Parrikar visits soldiers at Siachin base camp



Srinagar: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited the Siachin base camp of the Indian Army in Nubra area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region on Friday and interacted with and addressed the soldiers stationed there.

Earlier, Parrikar landed at the Nubra air base of the Indian Army on Friday morning, accompanied by the Indian Army chief, General Dalbir Singh, and other senior officials of the defence ministry and the army.

“The Raksha Mantri addressed jawans and officers at Siachin base camp after his arrival in Nubra in Ladakh region at the beginning of his two-day visit of the state.

“He also interacted informally with the soldiers at the base camp, showing a keen interest in the welfare of those guarding the frontiers of the country at the world’s highest battlefield,” defence sources told Media Sources in the summer capital Srinagar.

The sources said that Parrikar was briefed about the situation at the Siachin Glacier by field commanders in the presence of General Singh and Lt. General D.S. Hooda, commander of Udhampur-based Northern Command. Lt. General B.S. Negi, GOC of Leh-headquartered 16th Corps, led the briefing session.

The Defence Minister later reached Leh town in Ladakh region, where he was given another briefing by field commanders at the headquarters of 16th Corps.

“In the afternoon, the Defence minister will arrive in Srinagar where he is scheduled to call on state Governor N.N. Vohra. He is also meeting Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in Srinagar on Friday.

“The Governor will host a dinner for the Defence Minister in the evening,” state government officials said.

After spending the night in the Valley, Parrikar will visit the Jammu region on Saturday.

Defence sources said he would visit the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber Gali sector of Poonch district on Saturday.

“The Raksha Mantri will also visit the Nagrota headquarters of 14th Corps where the GOC, Lt. General K.H. Singh will brief him on the situation along the LoC as well as anti-militancy operations in the Jammu region,” a Defence spokesman said.

Before concluding his two-day visit to the state, Parrikar will pay obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district of Jammu region.

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