Sanjha Morcha

WhatsApp shares location with friends

WhatsApp shares location with friends

Andrew Griffin

WhatsApp will now tell you friends where you are, so you don’t have to.

The chat app is introducing “Live Location”, a feature that lets people give out their location in real time to their friends. None of the information will be public, and it’s intended only to be used for a short amount of time.

So if you’re going to meet someone and are not sure where they are, you can show them on a map, for instance.

It’s used by heading to a WhatsApp chat, clicking on the “add” button, press on Location and switch it on. It can be used with just one person or in group chats, where everyone will get access to your location and everyone in the chat will be shown on one map.

The feature will be rolling out on both Android and iOS “in the coming weeks”, WhatsApp said. Some people claim to already have access to it.

A number of apps have recently run into trouble over location services. Snapchat, for instance, recently added a feature that allows people to see precisely where people are — and those people might not even know they’re being tracked.

But WhatsApp will only enable the feature with explicit consent, and will let people do so for a specific amount of time if they choose.

The app has allowed people to share their location for some time. But until now it was only static, so that you could send your current location but it wouldn’t then be updated.

The new feature is similar to one offered in iMessage, but only for people who are using Apple products. From a chat, you can click the little “i” button in the corner, and opt to share your location forever or just for a short while.

— The Independent


‘US considering Indian request of armed drones for air force’

‘US considering Indian request of armed drones for air force’
Fiile photo of a Guardian drone. AFP

Washington, October 22

The Trump Administration is “considering” India’s request for armed drones for its air force, weeks after approving the sale of high-tech unarmed Guardian drones to India.“Yes, yes,” a senior administration official told PTI when asked about India’s pending request about the purchase of armed drones as part of its armed forces’ modernisation drive.

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The armed drones, the Indian Air Force (IAF) believes, would help it strengthen its defence capabilities.Early this year, the IAF had requested the US Government for General Atomics Predator C Avenger aircraft. It is understood that the IAF would need 80 to 100 units making it approximately a whopping USD 8 billion deal.The Trump Administration’s consideration in this regard comes months after a successful meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump at the White House on June 26, during which the US announced to sell 22 unarmed Guardian drones to India, which would add to the Indian Navy’s surveillance capabilities in the strategic Indian Ocean region.“We are at ways to, in terms of foreign military sales, but really also in defence cooperation broadly how to strengthen our relationship and cooperation,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.The official was responding to questions on defence relationship and India’s quest for high-tech defence equipments and technologies from the US as part of its long overdue armed forces’ modernisation drive running into several hundred billions of dollars over the next decade.Previous Obama Administration had designated India as major defence partner and the Trump Administration has accelerated the process of considering Indian requests.“The US Navy and the Indian Navy have been cooperating for many years on counter-piracy efforts, on ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf,” the official said.“I think that (defence) cooperation is only going to increase based on the need for it to increase and the kind of trust that we are building through personal relationships and through a fundamental understanding that our interests aligned so clearly,” the official said.Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said that in keeping with India’s status as a major defence partner and their mutual interest in expanding maritime cooperation, the Trump administration has offered a menu of defence options for India’s consideration, including the Guardian UAV.“We value the role India can play in global security and stability and are prepared to ensure they have even greater capabilities,” Tillerson had said ahead of his visit to India.He did not mention about armed drones. He, however, said “the proposals the US has put forward, including for Guardian UAVs, aircraft carrier technologies, the Future Vertical Lift program, and F-18 and F-16 fighter aircraft, are all potential game changers for our commercial and defence cooperation.” PTI

Agra E-way closed for IAF touchdown

Lucknow-Agra Expressway to be closed for IAF touchdown

Lucknow: The Lucknow-Agra Expressway will be closed for commuters from 10 am on Monday till 2 pm on Tuesday as the Indian Air Force plans to conduct a major touchdown exercise involving 20 planes on the highway. This is for the first time that transport aircraft AN-32 will “land and then take off” from this highway. PTI

Lucknow-Agra Expressway to be closed for IAF touchdown

File photo of the Sukhoi-30 MKI jet.

Lucknow, October 22

The Lucknow-Agra Expressway will be closed for commuters from 10 am on Monday till 2 pm on Tuesday as the Indian Air Force plans to conduct a major touchdown exercise involving 20 planes, including the AN-32, Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi-30 MKI, on the highway.

This is for the “first time” that transport aircraft (AN-32) will “land and then take off” from this highway, an official said.

