New Delhi (NVI): Visiting an area bordering Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a veiled but strong attack on China, saying expansionism reflects “mental disorder”, and asserted that India will give a befitting response to any challenge to its sovereignty.
Modi, keeping with his tradition of visiting troops on Diwali every year and celebrating the festival with them, went to the Longewala Post in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer which has historic importance in the context of defeat of Pakistan at the hands of India in the 1971 war.
Addressing the troops there, the PM said no force in the world could prevent India’s soldiers from protecting the country’s borders.
The Prime Minister’s visit to the border area came a day after a major flare-up at the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K as Pakistan resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violations at multiple locations, drawing a sharp retaliation from the Indian Army.
In an indirect reference to the border face-off with China at LAC in Ladakh, PM Modi said that India has shown its strength and political will to give a befitting reply to those challenging it.
While slamming China, the PM said that the entire world is troubled by expansionist forces. “Today the whole world is troubled by expansionist forces. Expansionism is, in a way, a mental disorder and reflects 18th-century thinking. India is also becoming a strong voice against this thinking,” he said.
Modi further said that India won’t compromise its interests at any cost now. “The repute and stature of India is due to your strength and valour. India is clearly presenting its opinions on international fora today because you’ve secured the nation,” he said while addressing the jawans.
Notably, for the last seven years, PM Modi has celebrated the festival of lights with security personnel.
“I extend my Diwali greetings to you. I have brought the greetings of every Indian to you today. You may be on snow-capped mountains or in deserts, but my Diwali is complete only when I celebrate with you. My happiness doubles when I look at the joy on your faces,” he said while addressing the Indian Army and BSF jawans.
“Be it the peaks of the Himalayas, the stretch of the desert, dense forests or the depths of seas — your valour has triumphed in every challenge,” he added.
The PM said that India is working rapidly to increase its defence capability and make its defence sector Atmanirbhar. “We’ve decided to focus on the indigenous arms factory. This one decision of the defence sector propelled 130 crore Indians to work towards vocal for local doctrine,” he said.
The Longewala post is a strategic post on the western border where the first major battle of the 1971 war, known as the Battle of Longewala, was fought by Indian Army’s 23rd Battalion, Punjab Regiment which was commanded by Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri.