President interacts with soldiers on LOC (Lead)

May 23rd, 2008 - 6:26 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Srinagar, May 23 (IANS) Soldiers posted on the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan got a pat on the back Friday from President Pratibha Patil who also visited a bunker for a firsthand look at their living conditions. Patil, who arrived here Friday morning for a four-day visit to the Kashmir Valley, visited an Indian Army post at 9,600 ft 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 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.

Patil, who landed here at 10.20 a.m., was received by Governor Lt Gen (retd) S.K. Sinha, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi 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.

The president will deliver the convocation address of the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in the evening at the International Convention Complex situated on the banks of the Dal Lake.

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