Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met soldiers at the Nowshera sector in the border district of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of Diwali.
Since taking over as prime minister, Modi has met troops in a border region on Diwali, every year, starting from a visit to Siachen in 2014. This is the second time that PM Modi is visiting soldiers on Diwali in that district.
The prime minister lauded the role played by the brigade here in surgical strikes. India had conducted the surgical strike on September 29, 2016, across the Line of Control (LoC) as a response to a terrorist attack on an Army base in the Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi said many attempts were made to spread terrorism in the area after the surgical strike but they were given a befitting reply.
India must enhance its military capabilities in line with the changing world and modes of war, the prime minister added.
Be it from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh or Jaisalmer to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the connectivity in border areas has improved, he said.
Borders and coastal areas lacking normal connectivity now have roads and optical fibres, and this boosts deployment capabilities as well as facilities for soldiers, the prime minister said.
Modi also said that earlier the country had to depend mostly on imports in the defence sector but with his government's attempts indigenous capabilities have gotten a boost.
He hailed the courage of soldiers and said their capability and strength has ensured peace and security for the country.
Army chief General MM Naravane had carried out aerial reconnaissance of forward areas, including Rajouri, on Wednesday and he was briefed about the prevailing security situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region.
An Army operation against terrorists has been going on through the forest belt in the Poonch-Rajouri area. This has been the longest such operation in the recent past and it entered the 26th day on Thursday.
Meanwhile, when Modi left his residence in the morning, there were minimal security arrangements in place and no traffic route was deployed to minimize any inconvenience, official sources said.
(With PTI Inputs)