Modi says Diwali signifies festival of the end of terror

Stressing that India has always viewed war as the last resort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that Diwali signifies the festival of the end of terror and that Kargil had made it possible.

Addressing the soldiers in Kargil district of union territory of Ladakh on Diwali, Modi said anyone who casts an evil eye on the nation, the armed forces have the strength to give a befitting reply to them.

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Kargil was a battleground in 1999, after Pakistani soldiers and militants occupied vantage points atop the towering mountain peaks that overlook the strategic Srinagar- Leh highway. The Indian Army managed to win back its territory after two months and the Indian Army lost 500 officers and soldiers in the War.

Modi said that he was witness to the 1999 Kargil war.

“From the land of Kargil, there has not been a single war with Pakistan where Kargil has not hoisted the flag of victory. The meaning of Diwali is end of Aatank (terror) and Kargil had done exactly the same and the celebrations of the victory are remembered even today,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that the reverence for the soil of Kargil always draws him towards the brave sons and daughters of the armed forces.

“For years, you have been a part of my family”, Modi said.

The Prime Minister underlined that the sweetness of Diwali increases in the presence of the jawans and the light of Diwali that is present among them emboldens his spirit.

“On one side there are the sovereign borders of the nation, and on the other committed soldiers. On one we have the love of the soil of the motherland, and on the other, there are braveheart jawans. I could not have expected a Diwali of such magnitude anywhere else,” he said .

Modi said India is against war and always viewed it as the last resort.

“We follow the traditions where war is considered as the last option… India is always in favour of world peace. We are against war, but peace is not possible without strength. Our armies have the capability and the strategy, and if someone looks at us, then our armies also know how to give a befitting reply to the enemy in their own language,” he told the soldiers.

He said while soldiers are protecting the country at the borders, they were working within the country to fight evils like terrorism.

“Just like all of you are protecting us at the borders, we are working within the country to fight evils like terrorism, ‘Naxalwaad’, corruption. ‘Naxalwaad’ had taken a huge part of the nation in its grasp, but today that stretch is rapidly decreasing,” he said.

PM Modi said that India’s prestige had risen globally.

“India’s going is up, and it is possible because India has been successful in dealing with enemies outside and inside,” Modi said.

Highlighting Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Prime Minister pointed out that the most important aspect of the country’s security is the possession of modern indigenous weapons in Indian armies.

The Prime Minister informed that all three sections of defence have decided to minimize dependence on foreign weapons and systems and pledged to be self-reliant.

“I admire our three armies, who have decided that more than 400 pieces of defence equipment will no longer be bought from abroad, and will now be made in India itself”, he said.

Pointing out the benefits of using indigenous weapons, the Prime Minister said that when the jawans of India fight with the weapons made in the country, their faith will be at its peak and their attacks will come with a surprise element for the enemy while crushing the enemy’s morale.

The Prime Minister said that today, India has become an exporter of defence equipment while strengthening its missile defence system, and also working rapidly on modern and effective technology like drones.