and enhancing our cultural pride. He is also widely respected for his scholarly pursuits and rich intellect,” tweeted the Prime Minister.

Born on November 8, 1927, in Karachi, Advani was the Minister of Home Affairs in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government from 1998 to 2004. He also served as the Deputy Prime Minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee from 2002 to 2004. He is one of the co-founders and a senior leader of the BJP.

He began his political career as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In 2015, Advani was awarded the Padma Vibhushan – India’s second-highest civilian honour. (ANI)

Categories
-Top News India News

Modi Celebrates Diwali With Army Troops in J&K

On the occasion of Diwali, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the soldiers for serving on Indian borders and pointed out that security personnel were the “suraksha kawach” (armour) of the nation, reports Asian Lite News

Continuing his annual tradition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived in Nowshera, Jammu to celebrate Diwali with soldiers.
Last year, PM 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.

The Prime Minister lauded the soldiers for serving on Indian borders and pointed out that security personnel were the “suraksha kawach” (armour) of the nation.

The Prime Minister further said that it is because of the soldiers that people can sleep peacefully.

“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,” the Prime Minister said while addressing the soldiers at Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir.

“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,” he said.

The Prime Minister continued his annual tradition of celebrating Diwali with soldiers. Notably, PM Modi has been visiting soldiers on Diwali, ever since he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Lauded soldiers for carrying out surgical strike

Prime Minister Modi on Thursday praised the soldiers for carrying out the surgical strike across the border and said that it fills everyone with pride.

He also said that the country has been giving a befitting reply to those attempting to disturb the peace in the region.

(Photo: ANI)

“It fills every Indian with pride on the role this brigade played during the surgical strike,” the Prime Minister said while addressing soldiers at Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir.

He also said, “The role played by this brigade during the surgical strike fills everyone with pride. I will remember that day forever as it was decided that all soldiers should return before sunset… I was sitting beside the phone and was asking about the whereabouts of every soldier,”

Diwali

“There were many attempts to disturb the peace here but each time a befitting reply has been given,” the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister during his address also lauded the soldiers for serving on Indian borders and pointed out that security personnel were the “suraksha kawach” (armour) of the nation.

The Prime Minister further said that it is because of the soldiers that people can sleep peacefully.

“Today I have in front of me brave brothers and sisters who have the good fortune of serving our motherland. I can see the dedication to protect our land in your eyes. It is because of you, we are able to celebrate our festivals with peace,” said the PM.

‘Self-reliance in defence sector’

Reiterating his vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, PM Modi said that the commitment to self-reliance in the defence sector is the only way to change old methods of procuring defence equipment.

(Photo: ANI)

While addressing soldiers at Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said, “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.”

The Prime Minister also that this will make the defence sector stronger.
PM Modi further said that the connectivity of the border has significantly improved our security deployment capability.

“Connectivity in border areas has improved- be it from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This has helped us enhance our deployment capability,” the Prime Minster said.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister paid tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Visits in recent years

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, Prime Minister 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.

(Photo: ANI)

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, the PM 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.
In 2014, Prime Minister Modi spent Diwali in Siachen with soldiers. (ANI)

ALSO READ – UK issues coin to honour Mahatma on Diwali