New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation on the 17th Kargil Vijay Diwas on Tuesday in paying glowing tributes to the martyrs of the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan.
Paying tributes to the soldiers, Modi said: “The country will never forget the fearlessness with which they gave a befitting and unforgettable reply to the intruders.”
In a series of tweets, he also lauded the firmness demonstrated by the then political leadership (National Democratic Alliance government) which ensured the victory in Kargil.
“We recall with pride, the firmness demonstrated by India’s political leadership in 1999, which ensured a decisive victory in Kargil,” tweeted Modi.
“On Kargil Vijay Diwas, I bow to every valiant soldier who fought for India till the very last breath. Their heroic sacrifices inspire us,” the Prime Minister said.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, along with the three Service chiefs — Army chief General Dalbir Singh, Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba — paid homage to the martyrs at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate here.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also paid homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives during ‘Operation Vijay’, which culminated on this day in 1999.
“Their spirit of nation-above-self continues to inspire an entire generation,” the Congress leader said.
Indian and Pakistani armies fought the Kargil War in May-July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LoC).
India launched ‘Operation Vijay’ to clear the Kargil sector of infiltration by Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
On July 26, 1999, India successfully retook the high outposts lost to Pakistani intruders to end the Kargil War.
The nearly week-long 17th Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations began under the aegis of the army’s Fire and Fury Corps on July 21.
Army chief General Dalbir Singh paid homage to the martyrs of ‘Operation Vijay’ at the historic Kargil War Memorial at Drass in Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.