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SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he has accorded highest priority to the modernisation of defence forces as strong security was necessary for an atmosphere of peace, amity and harmony in the country.
He was addressing a 'Sainik Sammelan' in Badami Bagh Army headquarters here on a day's visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
Praising the valour and courage of the soldiers, the Prime Minister asserted that self-reliance in defence offset manufacturing was essential for the security of the nation.
Strong armed forces are necessary for an atmosphere of peace, amity, harmony and brotherhood in the country, and that is the foundation on which India would achieve new heights of development, Modi said.
He said today the world was looking at India with hope and we can interact on equal terms with all developed countries.
PM Praises Forces
The spirit of sacrifice and selflessness of the defence forces was an inspiration for all Indians and this spirit would ensure their victory at all times, the Prime Minister said.
He said the people of India trusted them and believed that no power on earth could defeat them.
The Prime Minister reiterated his government's commitment to building a National War Memorial in memory of soldiers who had laid down their lives for the motherland.
He said the welfare of the armymen and their families was the concern and collective responsibility of all Indians and his government would take all good decisions in the interest of the jawans.
Ahead of his speech, Army Chief-designate Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag welcomed the Prime Minister and spoke about various issues related to army jawans.
Earlier, Modi paid tribute to the martyrs who laid down their lives while protecting the borders in Jammu and Kashmir. He laid a floral wreath at the War Memorial at the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps of the Army in Badamibagh Cantonment here.
Others present at the function were state Governor N N Vohra, state Chief Secretary M I Khanday, Director General of Police K Rajendra and top army officials.