Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali on Sunday with troops stationed in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. He said on the occasion that it was due to the might of India’s soldiers that his government was able to take big decisions that were earlier considered impossible. The prime minister said, “Since Independence, Pakistan tried to snatch Kashmir from us, but our soldiers thwarted its plans.” He said that Pakistan had illegally captured a part of Kashmir, “which pains me constantly”.
The prime minister reached the Army Brigade headquarters this afternoon to address the troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC). He was accompanied by Army Chief General Vipin Rawat.
Hours before the prime minister’s visit to Rajouri, the Pakistan Army targeted the forward posts in the district. The Indian Army gave a befitting reply with heavy shelling.
Wearing a military jacket, Modi greeted the soldiers on Diwali and distributed sweets among the soldiers. Officials said that the Prime Minister stayed there for about two hours and spoke to the soldiers guarding the LoC.
In the presence of nearly a thousand soldiers, Modi said, “It is only due to the might of the Indian defence forces that it was possible for the Union government to make decisions that were considered impossible.” His reference was to the decision to carry out a surgical strike in PoK to avenge the terror attack on the Uri military base, the Balakot airstrike to retaliate against the terror bombing on CRPF jawans in Pulwama and the removal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by virtually scrapping Article 370.
Modi said that everyone wanted to celebrate Diwali with family and that is why he too had reached his family here and these brave young men were his family.
The prime minister visited the Hall of Fame in Rajouri and paid tribute to the soldiers and civilians who laid down their lives in Rajouri and Poonch. He described the place as a “land of the mighty, land of inspiration” and a “holy land’.
Later, Modi posted a series of tweets to say he had celebrated Diwali with the brave soldiers of the Indian Army. “Interacting with these mighty jawans is always a matter of joy.”
Significantly, after taking the oath for Prime Minister’s Office for the first time in 2014, Modi has celebrated every Diwali with soldiers. This was his first Diwali in Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370.