Giving a strong message to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hit out at the neighbouring country saying that Pakistani citizens want independence from the Pakistan Army.

“Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Pok) citizens have thanked me.” Modi said in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort here.

“The people whom I never met, the land I never saw, have showed love to me,” Modi said, adding that “when such people respect the Indian PM, they give respect to Indians."

In his speech, Modi spoke about many changes his governance has brought about, and said that his government has taken decisions to help people.

Citing example of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, Modi said similar changes have been brought about in 40 major hospitals across the country.

"Similarly, now, in just one minute, it has become possible to generate as many as 15,000 railway tickets," he added.

Talking about the historic GST Bill the prime minister said, “GST will give strength to our economy and all parties are to be thanked for its passage."

Meanwhile, expressing the pain on Peshawar attack, Modi said, “India cried when terrorists killed innocent children in Peshawar.”

“Youth should get opportunity and youth should get employment, this is the demand of the time,” he added.

Greeting the nation early morning, Modi had tweeted: "Happy Independence Day. Jai Hind!"

Before reaching the Red Fort, the prime minister had paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial in Rajghat.

At the Red Fort, the prime minister was received by Defence Minister Manoha Parrikar, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar and Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag.

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