According to PRO, Defence (Central Command), Gargi Malik Sinha, the IAF will conduct the aircraft touchdown exercise on the Agra Expressway near Bangarmau in Unnao district.

“It is for the first time that any transport aircraft will land and then take off (on the highway). The AN-32 are meant for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The aircraft can bring a large amount of relief material and can also help in evacuating people,” Sinha said.

In all, 20 aircraft including AN-32 transport and fighter planes like Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Sukhoi 30 MKI will take part in the exercise, she said.

“Two AN-32 planes will participate in the October 24 Expressway touchdown,” the PRO said.

To ensure a smooth conduct of the touchdown by IAF aircraft, traffic restrictions will be placed on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway for general public from October 23 to October 24.

In a letter sent to district magistrate Unnao, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) Awanish Awasthi said that Indian Air Force was planning to conduct highways flying operations on October 24 on the airstrip of Agra- Lucknow Expressway in Unnao district.

The letter further said, “It is to bring to your notice that due to Diwali vacation, a lot of traffic is moving on the expressway. Hence, keeping in view the convenience of the expressway users, it is proposed to stop the use of expressway for general public from 10 am on October 23 to 2 pm on October 24”.

The CEO asked the Unnao district magistrate to ensure that sufficient police force is deployed to control the public and movement of authorised vehicles on expressway and also take measures to ensure safe flying operations on the scheduled day from 8 am till 1 pm. PTI

Army plans upgrade of 2,000 military stations

New Delhi, October 22

The Army is finalising a plan to modernise around 2,000 military stations and develop them in line with the government’s Smart Cities initiative.Army officials said 58 military stations have already been identified as part of the pilot project to implement the ambitious initiative. They said all cantonments will be part of the project. “We are looking at developing the military stations as smart cities where all modern amenities will be made available. Developing state-of-the-art IT network will be a key feature,” said a senior Army official.The Army top brass had deliberated extensively on the implementation of the project during the recent commanders’ conference. “We are planning to develop all military stations across the country in a time-bound manner,” said the official. The initiative is part of the Army’s overall modernisation drive that envisages significantly ramping up infrastructure at all its military installations across the country.Another official said the Army is moving forward with the implementation of the reform measures recommended by the Lt Gen (retd) DB Shekatkar committee, which includes redeployment of nearly 57,000 officers and other ranks to enhance the combat capability of the force. — PTI

Donkey at the border! by GS Aujla

Donkey at the border!

GS Aujla

WHAT would appear to be the most objectionable provocation at the International Border today was known in the mid-seventies as an acceptable indulgence on the dhussi bundh separating India and Pakistan. The heavily vegetated area, with a kutcha road all along the border in Gurdaspur, was home to a teeming brood of black partridges and wild boar.A tacit courtesy that Pakistan Rangers extended to their Indian counterparts was to allow shooting partridge and wild boar. Since pork is forbidden in Islam, they did not mind us shooting the pigs. I found in the late PD Vashisht, the then Additional Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur, an avid hunter. Although a Brahmin by birth, his mouth would start watering the moment he saw a partridge in the bushes. In the hunting season, the two of us — after duty hours — would proceed to the dhussi for ‘patrol’, with our 12-bore shotguns jutting out of the windscreen. We would often leave the jeep and let a bird fly to take a shot. The chances of survival of our likely prey was 50-50 as neither of us was an expert at flying shots. I was an ace rifle shot in my younger days and made a lousy shot with the shotgun. I am told a good rifle shooter scarcely becomes a good shotgun firer. Vashisht was a cerebral hunting addict and was happy with a small bag of partridges — mostly ‘sitting ducks’, as the phrase goes.The BSF officer at the border outpost would facilitate the roasting of the partridges and had a cook who was an expert at barbeque that he made out of wild boar. We had the most enjoyable time at the International Border and there was no cross-border tension.One day, when we were driving on the dhussi bundh, we saw a donkey in our territory. It was so heavily loaded that it could hardly walk. We got off our jeep and with the help of our driver and retainers searched the animal. We found five cases of ‘Solan Number One’ (a popular brand of whisky made in India) in the bags. Handing over the donkey at the outpost, we were told that Indian smugglers used to load donkeys with their favourite brand of liquor for Pakistani counterparts. We were also told that a bottle of ‘Solan’, costing Rs 35 in India, was sold for Rs 350 in Lahore on the black market. The forbidden fruit is always dearer.The unfortunate donkey had strayed back into the Indian territory, apparently having lost its way and failing to deliver it to the assigned receiver across the border. Ironically, there was no punishment for it — it was mercifully spared a torturous interrogation. A triumph for animal rights!

