Updated: November 4, 2021 6:46:58 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India must enhance its military capabilities in line with the changing world and modes of war. Speaking at Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of Diwali, he pointed out that the modern border infrastructure has been built to expand connectivity and troop deployment.
Highlighting his government’s efforts to improve defence capabilities over the years, he said about 65 per cent of the defence budget is being spent on procurement within the country.
The connectivity in border areas has improved, he said. Be it from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the borders and coastal areas now have roads and optical fibres, PM Modi said, adding: “This has helped us enhance our deployment capability.”
“Today Arjun tanks are being built inside the country, aircraft like Tejas are also being made inside the country,” PM Modi said. “Earlier, it used to take years together to procure defence equipment for the security forces. The commitment to self-reliance in the defence sector is the the only way to change old methods.”
PM Modi, who was spending his second Diwali with the jawans in the border district since 2019, also lauded the military’s prompt response to security threats in the country. “There were many attempts to disturb peace here but each time a befitting reply has been given,” he said.
PM Modi went on to praise the role played by the Indian Army in the 2016 surgical strike against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan. “It fills every Indian with pride on the role this brigade played during the surgical strike,” he said.
Calling soldiers the “suraksha kawach” of ‘Maa Bharti’, he commended them for tirelessly protecting the country’s borders. Hailing their courage, Modi said their capability and strength has ensured peace and security for the country. “It is because of you all that people of our country can sleep peacefully and there is happiness during festivals,” he said.
Day before the PM’s visit, Army chief General M M Naravane had carried out an aerial reconnaissance of forward areas, including Rajouri. He was also briefed about the prevailing security situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu.
An Army operation — longest such operation in the recent past — against militants which has been underway through the forest belt in the Poonch-Rajouri area entered its 26th day on Thursday.
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