India-China standoff: PM Modi visits Ladakh

India-China standoff: PM Modi visits Ladakh

New Delhi/Ladakh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday visited Leh-Ladakh with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane to assess the ground situation near the Line of Actual Control amid heightened tensions with China. PM reached Nimu early morning and interacted with Army, Air Force and ITBP personnel. He was briefed by senior Army officers on the situation at the LAC by officials.

Located at 11,000 feet, Nimu is among the toughest terrains, on the banks of river Indus, surrounded by Zanskar range and on the banks of the Indus.

PM Modi also interacted with the soldiers who were injured in a clash with China’s People’s Liberation Army in Galwan Valley on June 15. Prime Minister said that due to the exemplary bravery of the Armed Forces in the recent weeks, the world has taken note of India’s strength.

Prime Minister paid rich tributes to the valour of our Armed Forces, stating 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.

Prime Minister remembered all the proud sons of Mother India who made the supreme sacrifice at the Galwan Valley. He said that those who were martyred belong to all parts of India and epitomize our land’s ethos of bravery. The enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces.

“130 crore Indians are proud of your courage. Your bravery will be a source of inspiration for times to come,” PM Modi told the soldiers injured in Galwan Valley clash.

Prime Minister spoke at length about how 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.

He 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.

Prime Minister recalled that Indian soldiers had a long history of bravery and competence in global military campaigns, including in the two World Wars.

Prime Minister said that the time for expansionism is over. This is the era of development. He recalled that it is this mindset of expansionism that did great harm.He 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 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.

The visit of PM Modi will be a huge morale booster for Indian troops deployed in East Ladakh. The Leh visit is also a huge signal to China as it conveys how seriously India views the stand-off with PLA.

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