Indian Army will not hesitate to cross LoC to safeguard the interests of the country: Rajnath Singh
Drass: Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said the Indian Army will not hesitate to cross the Line of Control (LoC) to safeguard the interests of the country.
Addressing soldiers after laying a wreath at the Kargil War Memorial in Drass on 24th anniversary Kargil Vijay Diwas, the Defence Minister said India is a peace-loving nation which believes in its centuries-old values.
“No compromise will be made in protecting the sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country. We have given a free hand to the Armed Forces to eliminate the nation’s enemies.
"India is a peace-loving nation which believes in its centuries-old values and is committed towards international laws, but to safeguard our interests, we will not hesitate in crossing the LoC,” he said.
He said at the time of the Kargil War, if India did not cross the LoC, it did not mean that Army could not cross.
“We can cross the LoC and will cross the LoC in the future if need be", he added.
Singh claimed that earlier, the nation and the Armed Forces lacked political will, which has now been provided by Government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We stand firm with our forces. The people and Parliament have full faith in our soldiers,” he said.
The Defence Minister said that wars are fought and won with not just weapons and bombs; bravery and indomitable spirit will play an equally important role.
Citing the example of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he stated that the war, which has been continuing for last more than one year, reflects the unpredictable nature of conflicts in today’s times.
Rajnath added that the war has been prolonged as the people are training and joining their military in fighting for their cause.
The Defence Minister called upon the people to be ready to participate in wars not only indirectly but directly as well, if ever the need arises.
“People should be mentally prepared, so that whenever the nation needs them, they should be ready to help the Armed Forces. Just as every soldier is an Indian; in the same way, every Indian should be ready to play the role of a soldier,” he said.
Singh said India of today rests on the foundation of the sacrifices of bravehearts.
He commended the valour and commitment of the Armed Forces, which have, time and again, helped the country stand tall in times of crisis.
“India of today rests on the foundation of the sacrifices made by the soldiers. ‘Operation Vijay’ displayed India’s grit and determination as it stood its ground in the face of adverse circumstances,” he said.
Rajnath also termed the victory in Kargil as a launch pad that propelled the nation to achieve heights of success.
“Our greatness is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we fall. Despite the adversary having tactical military advantage during the war, our forces displayed unmatched bravery and skill to push them back and reclaim our land. With the victory, India sent a message to Pakistan and the world that our military will not back down at any cost if the nation’s interests are harmed,” said the Minister.
To mark the Vijay Diwas, Singh laid a wreath and paid homage to the valiant soldiers who displayed unparalleled bravery in 1999 war.
The ceremony at Drass also witnessed a gathering of war heroes, Veer Naris and the families of the fallen heroes.
He recalled the heroic deeds of a number of bravehearts of the Kargil war and said they are a source of inspiration for the future generations and will be remembered forever.
In 1999, Pakistani soldiers and militants from many groups had occupied many peaks from Drass to Batalik sector along the LoC overlooking the strategic Srinagar- Leh highway during the winter retreat of Indian Army.
Indian Army along with the Indian Air Force later launched a massive operation to reclaim the peaks that were occupied by Pakistani soldiers. In the ensuing battles that were fought in rugged mountain terrains and hostile climatic conditions Indian Army managed to win back its territory after 74 days battle.
And since then Army has been observing July 26 as Vijay Diwas and the main function is held at Drass.
(With UNI inputs)
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