Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday visited Nimu in Ladakh to interact with troops and warned India’s adversaries that the nation’s commitment to peace and friendship should not be seen as weakness.
Making a surprise visit to Ladakh, the Prime Minister met the top leadership of the Indian Army and later interacted with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP.
Nimu is surrounded by the Zanskar range and is on the banks of river Indus.
His visit comes nearly 20 days after 20 Indian soldiers were martyred at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh during a clash with Chinese troops.
Modi paid rich tributes to soldiers and delivered a strong message to China.
Here are the top five things he said in his address to the troops at Nimu:
Modi pays tribute to armed forces
The Prime Minister paid rich tributes to the valour of our armed forces, saying that their courage and devotion to ‘Mother India’ is unparalleled. He stated that Indians can go about their lives peacefully because they know that our Armed Forces are standing firm, protecting the nation.
Modi said that due to the exemplary bravery of the armed forces in recent weeks, the world has taken note of India’s strength.
Remembering the sacrifice at Galwan Valley
The Prime Minister Modi remembered Indian Army jawans who made the supreme sacrifice at the Galwan Valley on June 15. He said that those who were martyred belong to all parts of India and epitomize our land’s ethos of bravery.
He affirmed that be it Leh-Ladakh, Kargil or the Siachen Glacier, be it the high mountains or the icy cold water that flows in the rivers, these are testimony to the gallantry of India’s Armed Forces. The enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces, said the Prime Minister.
Modi also paid homage to two Matas: to Mother India and to the Mothers of all those brave soldiers and security forces of India who serve India with unparalleled diligence.
‘Commitment to peace not weakness’
Addressing the jawans, the Prime Minister said that the virtues of peace, friendship and courage have been a part of India’s culture since time immemorial. He recalled that India has always given a befitting reply to anyone who has tried to disturb the prevailing atmosphere of peace and progress.
Modi affirmed that India is committed to peace and friendship but this commitment to peace should not be seen as India’s weakness. Today India is becoming stronger, be it in naval might, air power, space power and the strength of our army. Modernization of weapons and upgradation of infrastructure has enhanced our defence capabilities multifold.
Indian soldiers had a long history of bravery and competence in global military campaigns, including in the two World Wars, he said.
‘Era of expansionism is over’
In a message seen as aimed at China, Modi said the time for expansionism is over and this is the era of development. He recalled that it is this mindset of expansionism that did great harm.
Expenditure on border infrastructure enhanced
Modi added that in the last few years, several steps have been taken for the wellbeing of India’s forces and furthering India’s security preparedness. This includes ensuring the availability of modern weaponry, increased border infrastructure, border area development and expanding the roads network. He further shared that expenditure on border infrastructure has been enhanced three times.
Prime Minister also mentioned the efforts to strengthen the national security apparatus and to ensure the well-being of our armed forces. He highlighted recent initiatives of the government such as creation of CDS, construction of a grand National War Memorial, fulfilment of OROP after decades and steps to ensure the well-being of the families of the armed forces personnel.