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You're Family, Meeting You is Not a Formality, PM Narendra Modi Tells Soldiers During Diwali Visit

Addressing the soldiers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was accompanied by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, said his government was committed to the welfare and betterment of the armed forces.


Updated:October 19, 2017, 8:28 PM IST
You're Family, Meeting You is Not a Formality, PM Narendra Modi Tells Soldiers During Diwali Visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates Diwali with the jawans of the Indian Army and the BSF in Gurez Valley, near the Line of Control, in Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday. (PIB Photo)

Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali on Thursday with soldiers from the Indian Army and the Border Security Force (BSF) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez Valley along the Line of Control.

Addressing the soldiers, the Prime Minister, who was accompanied by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, called the armed forces his family and said his government was committed to their welfare and betterment.

“People think meeting our jawans is a formality. No, it is not a formality. I get new energy when I am among our jawans,” the PM said.

Donning the Army fatigues, Modi also mentioned the implementation of the One Rank, One Pension scheme for the armed forces.

“If we all work together, 125 crore Indians will take India ahead by 125 crore steps by 2022, the year India completes 75 years of Independence,” Modi said.

The prime minister said that he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practise yoga. He said this would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm. He said jawans, who leave the armed forces after completing their duty tenure, can become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.

Northern Command chief Lt General Devraj Anbu and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu were also in Gurez, accompanying the Prime Minister, an Army official said.

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

"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," the Prime Minister wrote in the visitors' book.

Modi spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez Valley, which is close to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating militants in the past 27 years.

This is the fourth successive Diwali that the prime minister has celebrated with jawans on the border.

Modi had spent Diwali with the people of Kashmir in 2014 in the aftermath of the devastating floods in the Valley.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi extended Diwali greetings to the nation.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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