Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday marked a surprise visit to Leh and forward locations to review the ground security situation.

The visit came amid the ongoing tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Eastern Ladakh.

While addressing the troops at Nimmoo, Ladakh, PM Modi said, “The bravery that you and your compatriots showed, a message has gone to the world about India’s strength.”

“Your courage is higher than the heights where you are posted today,” he added.

PM also paid tribute to the martyrs of the 20 soldiers in a recent face-off with the Chinese army in Galwan Valley.

“The bravery of 14 Corps will be talked about everywhere. Tales of your bravery and valour are echoing in every house in the country,” he said.

Mentioning his Atmanirbhar Bharat call which he induced during the lockdown, PM Modi said, “your (soldiers) sacrifice and efforts have strengthen the oath of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

“Bharat Mata’s enemies have seen your fire and fury,” he added.

“Peace can never be brought by the weak. Power is the condition to bring peace. India is widening its powers on land, air and water and this is for the welfare of mankind,” he said.

“The era of expansionism is gone. The world has moved on the path of development. The expansionist forces have ruined the world in the last century. But they have either been defeated or forgotten in the history,” he added.

“Whenever I think of a decision based on national security, I think of two mothers. The first is our Mother India. The second is our mothers who’ve given birth to brave hearts such as you,” PM Modi said.

Located at 11,000 feet above sea level, Nimu is among the tough terrains, surrounded by the Zanskar range and on the banks of the Indus.

PM Modi’s visit comes just a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called off his own visit to Ladakh. Singh was to visit Eastern Ladakh region to interact with soldiers deployed at the hostile border on Friday.

He had plans to interact with the soldiers injured during the barbaric attack carried out by Chinese People’s Liberation Army on June 15.