On Vijay Diwas, PM recalls ‘unforgettable’ time spent with jawans
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among several leaders on Friday to pay tribute to the soldiers of the Indian armed forces who laid their lives during the Kargil War in 1999 when India defeated Pakistan to recapture all posts occupied by the neighbouring country.
India is observing the 20th Kargil Vijay Diwas on Friday, which marks the victory of the Indian armed forces over Pakistan in the mountains of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir on July 26, 1999.
Prime Minister Modi posted a 1-minute-24-second video along with his tweets with scenes from the Kargil War Memorial in Dras town in Jammu and Kashmir in the foothills of the Tololing Hill, photographs of soldiers, who fought the war with the Tricolour, and his speeches to mark the day.
Modi also posted four photographs of his meeting with the Indian Army soldiers, one of them in a hospital, in Kargil along with the tweet.
“I salute all the brave sons of Mother India on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas from my heart. This day reminds us of the courage, bravery and dedication of our soldiers. I pay my humble tributes to all those valiant warriors who sacrificed everything to protect the motherland. Jai Hind!” Modi tweeted in Hindi.
“During the Kargil War in 1999, I had the opportunity to go to Kargil and show solidarity with our brave soldiers. This was the time when I was working for my Party in J&K as well as Himachal Pradesh. The visit to Kargil and interactions with soldiers are unforgettable,” he added.
President Kovind also tweeted his tributes to “record our everlasting debt to those who never returned”.
“On Kargil Vijay Diwas, a grateful nation acknowledges the gallantry of our Armed Forces on the heights of Kargil in 1999. We salute the grit and valour of those who defended India and record our everlasting debt to those who never returned,” the President posted on Twitter.
Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu also paid his respects to the soldiers who fought during the Kargil War.
“On Kargil Vijay Diwas, I pay my respects to the brave soldiers of Indian Army who made ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect our nation. I salute all the heroes of the Kargil war and Operation Vijay who secured a valiant victory on July 26, 1999,” Naidu posted.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and home minister Amit Shah also paid their respects to the soldiers of the Indian Army.
“I bow to the bravery and sacrifice of the Indian Army on the 20th anniversary of the Kargil victory day. The whole country offers tribute to all martyred soldiers, who despite adverse situations, fought with bravery and defended India’s honour. Their indomitable courage and sacrifice are inspirational,” Singh said on Twitter.
“Kargil Vijay Diwas is a symbol of the courage and bravery of the Indian Army. It was the bravery of our gallant soldiers which overcame the Pakistani army on the inaccessible hills of Kargil and won the war. This tale of bravery of the Indian Army gives pride to every Indian even today. Salute to our brave soldiers,” Amit Shah tweeted.
India launched Operation Vijay to clear the posts in the high-altitude Kargil sector, which was occupied by the Pakistani soldiers and infiltrators on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
The armies of the nuclear-armed nations fought the war between May and July in Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere along the LoC. It took about three months for the Indian forces to recapture the posts. India lost 527 soldiers in the short but sharp conflict.