New Delhi: The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, visited Siachen Base Camp on Thursday and addressed the soldiers posted there. He also visited the Kumar Post. President Kovind is the second President of India to visit Siachen. The previous visit was undertaken by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in April 2004. This makes President Kovind the first President to travel to Siachen in 14 years.

Addressing the soldiers today, President Kovind said that as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and as the President of India, he has come among them carrying the gratitude of the entire country. The President noted that Siachen is the world’s highest battlefield and it is difficult to live even a normal life in the extreme climate. In such a situation, it is extraordinary for soldiers to stay in a state of constant mobilization and combat readiness. Their determination and dedication are worthy of the highest praise – and their allegiance to the defense of India is an ideal for all our fellow citizens.

The bravery and valor of soldiers deployed in Siachen over the past 34 years have given every Indian the confidence that our borders are safe and secure, said Kovind. The President said he had come to Siachen to iterate to the troops posted here that all citizens of India and the Government of India were always with them and supportive of their families.

President Kovind also paid his respects at the Siachen War Memorial, which is a symbol of the sacrifice of 11,000 soldiers and officers who have been martyred since the Indian Army began Operation Meghdoot on the Siachen Glacier on April 13, 1984.