Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who celebrated Diwali with the troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez valley on Thursday, said the government was working on implementing the One Rank, One Pension scheme. He added that the Centre was committed to the welfare of the Armed Forces.

Armed forces veterans have long asked for the same pension for all, regardless of rank, length of service, and irrespective of the date of retirement. The defence ministry had reinstated the One Rank, One Pension scheme in September 2015, and formally notified it for more than 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows on November 8, 2015. But Army veterans had said the government’s version had “seven serious shortcomings”, which would nullify the scheme’s definition.

Modi said he decided to spend Diwali with jawans, because like everyone else, he wanted to celebrate with his family, ANI reported.

“Glad to have celebrated Diwali with our brave Army and BSF jawans in the Gurez Valley, Jammu and Kashmir,” he said on Twitter. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and other senior officers were with the prime minister, PTI reported.