Nation pays homage to Kargil War heroes

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 26, 2018 03:45 PM IST

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs of Kargil on Kargil Vijay Diwas today.

The day marks the victory of Indian forces over Pakistan in the hills of Kargil and the success of India's Operation Vijay in 1999.

"On Kargil Vijay Diwas, every Indian acknowledges the efforts and gallantry of our Armed Forces. We salute the ultimate sacrifice of the martyrs of Kargil, and record our everlasting debt to their families," the President said.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said he saluted the valour, courage and sacrifice of the brave jawans that resulted in a "spectacular victory for our country in the Kargil War in 1999".

Prime Minister Modi said a grateful nation pays homage to all those who served the nation during Operation Vijay and remembered former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for the leadership provided by him during the operation.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three Service chiefs -- Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Naval chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa -- laid wreaths and paid rich tributes to the martyrs on the 19th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas at the Amar Jawan Jyoti here.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "On Kargil Vijay Diwas we salute the unflinching courage and supreme sacrifice of all those soldiers who fought valiantly in 1999. Every Indian citizen is proud of their heroism and service to the nation."

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj added that she saluted the "courage, valour and sacrifice of our martyrs and heroes."

Armed Forces personnel and families of soldiers who lost their lives in 1999 Kargil War also paid their tributes at the Dras War Memorial.

Ahead of the Kargil Vijay Diwas, the Army invited families of 1999 Kargil War martyrs to remember their supreme sacrifices.

During the occasion, some of the family members and wives of the martyrs shared their experiences of the unbearable loss they had to bear after the war.

The 1999 Kargil War is considered as a turning point in the history of Indian armed forces, which fought and won a rare high altitude battle that tested the fraught nerves of two nuclear-armed nations.

Interestingly, it was also the first war to be televised across India.

The war occurred after the peace overtures of the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, were spurned by the growing ambitions of then Pakistan Army chief General Pervez Musharraf, whose Kargil misadventure ended with India’s ferocious victory.