DISCONTENT IN INDIAN ARMED FORCES by by Air Marshal R. S. Bedi (retd)

A few decades ago a senior former bureaucrat wrote in his book that it was not possible for the Armed Forces to stage a coup in India. The argument was simply based on the fact that Indian society was a complex body comprising different castes, religions, languages and ethnicities.
No General, however popular, could be sure of the total loyalty and backing of so diverse a force as the Indian Armed Forces. He was perhaps right. Despite this, the fear in the corridors of power continued to persist, for many a fledgling democracy was falling prey to ambitions of men in uniform. There lay the genesis of the process of downsizing and subordinating the Indian Armed Forces.
At present, the state of affairs in the Armed Forces is somewhat disturbing.
• The cumulative effect of years of neglect of the Armed Forces has begun to manifest. Today’s soldier is educated, conscious of his status and standing. His aspirations are growing with the fast-changing environment around him. This, perhaps, is the main reason for repeated incidents of indiscipline in the Army.
• The men were never so verbose and openly daring as they are now in expressing their dissatisfaction. The palpable resentment of the mass of the Armed Forces against the government doesn’t augur well for the future.
Year after year, the Armed Forces have been given a raw deal. They are downgraded with regular periodicity and denuded of power due to them. Enough has been said about their dwindling status. Even the paramilitary forces seem to be overtaking them in many respects.
• The bureaucracy has tightened its grip to the extent that orders from the highest in the government establishment are either diluted or not implemented in proper spirit.
Realising deep discontent in the Armed Forces in regard to the Sixth Pay Commission award, the Prime Minister ordered a high-powered committee to look into the Armed Forces’ grievances. The bureaucracy got away with impunity without delivering. The problem continues to simmer. There is mounting discontentment over the government’s inability to set things right. The political leadership that should, in fact, be the epicentre of power is gradually becoming ineffective.
The retired community, less shackled with rules and regulations, is far more verbose and has even resorted to rallies and dharnas to express their dissatisfaction. They surrendered their hard-earned medals to their Commander-in-Chief to protest against the step-motherly treatment meted out to them. The president showed scant regard for this desperate act of the soldiers.
• Surprisingly, even the paramilitary forces are better placed and better looked after by their Home Ministry than the Armed Forces by their Defence Ministry. In the case of the latter, the Services first struggle with their own ministry to get past it to secure government approval for anything that it needs. The reason not generally known for the paramilitary forces to be under the Home Ministry instead of the Defence Ministry in itself assures them somewhat better treatment.
• They don’t have to fight with their own ministry as do the Armed Forces.
The Armed Forces are not in any major decision-making loop, not even in regard to national security.
This is when the country is on the verge of completing its nuclear triad and acquiring strategic weapons. Presently, no uniformed personnel serve in the Ministry of Defence despite the recommendations made by various committees in the past to make decision-making more informed and rational. Many a committee, including the one on Kargil, has made such recommendations but none has been implemented by the all-powerful bureaucracy.
It’s a pity that despite the highly specialised staff available at the Services headquarters, the political establishment relies totally on the (inept self-serving) Ministry of Defence civil servants drawn from diverse backgrounds. Since the Services have a limited access to the political establishment, they are unable to make any worthwhile contribution to matters of national importance. The Chiefs can hardly meet the Prime Minister. Meeting the Defence Minister is not a routine affair either.
The plight of the soldier has not moved the conscience of the government.
He is taken for granted and tasked to perform what his civilian compatriots prefer not to do or perhaps consider it too dangerous to stake their lives.
• He is killed almost every day which is just a matter of statistics for the government. Only his family sheds tears for they will have to struggle for the rest of their lives; first with the bureaucracy to get what is due to them and then try to subsist with growing responsibilities and scarce resources. His status and emoluments are perhaps among the lowest in the government hierarchy. Yet he does not come out in the streets to protest.
• But now the discontentment is no more confined to whispers. It is getting louder by the day. Questions are asked but unfortunately the answers are not forthcoming. How long will the mandarins in the North and South Blocks ignore the writing on the wall?
The military leadership has been sounding the government at various levels but to no avail. In a rare display of political magnanimity, the Defence Minister wrote to the Prime Minister a couple of months ago with an implicit warning in regard to the deteriorating state of affairs in the Armed Forces. The Prime Minister acted ‘promptly’ and asked the bureaucracy, the same people who are largely responsible for creating the mess, to look into it.
The bureaucrats, as is their wont, refused to include representatives from the Armed Forces whose problems they are supposed to resolve. Obviously, one doesn’t expect much from them in the absence of their voice being heard directly. In the end, some cosmetic changes will be brought about, but the problem will linger on.
• They are no more reticent and subdued. At least, three cases have been reported in the recent past of revolts against officers. It may be the tip of the iceberg. In any case, it is a reflection of deteriorating standards and morale of men in uniform. Whatever be the reasons for dissatisfaction—pay, pension, food, facilities or status—once the intensity of feelings reaches the critical stage, the consequences may be serious.
The naval mutiny in 1946 was led by signalman M. S. Khan and Telegraphist Madan Singh as a strike in protest against the general conditions of service, inadequate facilities and poor quality of food. The revolt spread fast throughout British India from Karachi to Calcutta and ultimately came to involve nearly 20,000 sailors on 78 ships and 20 shore establishments.
So was the 1857 Mutiny inspired by an ordinary soldier called Pandey in Meerut that soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions.
The Indian Air Force too was gradually sucked in the naval strike. And so was the Indian Army. The NCOs defied the orders from their British superiors. In Madras and Poona, the British garrison faced a revolt in the ranks of the Indian Army. In fact, widespread rioting took place from Calcutta to Karachi.
Even the British Air Force revolted against the conditions of service in January 1946. The mutiny began in Karachi and spread to 60 RAF stations in India, Ceylon and Singapore. Lord Wavel, then Viceroy of India, stated that the action of the British airmen inspired both Indian Navy and Air Force mutinies. Revolts and rebellions are not necessarily led by the officer class; in fact, often by men whose only concern is their conditions of service and welfare.
• • Today the discontent is far more pronounced than ever before. Whether it is the lackadaisical attitude of the government or a wilful decision is hard to say.
Courtesy:Facebook Post By Col.Mahip Chadha.

