New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Continuing his tradition of celebrating Diwali with soldiers of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Rajasthan's Jaisalmer on Saturday and observed the festival of lights with Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at Longewala. He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and BSF Director General Rakesh Asthana.

While addressing the soldiers at Longewala, PM Modi extended his Diwali wishes and lauded the personnel of the Armed Forces for their bravery, valour and sacrifice and said that India's enemies have also been given a befitting reply.

"You may be at the snow-capped mountains or in deserts, my Diwali is complete only when I come amid you. My happiness doubles when I look at the joy on your faces," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"130 Crore Indians are standing with you. Every Indian is proud of the strength and valour of our soldiers. They are proud of your invincibility. No power in the world can stop our brave soldiers from guarding the borders of our country," he added.

The Prime Minister also spoke about Atmanirbhar Bharat and said that the country is working rapidly to increase its defence capability and make its defence sector self-reliant, noting that his government has decided to focus on the indigenous arms factory.

"World now understands that this nation won't compromise with its interests, not at any cost. This repute & stature of India is all 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 issuing a warning to Pakistan and China, PM Modi said that India believes in the policy of understanding and making others understand "but if attempts are made to test us, the reply they receive is intense".

"Today India kills terrorists and their leaders by entering their homes. World now understands that this nation won't compromise with its interests, not at any cost. This repute and stature of India is all due to your strength and valour," PM Modi said.

"I'd like to implore 3 points to the armed forces. First is to continue ingenuity by innovating; second is to practice yog; third is to learn another language other than their mother tongue and English. This will help ingrain new perspectives and enthusiasm in them," he added.

Since Modi became the Prime Minister of the country, he has been celebrating his Diwali with the soldiers of the Armed Forces. In 2014, when he got elected to head the country, PM Modi went to Siachen, which is the world's highest battlefield, to celebrate the Diwali.

Apart from Siachen, PM Modi has also visited the border outposts Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir to celebrate Diwali.

On Friday, the Prime Minister had also appealed people across the to light a 'diya' as a "salute to soldiers" and said that words cannot do justice to the sense of gratitude for their exemplary courage.

"This Diwali, let us also light a Diya as a #Salute2Soldiers who fearlessly protect our nation. Words can't do justice to the sense of gratitude we have for our soldiers for their exemplary courage. We are also grateful to the families of those on the borders," he had tweeted while sharing an audio clip of his recent 'Mann Ki Baat' programme.

Following his appeal, several top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah, urged people to light a diya for the soldiers of the Armed Forces.

"On this occasion of Deepawali, I extend my best wishes especially to all the soldiers guarding the borders of the country and to their families. I salute the courage and valor of all the soldiers of the country and wish them good health," tweeted Rajnath Singh in Hindi.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma