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G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors: PM Modi at Informal BRICS leaders meeting in Hamburg, Germany । He appreciated momentum in BRICS under the Chairmanship of President Xi and extended full cooperation and best wishes for the BRICS Xiamen Summit in Sep, 2017 । President Xi appreciated India’s strong resolve against terrorism । The Chinese President also appreciated India’s success in economic and social development and wished India even bigger success । US lifts personal electronics ban on Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines । Passengers on these three carriers can now carry their laptops and tablets along with them for flights to all destinations in the US । India, Israel sign 7 agreements including on space technology, agriculture and water conservation । Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Tel Aviv for his 3-day visit to Israel from July 4-6 । The visit, termed as ‘historic,’ is the first ever by an Indian PM to Israel । Israeli PM Netanyahu breaks protocol to receive PM Modi at the airport and accompany him on his engagements । PM Modi visits Holocaust Memorial Museum at Yad Vashem । PM Modi’s visit comes at a time when the two nations are celebrating the establishment of 25 years of their diplomatic relations । Happy 4th of July to all our friends in the U.S । India launches communication satellite GSAT-17 June 29 । GSAT-17 was launched using European Ariane 5 launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana । Government gives ‘in principle’ approval for disinvestment of Air India, 5 of its subsidiaries । Prime Minister Modi-headed CCEA gave its approval to fourth tranche recommendations of NITI Aayog on strategic disinvestment of CPSE June 28 । Possible sale of one more Boeing C-17 aircraft to India approved – Pentagon।brating 70 years of Diplomatic Relationship ।
July 20, 2017
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India Celebrates the Army Day with Pride

The Indian Army is symbolic of the country’s pride and strength, and the contributions of its officers and soldiers and their bravery inspire every Indian, be it a grown up citizen or a child. As a little boy, I used to instinctively salute every uniformed person and so does my grandson.

gulshan_luthra

To watch a parade, on Republic Day or Army Day, is a matter of inspiration, and if you are actually there, at a venue, then a matter of pride and privilege. Our Army, Navy and Air Force personnel do so much for the country, operating from difficult border terrains to guard us, and God forbid, if there is a calamity, then they are there to help us, be it the snowy mountains, the riverine terrains or the stormy waters of the Indian Ocean.

On this Army Day, the new Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, reassured the nation of the Army’s commitment to all the good and brave and difficult things that we expect from our Army. Most of all, to maintain the secular fabric of the country and its integrity, from the Himalayan borders to the oceanic coasts. India wants peace, and a message in this regard had also been conveyed to Pakistan during a periodic telechat between the Directors General of Military Operations but he rightly cautioned, “Let’s wait and watch.”

Pakistan is internationally known as the fountain of terrorism, and for doing everything wrong, denying it and putting the blame on others. Its record with its neighbours, India and Afghanistan, has been terrible due to its hunger for snatching Kashmir from India and creating a strategic depth in Afghanistan by installing stooges in Kabul. It is the Pakistani army, and its sabotage agency ISI, which unnecessarily keep creating troubles here and there. In fact, the loss of East Pakistan and its conversion into an independent Bangladesh was exactly due to its misadventures.

General Rawat was right in assuring that while a hand of peace had been extended, the Army would not hesitate to apply power to ensure India’s interests in peace and stability.

In the Chief’s annual Press Conference, and on the Army Day, he also addressed the pending issues of equipment modernisation and welfare of the Army Officers, Men and Women and their Families. On the top of the list are the assault rifles for the Infantry personnel and their protection gear, from vest to helmets, and then of course, everything from tanks to artillery, long range precision missiles, air defence systems and aerial assets. The technological revolution around the world in military systems wasn’t going unnoticed in India. We hope so.

One notable thing he mentioned was that personnel of the Indian Army are its heart and soul. If somebody had a grievance, he or she could address him directly and confidentially through a mechanism he had set up immediately after taking over.

General Rawat was appointed as the Army Chief by the Government superseding two senior officers. He has made a gracious effort, reached out to them and sought their cooperation.

We wish the Chief, all Army Personnel and their Families Happy Times, Peace and Stability.

Gulshan Rai Luthra

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