Govt’s stand on non-functional upgradation has hit armed forces morale

For those who respect and have faith in the forces, let the authorities know that it cannot play with those who serve the nation.

Two major inputs regarding the case in the Supreme Court on the non-functional upgradation (NFU), granted to all other central services, except the military, are doing the rounds on social media.

The first is a report in the press highlighting the ministry of defence (MoD) and the armed forces headquarters (AFHQ) locking horns over the draft equivalence committee report. The second is a statement made by army chief Gen Bipin Rawat while addressing officers in Srinagar that the NFU case may be lost because the government considers the armed forces neither as a group-A nor a group-B service, but distinct altogether.

The case is scheduled to come up for its final hearing on October 26.

The MoD has taken it upon itself to work out the equivalence between the AFHQ civilian and the military cadre, ignoring the warrant of precedence (WoP) issued by the ministry of home, which is responsible for setting the order of seniority between services and ranks. The army member disagreed with the draft report, which has been supported by the service chiefs. The MoD has basically adopted its own calculations to adjust the additional vacancies allocated to it by the cabinet. Their claim that this seniority adjustment is solely to coordinate functioning at the service headquarters and MoD level is adding insult to injury, as it would make service officers subservient to those junior in service, experience and age.

India is possibly the only country among top military powers with a completely civilian-run MoD, seeking to downgrade those whom it controls, rather than working together to resolve pending issues. It spends more time delaying military demands and requests, battling for supremacy over the uniformed, enjoying the perks of the military, without any responsibility and accountability. Downgrading of seniority levels would give more decision-making powers to those who have no understanding of defence and security issues, other than that obtained from perusing files.

Repeated demands for amalgamating the service HQs and the MoD for greater transparency, better understanding, speedy decision-making and cohesive working have only run into stone walls. The military brass has realised, knowing the working of the government, that if it accepts this insult even once then it would remain for eternity. MoD’s downgrading would be adopted almost immediately by the ministry of home, resulting in a fresh and degraded new WoP.

modi690_102117051108.jpgAre photo-ops by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with troops only for elections and he has no genuine concern?

Downgrading the military would adversely impact its morale at every level. Hence, it would be fought tooth and nail and rejected at the service HQs.

The bureaucracy, supported by the government, having lost all avenues in the NFU battle in the courts attempted to establish additional roadblocks. It first sought to degrade the armed forces from a grade-A service to a grade-B service through the equivalence commission. If the armed forces would have accepted it, the decision would have been in their favour. When it realised that this is likely to be prolonged and the service chiefs are unlikely to give in, despite pressures, mainly due to internal ramblings and morale, it adopted a different approach.

