Indian PM Modi To Army in Siachen: ‘Happy Diwali, You Make It Possible for Indians to Celebrate’

PM_Shares_Sweets_At_Siachen_big_story_650SIACHEN:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent some time on Thursday morning rallying soldiers at Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, where he made a surprise visit as India celebrated the Diwali festival.

“From the icy heights of the Siachen Glacier & with the brave Jawans & Officers of the Armed Forces, I wish all of you a Happy Diwali,” he tweeted to the nation.

PM Modi took a special Indian Air Force aircraft to Siachen and was flown by helicopter to the base camp at about 12,000 feet. Accompanied by Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhaag, he made an aerial survey of the glacier before interacting with officers and jawans posted at one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

“I have come to spend my first Diwali as prime minister with you. 125 crore Indians can celebrate Diwali today and go about their lives in comfort because the jawans guard the borders, prepared to make every sacrifice for the nation,” PM Modi told the troops.

The Prime Minister said he had come unannounced but “one does not need to announce arrival when coming to meet one’s own.”

In pictures posted on his twitter account, PM Modi was seen mingling with the jawans, sharing sweets and exchanging gifts with them.

Mr Modi, who took office in May, is the first prime minister to visit Siachen in 10 years.

The visit is being seen as a strong message to Pakistan, which has been pressing for the pullout of troops from the glacier since 2012, when 130 Pakistani soldiers died in an avalanche on their side of the slopes. India has been opposing the demand given the strategic importance of the 71-km glacier, where the army has been posted since 1984.

“If you don’t see this glacier, you can’t imagine the hostile weather and the circumstances under which our jawans are serving the motherland,” PM Modi said.

The soldiers posted here were no less than sages, he wrote in the visitors’ book at Siachen before leaving for a visit to flood-hit Srinagar.

Source: NDTV