Every year on July 26 India celebrates the victory over Pakistan in the brief Kargil War that happened at the end of the last century in 1999. Indians pay their respect and homage to all the soldiers who laid their lives in the lines of their duty to protect and maintain the sovereignty of this great nation. In 1999, the Indian armed forces defeated attempts by Pakistan to capture heights at strategic locations in Kargil including the very important Tiger Hills. It was named ”Operation Vijay”.
It took 11 years for Pakistan to admit that its army had involvement in the war. Finally in 2010 Pakistani Government admitted that it lost soldiers in the war.
This year’s celebrations are even more special because this Kargil Vijay Diwas coincided with the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ reaching the Kargil War Memorial. The Journey of the Victory Flame across the country commemorates 50 years of triumph in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
The celebration began at the Kargil War Memorial today with the reception of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ at the Kargil War Memorial by Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in the presence of Lt Gen YK Joshi, GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt Gen PGK Menon, GOC 14 Corps, Lt Gen DP Pandey, GOC 15 Corps, and Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar, GOC 16 Corps, other officers, gallantry awardees, Veer Naris, NoKs of martyrs and civil dignitaries.
The Chief Guest on this occasion was Lt Governor of Ladakh R K Mathur and he laid a wreath at the memorial and paid tributes to the martyred soldiers as part of a ceremony symbolising ”shraddhanjali” from the entire nation.
President Ram Nath Kovind was scheduled to visit the Drass memorial to pay homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the war but the plan had to be changed due to bad weather and he instead visited the Baramulla war memorial in north Kashmir and laid a wreath there.
On this occasion PM Modi tweeted, “Modi tweeted, “We remember their sacrifices. We remember their valour. Today, on Kargil Vijay Diwas we pay homage to all those who lost their lives in Kargil protecting our nation. Their bravery motivates us every single day.”
India’s Vice President also paid his respect and tweeted, “On Kargil Vijay Diwas, I join the nation in remembering our armed forces’ saga of valour & gallantry. I salute the heroes of the Kargil war & Operation Vijay and pay my respectful homage to the martyrs for their supreme sacrifice.” He added, “The nation will remain forever grateful to them & their families.”