The new approach is to classify the armed forces as neither grade-A nor grade-B service. The logic flows from the fact that only armed forces officers are commissioned with the commissioning certificate signed by the President of India, while all other services are not. Hence, it does not come in either category and should thus be denied a benefit announced for grade-A services alone.

Where was logic when the armed forces were let down in every pay commission? Where was it when the armed forces and civilian services were equated based on Grade Pay through the decades and multiple pay commissions? Where was it when privileges including travel benefits were announced based on grade pay? Why has it come up now, when every other argument has failed? Is this solely the handiwork of the bureaucracy or are the politicians a part of the game to intentionally lower the morale of the armed forces?

If the government considers inter-service seniority based on salaries, then why should the military be considered separate, when it comes to the NFU? If the WoP does not consider it as a separate entity, then why should it be changed now? Has the tacit approval of the Department of Personnel and Training, which is directly under the PMO, been obtained.

Are photo-ops by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman with troops only for elections and they have no genuine concern? The morale is already being affected within the service, which is not an ideal state for the nation.

nirmala690_102117051147.jpgDefence minister Nirmala Sitharaman with defence personnel.

The inputs on the above issues are being moved rapidly through social media in all service groups. Questions are being raised on whether the government is truly concerned about the welfare of the serving officers or is the bureaucracy leading it by the nose. The veterans are aghast at this attitude of the government. They are aware of inter-service rivalry and jealousy, especially since the armed forces are more respected in the society, but the government allowing the bureaucracy a free run to hurt the uniformed, is crossing tolerable levels.

The veterans are likely to attend the final hearing in strength and have also planned a mega rally in support of the serving at the end of this month. This is one battle which the armed forces cannot afford to lose, despite government inaction. It can only be won, if the service HQs puts its weight behind the battle. A few stalwarts have taken the government to court, reached the final stage, in a battle which would immensely benefit present and future generations of those serving. They must be applauded and supported for their efforts. This is a battle for rights which must be fought to the end.

The service HQs should join their serving cadre in this battle, rather than consider the government line or promises of subsequent release, as it is known that democratic governments, especially in India, make promises solely to break them. Granting of NFU would enhance morale, bring in equivalence between the civil cadre and the armed forces, wherever they are jointly employed and restore its standing and prestige. Losing the battle would result in just the opposite, a disgruntled force, blaming the hierarchy for lack of support and losing faith in the system.

For those who respect and have faith in the armed forces, this is your moment, spread the message, expand your reach, let the government know that they cannot play with those who have no public voice, no power to object and are always there for the nation, securing it daily, even at the cost of their lives. Let this battle have your support and blessings. The armed forces need the support of the nation now.

Also read: BJP must pay heed to Vijay-starrer Mersal to know what people feel about GST, digital transactions

HEADLINES :::19 OCT 2017


मोदी ने चौथी बार जवानों के बीच मनाई दिवाली, बोले- आप मेरा परिवार हैं

मोदी ने चौथी बार जवानों के बीच मनाई दिवाली, बोले- आप मेरा परिवार हैं, national news in hindi, national news

मोदी ने चौथी बार जवानों के बीच मनाई दिवाली, बोले- आप मेरा परिवार हैं, national news in hindi, national news

मोदी ने चौथी बार जवानों के बीच मनाई दिवाली, बोले- आप मेरा परिवार हैं, national news in hindi, national news

श्रीनगर. नरेंद्र मोदी गुरुवार को कश्मीर में एलओसी के पास स्थित गुरेज सेक्टर पहुंचे। यहां उन्होंने जवानों के साथ दिवाली मनाई। प्राइम मिनिस्टर ने जवानों को मिठाई खिलाई और कहा कि आप ही मेरा परिवार हैं। मोदी के साथ आर्मी चीफ बिपिन रावत, नॉर्दर्न कमांड चीफ ले. जनरल देवराज अन्बू और चिनार कॉर्प्स के कमांडर ले. जनरल जेएस संधू भी मौजूद थे। मोदी की इस विजिट का पहले खुलासा नहीं किया गया था। पिछले साल मोदी ने हिमाचल प्रदेश के किन्नौर में आईटीबीपी, आर्मी और डोगरा रेजीमेंट के जवानों के साथ दिवाली मनाई थी।

मोदी ने चौथी बार जवानों के बीच मनाई दिवाली, बोले- आप मेरा परिवार हैं, national news in hindi, national news

जवानों के साथ दिवाली पर क्या बोले नरेंद्र मोदी?

