Modi calls for self reliance in defence production

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, SRINAGAR
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2014 22:37 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for self-reliance in defence production so that the resources used on the import of weapons can be utilised for the welfare of soldiers.

Raising the slogan of “Seema pe jawan - Khet mein kisan”, Modi said it’s the soldiers on the border, the farmer in the field and youth, which are the strength of the country. The PM was addressing over 1,000 soldiers serving in the high-altitude areas along the Line of Control engaged in counter-terrorism operations in the Kashmir Valley, on Friday. He commended the army for their selfless service to the cause of national security.

“I am fortunate to have gotten this opportunity to pay tributes to the war heroes. I seek blessings from their souls so that it strengthens my resolve to serve the nation better,” Modi said while paying tributes to the martyrs at the War Memorial of 15 Corps.

“All of you leave your families and serve in difficult areas in challenging conditions but you are not alone, billions of countrymen are behind you and their wishes will serve as a protective armour,” he said.

Modi said the portion of defence budget spend on the soldiers is very less as a major chunk is used for import of weapons and equipment. He hoped that in the future the country becomes self-reliant in defence production so that the resources can be utilised for the welfare of soldiers and their families. “A country, which produces weapons always has an edge. Not only its soldiers but the people also have a high morale,” he added.

On his arrival in Srinagar, the Prime Minister was received by Lt Gen Dalbir Singh, the vice-chief of army staff; Lt Gen DS Hooda, army commander, Northern Command; and Lt Gen Subrata Saha, Chinar Corps commander.

The PM was briefly apprised of the situation in the valley. However, no security review meeting took place.

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