The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, celebrated Diwali with Army and ITBP personnel at Harsil near the India-China border in Uttarakhand.
He remained with troops for an hour-and-a-half. Greeting the jawans, the Prime Minister said their devotion to duty in the remote icy heights, is enabling the strength of the nation, and securing the future and the dreams of 125 crore people, a statement from his office said.
Through their commitment and discipline, he said, the jawans are also helping to spread the sense of security and fearlessness among the people. He recalled that he has been visiting soldiers on Diwali ever since he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He said he still remembers his Kailash Mansarovar Yatra long back and that how the ITBP jawans helped him and other pilgrims.
He said India is taking great strides forward in the defence sector and spoke of various measures being taken for the welfare of ex-servicemen, including implementation of 'one rank, one pension' (OROP).
Mr. Modi said the Indian Armed Forces had drawn admiration and appreciation across the world, in UN peacekeeping operations.
He also interacted with people from nearby areas who had gathered to greet him. He landed at Harshil at 7.50 am and left at 9.10 am.