“Troops should remain vigilant and maintain high degree of preparedness for meeting any eventualities along the border areas in Jammu and Kashmir,” Patil told troops at Raina stadium in Rajouri district.
The President, who made a whirlwind visit of the forward areas in Balakote and Poonch belts, interacted with troops and field commanders on the security situation along the LoC.
Lauding the role of troops in maintaining peace in the region, Patil expressed satisfaction on the work done by all the ranks in tackling terrorism and ensuring normalcy in the state.
She also appreciated the role played by the army in providing help to civilians in the far-flung areas of the state.During her address, Pratibha Patil conveyed her gratitude to the families of all ranks, who sacrificed their lives for the defence of the nation.
“They are rendering medical aid, education and other civic amenities besides their strenuous military duties,” she said.The President also acknowledged the contribution of the families of army personnel for providing support and motivation to the troops in discharging their duties under difficult conditions.
She was briefed about the security situation, cross-border infiltration and anti-infiltration measures being taken by the army along the LoC by the field commanders at Rajouri and Poonch districts.
Accompanied by the Chief of Army staff, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces Patil was received by Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his cabinet colleagues.
Governor, Chief Minister and Army chief accompanied Patil in a helicopter for Rajouri and Poonch districts.The President left from Rajouri to a forward post to take stock of the situation and interacted with the soldiers manning the borders there.
She also met young Gujjar girl Rukhsana and her brother Aijaz Ahmed, who killed a top Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist to protect her family at Kalsian village in Upper Shahdra Sharief area of the border district on 27th September.
Rukhsana meets President, calls it red letter day
After earning accolades from for her bravery, 22-year old Rukhsana termed today as a “red letter day” after getting a pat from President Pratibha Patil.
“It was a red letter day for me and my family, as President was here to boost my morale and praised brave act. It was an honour to talk to her and get clicked,” Rukhsana told reporters soon after 15-minutes interaction with the Supreme Commander of armed forces at the special lounge of the Actual Landing Ground (ALG) in Rajouri.
“I am encouraged by her pat,” the 22-year-old said adding that she narrated the entire incident to the President, as how she killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant at her home.
“She (the President) listened with curiosity and patience and praised me for the brave act,” Rukhsana said and added, “My message to her was that girls should be imparted arms training. There is an urgent need for self-defence in remote and mountainous belts.”The President promised her all possible help.
Undeterred by threats from militants, Rukhsana said, “My message to girls in Jammu and Kashmir is to live together and get arms practise to defeat the nefarious designs of the militants”.Responding to a query about a job offer by the state government, Rukhsana said that she did not kill the militant to get a job and added, “If government offers any job, she will not hesitate to accept it,” she said.
However, she emphasised that her brother Aijaz Ahmed should get a permanent government job.Rukhsana and her brother Aijaz Ahmed killed a Pakistani militant at Kalsian village in Upper Shahdra Sharief area of Rajouri district on the night of 27th September, they said.