Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed soldiers in Ladakh today as he made a surprise visit to a forward post in Ladakh and interacted with troops days after the June 15th border clash with China in which 20 soldiers were martyred in the line of duty. The Prime Minister’s visit served as a morale booster for the forces and a powerful message to China, which has shown unrelenting aggression at the border with incursions spotted in the satellite images. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief MM Naravane accompanied the PM as he toured the region, met with soldiers and briefed on the face-off with China since early May. PM Modi described the soldiers as “the braves of the soil” and said the “enemy has seen our fire and fury”.
Top quotes PM Modi’s address to soldiers in Ladakh :
Your bravery and dedication is unparalleled. Your courage is higher than the highest regions where you all are stationed. Bharat Mata’s enemies have seen your fire and fury. Your arms are as strong as the mountains that surround you. Your confidence, determination and belief is as immovable as the peaks here. The conditions in which you deliver your best are among the toughest in the world, and you have proven time and again that Indian armed force is mightier and better than everyone else in the world. What you have done here, the message you have sent, is a message that has reached the world. It has been a bold statement. I want to salute you all and all the soldiers who laid down their lives for the motherland. Every corner, every stone, every river and every pebble here in Ladakh knows it is an integral part of India. The valor shown by you has showed India’s strength on the global front.
In a strong message to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that The era of expansionism is over, and the history is proof that expansionists have “either lost or were forced to turn back”.
The Prime Minister added that bravery is a pre-requisite for peace and that those who are weak can never initiate peace. Modi, who arrived this morning in Leh, Ladakh, went to review the ongoing border conflict with the Chinese forces.
The Prime Minister was meeting the soldiers who were injured in the violent clashes, as well as the local military leadership, when he made the remark. Twenty Indian Army personnel had lost their lives in the faceoff last month. He added; “Those who are weak can never initiate peace. Bravery is a pre-requisite for peace. Your will power is as strong and firm as the Himalayas, the whole country is proud of you.”
Besides the injured soldiers, Modi also met the local Military leadership, including Lt. General Harinder Singh, XIV Corps Commander. Nimu, a forward location, is at a height of 11,000 feet and among the tough terrains. It lies on the banks of the river Indus and is surrounded by the Zanskar range. While paying tributes to the soldiers during his Mann Ki Baat address last Sunday, Modi had said, “Those who cast an evil eye on Indian Soil in Ladakh have got a befitting response. India honours the spirit of friendship, she is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary, without shying away. Our brave soldiers have proven that they will not let anyone cast an evil eye on the glory and honour of Mother India.”
Initially, Defence Minister was scheduled to Visit Ladakh :
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was initially scheduled to visit Ladakh today along with the Army Chief, but his visit was deferred on Thursday. Friday marks Naravane’s third visit to Ladakh since the standoff began in May. He visited the XIV Corps headquarters in Leh on his first visit, while on his second visit, he met the injured soldiers and visited forward areas.
Military Level Talks on With China :
Lt. General Harinder Singh on the other hand, has met his Chinese counterpart foe three high-level military discussions so far, the last being on Tuesday. The discussions have been inconclusive, suggesting that more military and diplomatic meetings will be required to end the stalemate. Both side had “emphasized the need for an expeditious, phased and step-wise de-escalation as a priority”, at the meeting held at the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) point in eastern Ladakh. The previous two meetings, on June 6 and June 22, had been held on the Chinese territory at Moldo. Indian and Chinese troops have been involved in a face-off at multiple locations in the region. The friction points include North Bank of Pangong Tso, Hot Springs, Vohra Post and Galwan Valley.