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Expansionists are either erased or forced to retreat: PM Narendra Modi

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Leh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the era of expansionism was over, and that expansionist forces have either been erased from history or have had to retreat. The message to Beijing came during the PM’s visit to troops holding off against aggressive Chinese deployment in Ladakh. “Whenever the obsession for expansionist victories takes over someone, it causes danger to world peace. But history is witness to the fact that such forces have either been erased or compelled to retreat,” said Modi while addressing troops in Nimu, Leh.

He said the big lesson from the last century is that expansionism is harmful for mankind. “The age of expansionism is behind us… we are now in the age of development. Expansionism has been extremely harmful for mankind.” The PM landed in Leh on Friday morning on an unannounced visit and addressed soldiers at the Nimu camp. He also met soldiers injured during Galwan Valley clash. Modi said the weak can never initiate peace, and added that the enemy had seen the “fire and fury” of Indian troops, in a reference to the Leh-based 14 Corps that has been at the centre of action.

This was the first high-profile visit to the area, where Indian and Chinese troops have been involved in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control — in Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso — since early May. Twenty Indian soldiers, including their commanding officer, were killed in a fierce hand-to-hand fight on June 15 in Galwan Valley. The PM was accompanied by chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and army chief General MM Naravane. A detailed presentation was given to the PM, who later visited the military hospital in Leh to meet the injured jawans.

Modi praised the soldiers for giving a befitting response to the attackers. “Enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces. I pay homage to mother India and to the mothers of all those brave soldiers and security personnel who serve India with unparalleled diligence,” said Modi. The PM reached the Nimu army base, around 35 km from Leh city, early Friday morning. The base is located at 11,000 feet, on the banks of Indus River, and is surrounded by the Zanskar Range. Modi reminded the soldiers of their glorious past. “Be it the World Wars or in peace, whenever the need arises, the world has seen the victory of our brave (soldiers). We have always worked for the betterment of humanity,” he said.

Paying tributes to the soldiers killed in Galwan Valley, Modi said the resolve of a self-reliant India becomes stronger because of their sacrifice. “Indians could go about their lives peacefully because they are aware that armed forces are standing firm, protecting the nation. The bravery of 14 Corps will be talked about everywhere. Tales of your bravery and valour are echoing in every household in the country,” he said “We are the same people who pray to the flute-playing Lord Krishna and also the Sudarshan Chakra-wielding Lord Krishna,” said Modi.

The PM said the government was committed to strengthening India’s security preparedness. This includes ensuring availability of modern weaponry, better border infrastructure, development of border areas and expansion of the roads network. Modi recalled the greatness of Ladakh’s culture as well as the noble teachings of Kushok Bakula Rimpoche. He described Ladakh as a land of sacrifice, one that has given India several patriots, including the regiment of the Ladakh Scouts.


Source :economictimes.indiatimes.com

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