– मोदी ने कठिन हालात में काम करने के लिए जवानों की तारीफ की। जवानों के बीच करीब 2 घंटे बिताए, उन्हें मिठाई बांटी और उनके परिवार को भी दिवाली की बधाई दी।
– जवानों के साथ दिवाली का सेलिब्रेशन करने के बाद मोदी ने ट्वीट किया, “आप लोगों (जवानों) के साथ वक्त बिताना मुझे एनर्जी देता है। हमने बातचीत की और मिठाई बांटी। मुझे जानकर खुशी हुई कि जवान रोज योग करते हैं। हमारी सेनाएं हमारी मातृभूमि की वीरता के साथ रक्षा करती हैं और समर्पण और बलिदान का प्रदर्शन करती हैं।”
अच्छे योगा ट्रेनर बन सकते हैं जवान
– प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा, “भारत सरकार हर तरह से आर्म्ड फोर्सेस की बेहतरी और अच्छाई के लिए काम कर रही है। हमने वन रैंक-वन पेंशन लागू की। जो जवान आर्मी की अपनी ड्यूटी पूरी कर चुके हैं, वे बहुत अच्छे योगा ट्रेनर्स बन सकते हैं।”
– “अगर हम सब कोई लक्ष्य तय करें और उस पर काम करें तो 125 करोड़ भारतीय 2022 तक यानी आजादी की 75वीं वर्षगांठ तक भारत को 125 करोड़ कदम आगे ले जा सकते हैं।”
मोदी जवानों के साथ मनाते रहे हैं दिवाली
– 2014 में मोदी ने सियाचिन में जवानों के साथ दिवाली मनाई थी। यहां दुनिया में सबसे ज्यादा ऊंचाई पर आर्मी पोस्ट है।
– 2015 में उन्होंने अमृतसर, 2016 में उन्होंने हिमाचल के किन्नौर में जवानों के साथ दिवाली मनाई थी।
– किन्नौर में मोदी ने कहा था, “मैंने देखा कि करोड़ों भारतीयों ने जवानों के नाम का दीया जलाया। बड़े-बड़े कलाकार, क्रिकेट सितारे, व्यापारी, किसान, अफसर, मंत्री, प्रधानमंत्री, संतरी हर कोई जब दीया जला रहा था तो आपका चेहरा दिखाई दे रहा था।”
– हिमाचल में मोदी काफिला रुकवाकर अचानक यहां के सोम्दू के चांगो गांव में लोगों से मिले थे और लोगों को दिवाली की बधाई दी।


PM Modi celebrates Diwali with troops along LoC in J&K’s Gurez sector

PM Modi celebrates Diwali with troops along LoC in J&K’s Gurez sector
Prime Minister is also visiting the far-flung Tulial area near the LoC in Gurez sector to spend some time with the soldiers there.

Srinagar, October 19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday celebrated Diwali with troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez sector and lauded the soldiers for their penance and sacrifice saying he considered them his family.In an unannounced visit, Modi arrived at Gurez on Thursday morning to celebrate Diwali with the army and BSF soldiers posted along the LoC, officials said.He spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez valley, which is shouting distance of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating militants in the past 27 years.

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This is the fourth successive Diwali that the Prime Minister has celebrated with jawans on the border.Chief of the Army Staff Gen BS Rawat and other senior Army officers were present on the occasion.Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the jawans, the officials said.Addressing the jawans, he said like everyone else, he too wished to spend Diwali with his family.Therefore, he had come among the jawans of the armed forces, whom he considered to be his “family”, he said.Modi said he got new energy when he spent time among the jawans and soldiers of the armed forces and appreciated their penance and sacrifice, amid harsh conditions.The Prime Minister said he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practised yoga. He said this would definitely enhance their abilities, and give them a sense of calm.He said jawans, who left the armed forces after completing their duty tenure, could become excellent yoga trainers subsequently.The Prime Minister spoke of the new resolve that each Indian citizen must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.He also encouraged the jawans to innovate, so that their routine tasks and duties became easier and safer and mentioned how best innovations were now being recognised and awarded at the Army Day, Navy Day, and Air Force Day.Modi said the Centre is committed to the welfare and betterment of the Armed Forces, in every way possible.In this regard, he mentioned the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades.Protecting the motherland, far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation’s borders, are symbols of bravery and dedication, Modi said.“I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians,” the Prime Minister wrote in the visitors’ book.“To accomplish the dream of ‘New India’, this is a golden opportunity for all of us to work together. The Army too is a part of it,” he added. PTI