Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his Diwali day celebration with a visit to the soldiers at Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield, in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
Wished President Pranab Mukherjee a very Happy Diwali from Siachen! Am sure this would be among the most unique greetings Pranab Da received
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 23, 2014
Government sources have said the PM Modi will first arrive at the Siachen Glacier to celebrate Diwali with the soldiers, who guard the world’s highest battlefield for the country.
After, the prime minister is expected to leave for Srinagar to meet the flood-affected people at the Raj Bhawan. “He will also meet delegations of local traders and members of the civil society,” a source said.
“He is also scheduled to visit a relief camp besides visiting places badly hit by the floods in the city,” the source added.
On his micro-blogging site Twitter, Modi has tweeted, “Friends, I am leaving for Siachen Glacier. It’s my good fortune that I will be able to spend time with our brave soldiers on this special day.” He added, “Be it the altitude or bitter cold, nothing deters our soldiers. They stand there, serving our nation. They make us truly proud.”
He has also said that he is going to Siachen with a message from each and every Indian to the soldiers that we stand shoulder to shoulder with you.
According to reports, Indian soldiers control almost all the dominating heights, ranging from 16,000 to 22,000 feet, in the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region, where more soldiers are killed due to the harsh weather and avalanches than enemy fire. Pakistan has reportedly lost even more soldiers in the region.
Srinagar is still recovering from the worst flood-hit that affected Jammu and Kashmir. PM Modi is expected to announce a special package for the victims of the floods that had ravaged the state in September.
He tweeted, “After the Siachen visit I will continue with my scheduled visit to Srinagar to spend time with those affected due to the recent floods.” He continued, “Everyone is aware of the extreme conditions at Siachen. Overcoming every challenge our soldiers stand firm, protecting our Motherland.”
Amid Modi’s visit, two factions of Hurriyat Conference have reportedly called for a general strike and peaceful protests against the visit of the Prime Minister.