Manmohan Singh pays tribute to Kargil martyrs | india | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan Singh pays tribute to Kargil martyrs

india Updated: Jul 26, 2009 19:26 IST

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs of the Kargil war on its 10th anniversary.

"I join the entire nation in paying homage to the martyrs of the Kargil war. They sacrificed their lives in defence of Indian unity and integrity," the Prime Minister wrote in the visitor's book at Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi.

"The best tribute we can pay to the gallant officers and jawans is to dedicate ourselves to the gigantic task of nation building and work steadfastly to protect the unity and integrity of our nation," he added.

This was the first time in the last five years of UPA government's rule that the political leadership has also participated in the Kargil war day celebrations.

Singh was accompanied by Defence Minister AK Antony, Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Army Vice Chief Lieutenant General Noble Thamburaj and Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal PK Barbora.

Soon after the ceremony, the Prime Minister left for Vishakhapatnam where he will be launching the indigenously developed nuclear submarine INS Arihant for sea trials.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the Operation Vijay, the Army is holding a series of events in the Kargil-Dras sector, which are being attended by the officers who took part in the war, gallantry award winners and their families and senior Army officials.

"Army and Air Force personnel will be heli-dropped on the recaptured peaks, which will be lighted during the night and photo exhibition, beating retreat and felicitation of war awardees will be the highlights of the programme," Army officials said.

As many as 533 jawans and officers had sacrificed their lives while re-capturing 13 hill points from Pakistani troops after they had sneaked into Indian posts and occupied the heights in 1999.

Indian Air Force had also launched its Operation 'Safed Sagar' to evict the enemy troops sitting on the peak. It had lost two MiG 27s and one Mi-17 helicopter in the battle.