PM Narendra Modi's 'surprise visit' to Siachen: 'Nation is proud of our armed forces'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday — the day of Diwali — made a surprise visit to Siachen and addressed officers and jawans of the Indian Armed Forces at Siachen Base Camp at a height of over 12,000 feet.

By Hemant Abhishek | Updated: Oct 23, 2014, 17:07 PM IST
PM Narendra Modi's 'surprise visit' to Siachen: 'Nation is proud of our armed forces'

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday — the day of Diwali — made a surprise visit to Siachen and addressed officers and jawans of the Indian Armed Forces at Siachen Base Camp at a height of over 12,000 feet.

 

He praised the valour and courage of jawans stationed there and said that 125 crore Indians could celebrate Diwali and go about their lives in comfort, because the jawans stood guard at the borders, prepared to make every sacrifice for the nation.

"The nation is proud of all three wings of the armed forces," the Prime Minister added.

 

PM Modi said that the jawans were surprised that he had come unannounced, but one didn't need to announce arrival when visiting one's own (family).

The Prime Minister said the jawans at Siachen worked in one of the remotest places in the world. And it was a rare opportunity to be called upon to defend the country in such difficult conditions.

PM said that he was visiting Siachen as a representative of the family members of the jawans who were busy serving Mother India on the borders.

He said it was his privilege that his first Diwali as Prime Minister was being spent partly with the jawans of Siachen, and partly with those affected by the floods in Srinagar.

The Prime Minister said that the Indian Armed Forces were unique — because while they spelt trouble for the enemy on the battlefield, they spelt life for all the countrymen affected by disasters or natural calamities. He also recalled the immense contribution made by the Armed Forces during the recent floods in Srinagar.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the fact that women too were now contributing to the Indian Armed Forces in a significant way.

The Prime Minister assured the jawans that wherever they were —serving or retired— the country stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them. He said their dreams and responsibilities were the entire country's responsibility. He said he would do his utmost to ensure a life of dignity for them.

The Prime Minister said the promise of  'One Rank, One Pension' had been fulfilled, and preparations were being made for a National War Memorial, that we could all be proud of. The Prime Minister wished the entire country "Happy Diwali" from the icy heights of Siachen, adding that as countrymen light diyas, they should recall that the warmth of the earthen lamps has been fuelled by the sweat and toil of the jawans of the Indian Armed Forces. Let those jawans inspire the rest of the country to work towards achieving the dreams and aspirations of the common man, he added.

The Prime Minister later handed over a cheque for Rs 5 lakh for the welfare of the jawans, and personally offered sweets to the jawans. He wrote in the visitors' book, saying that the soldiers in uniform who guarded the nation's frontiers in such difficult conditions were no less than 'rishis' and sages. The Prime Minister was at Siachen Base Camp for over an hour.