President visits Jammu and Kashmir, meets soldiers at LoC (Roundup)

May 24th, 2008 - 1:23 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Srinagar, May 23 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil, who is on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Friday went to the forward army posts on the Line of Control (LoC) for a firsthand look at the living conditions of soldiers. She assured the troops of better facilities. Patil, who arrived here Friday morning on her maiden tour of the Kashmir Valley, visited an Indian Army post at 9,600 feet on the LoC in Tangdhar sector.

The supreme commander of the armed forces patted the soldiers guarding the country’s borders. After visiting a bunker, the president also assured the troops of better facilities. She was also shown the arms and ammunition recovered from guerrillas in the sector.

“The country is proud of all of you. We are fully aware of the extremely difficult conditions under which you discharge your duties. I am sure the country’s borders are safe in your hands,” she later told officers and soldiers at the brigade headquarters of the army’s 19th infantry division in Baramula town, 56 km from here.

The president also joined officers and soldiers at a ceremonial lunch.

Later, addressing the 2nd convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Friday evening, she said: “I am glad that after a difficult period Jammu and Kashmir is progressing on the road to development and prosperity.

“Wide ranging incentives are being implemented to revitalise the state’s economy and to build a peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir.”

The president told the doctor’s convocation that she was confident the people in the state could now look forward to peace and prosperity.

Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is the pro-chancellor of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, distributed degrees among the doctors, who qualified the various post-graduate and super specialty programmes.

Azad said the institute had to become a model for healthcare and medical research in the state.

Patil landed here at 10.20 a.m. and was received by Governor Lt Gen (retd) S.K. Sinha, Azad, cabinet ministers and senior civil and military officials.

She is accompanied by union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, Defence Secretary Vijay Singh and Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor.

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