PM Narendra Modi celebrates Diwali in Kashmir, calls jawans ‘his family’ | Hindustan Times
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PM Narendra Modi celebrates Diwali in Kashmir, calls jawans ‘his family’

This was the fourth successive Diwali that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has celebrated with jawans on the border.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2017 07:24 IST
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers sweets to a jawan on the occasion of Diwali in Gurez Valley in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. (Photo: Narendra Modi Twitter)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers sweets to a jawan on the occasion of Diwali in Gurez Valley in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. (Photo: Narendra Modi Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali with the jawans of Indian Army and BSF in Gurez Valley near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.

Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the jawans.

In his address, the Prime Minister said that like everyone else, he too wished to spend Diwali with his family, and had visited the jawans whom he considers “his family”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian Army chief Gen BS Rawat with jawans on the occasion of Diwali in Gurez Valley in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. (Photo: Narendra Modi Twitter)

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

The PM’s visit also comes in the wake of continuous offensive by security forces against militants of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba amid violent street protests and attacks on security personnel in the border state.

Appreciating their sacrifice amid harsh conditions, Modi said he gets new energy when he spends time with the soldiers.

On being told that the jawans practice yoga regularly, he said it would enhance their abilities and give them a sense of calm, and mentioned that they could become excellent yoga trainers after they complete their tenure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses jawans on the occasion of Diwali in Gurez Valley in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. (Photo: Narendra Modi Twitter)

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

Assuring the soldiers of the government’s commitment towards their welfare, he mentioned the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades.

Army chief general BS Rawat and other senior Army officers were present on the occasion. Rawat, along with Northern Command chief Lt General Devraj Anbu and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu, accompanied the Prime Minister to Gurez.

Earlier, Modi extended Diwali greetings in a picture signed by him along with a caption in Hindi writing, “Warm greetings to the countrymen on the auspicious festival of Diwali”.

Earlier on Wednesday, the general Rawat reviewed the security situation in Kashmir valley.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah thanked Modi for spending Diwali in Gurez.

Abdullah urged him to gift physical and mobile connectivity to the people in the area on the festive occasion.

“Thank you for celebrating #Diwali with the people & troops in #Gurez. Please gift the people and troops a tunnel under Razdan pass @PMOIndia,” Abdullah tweeted.

“Physical and mobile connectivity would be your biggest gifts to the area this Diwali jenab. #HappyDiwali @narendramodi Sahib,” he posted.

“You will have noticed that you can’t tweet from there sir. That’s because there is no data and almost no mobile service. Please do help with it,” he added.

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