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Prime Minister's speech at the Siachen Base Camp

On June 12, 2005, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh addressed the troops at the Siachen Base Camp in Parthapur. Presented below is the English version of his speech in Hindi:

PM'S Address to the troops at the Partapur Base Camp, Siachen
(June 12, 2005)

The brave soldiers of the Indian army and vigilant sentinels of the country!

I am very happy to meet you here and feel proud to witness your determination and patriotism. I wanted to see for myself as to what your living conditions and arrangements are, what are your problems and what the Government can do to address them. We continuously think of you. I am aware of the hardships, you face here, that is why I wanted to personally see the reality and assess what we can do to improve things a little.

Siachen is called the highest battlefield where life is extremely difficult. I cannot express in words the magnitude of your service to the nation that you are performing from here. You have earned gratitude of each and every citizen of the country. Now, the time has come for us to make efforts to convert this battlefield into a peace mountain. As a poet wrote about the Himalayas:

“We are assiduously unswerving in the service of the motherland.

the celestial forehead of our beloved India.

It is our aim for Siachen.”

Dialogue has been initiated with Pakistan in this regard. Our endeavour is that the talks bring enduring peace between the two countries, strengthen it further and patriots like you lead a peaceful life. Your well being and the security of the country will be paid full attention in this peace process.

Earlier also, I have asserted it in the land of Jammu & Kashmir earlier also and I would like to reiterate it that in the quest for peace, we are not ready to accept redrawing of established boundaries of the country. We feel, these boundaries are important not only for our security but also relate to the country’s honour. It is for protecting this honour, you are happily bearing difficulties here with great fortitude.

But the question remains that how long shall we allow such conditions to prevail. On one hand, the brave soldiers of the country unmindful of their personal safety and well being without all sorts of comforts of life, are positioned here, on the other, populating these proving harmful for the sanctity of these hills as we lack appropriate means of cleansing the resulting filth. Efforts should be made to create an atmosphere of peace, wherein nobody feels threatened, there is no danger for any conflict and this place becomes an example of peaceful environment.

I am well aware of the fact that you are serving the Nation here in extremely trying conditions. We can never repay this debt. I am told, there is need for some means of entertainment. For this, two Home Theatres would be provided to the soldiers for their entertainment. Just now, Brigadier Om Prakash and General Hari Prasad told me that a CT Scan facility is needed here. It will also be provided to you.

My dear Jawans, the country is proud of you. We all get inspiration from your discipline and sacrifice. I pray, following your example, we will take India ahead. No doubt, there are challenges in the path ahead, hardships are also there, but I am confident that our united effort will overcome the difficulties and we will meet the challenge successfully as you have been able to keep the boundaries of the Nation safe despite all odds.

Jai Hind.

Source: Official Website of the Prime Minister of India





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