Drass (J&K): 13 years have passed since Indian Army’s victory over Pakistani forces and irregulars in the chilly heights of Kargil. India has moved ahead…ask those who lost their near and dear ones in the battle to safeguard country’s honour.
The Indian Army in its full military grandeur on Wednesday began the two-day celebrations of the 13th anniversary of its victory in the 1999 Kargil War with the hoisting of a massive national flag at the War Memorial in Drass sub-sector of the district.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army`s Northern Command Lt Gen K T Parnaik and Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal were the chief guests at the flag-hoisting ceremony, which was held earlier this morning.
"Since independence, the Indian Army fought several wars and in every war it was victorious. The war of 1999 was a unique war," Lt Gen Parnaik said as he paid tributes to the officers and soldiers who died in the war.
The commander said the day was "very important" for the Army.
A polo match between a local team and Army`s Ladakh Scouts will be held later in the day followed by a cultural programme by local artists and Army units.
A motorcycle show by Army`s `Tornadoes` team will also be held on the day one of the celebrations.
The two-day commemoration will also include a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial, `sainik samelan` (soldiers meet), memorial service and band display, all scheduled for tomorrow.
Bollywood singer-musician trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy will also perform a stage show as part of the anniversary commemoration, army officials in-charge of organising the events here said.
Drass War Memorial, which has been built in the foothills of Tololing Hill, will host most of the ceremonies scheduled for the next two days.
Widows and relatives of the soldiers who lost their lives in Kargil, Mushkok, Batalik and Drass will also be present at the events, Army officials said.
Indian Army had lost 490 officers, soldiers and jawans in the war, many of whom were posthumously felicitated with gallantry awards.
Coincidentally, the Indian armed forces got a new Supreme Commander today when Pranab Mukherjee took over as 13th President of India.
Kargil war, which began in May 1999, lasted for more than two months before Pakistani soldiers, a bulk of them drawn from its Northern Light Infantry, and irregulars withdrew from the mountain tops they had occupied overlooking the Srinagar-Leh highway.
(With PTI inputs)