JAMMU, July 5: Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said today that Army was maintaining strict vigil in the border areas and Pakistan will not dare to repeat Kargil-like incursions as it has faced the consequences of what it did in 1999.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to commemorate 20 years of ‘Operation Vijay’ in which India had fought limited war with Pakistan at Kargil heights, in New Delhi, Gen Rawat said Indian Army has not left any area along the border unguarded and it was also maintaining strict surveillance and vigil along the borders.
“Pakistan will not dare to attempt to infiltrate into India like it did in Kargil in 1999 as it has “seen the consequences,” he said in an apparent reference to heavy casualties suffered by Pakistan army and infiltrators during two month long war in which the Army backed by the Indian Air Force had pushed back the Pakistani army and intruders and finally cleared its entire area from them.
India had fought limited war in the Kargil heights without crossing the Line of Control (LoC) to push back the Pakistani troops, who had captured the mountains for nearly two months from May to July and declared victory on July 26, which is celebrated as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’.
“The Army was maintaining tight vigil in the border areas,” the Army chief said.
“There is no such area that we have left unguarded. Our surveillance team is keeping a tight watch and regularly patrolling the areas,” Gen Rawat said in response to a question on whether Pakistan can attempt a Kargil-like infiltration. The Army chief was of the view that Pakistan now will not attempt something like that as it had done in Kargil in 1999 because it had seen the results.
“Today, we are here to celebrate 20 years of Kargil and Operation Vijay and the Northern Command as well as the 14 Corps have kick-started the celebrations to be held over the next few weeks,” Gen Rawat said.
GOC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, in his address during the event, said Kargil victory celebrations is a “national festival”.
“The 20th year celebrations mark the gallantry of the soldiers who participated in the Operation Vijay, and how the Indian army stood tall, and evicted enemies from Pakistan perched on top of jagged hills. It is also a saga of sacrifices and valour of our soldiers,” he said.
“On behalf of all ranks of the Northern Command, let me assure that should there be any contingency that may come up in the command theatre, we will continue with the same resolve to deliver the military objectives set for us,” Lt Gen Singh said.
A number of events have been planned by the Army in Delhi and Drass in Kargil district Jammu and Kashmir this month to mark the 20th anniversary of the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’.
The main anniversary celebrations for this year will be spread over three days from July 25-27.
Since 1999, Army celebrates July 26 as the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’.
The Army chief today also released a video of a special tribute song, penned by Bollywood lyricist Sameer.
Dedicated to Kargil heroes, the video features Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Olympic medalist boxer Mary Kom, actors Salman Khan, Anupam Kher, Kangana Ranaut, Sunil Shetty and Vicky Kaushal of ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ fame.
The song titled ‘Tujhe Bhulega Na Tera Hindustan’ has been penned by well-known Bollywood lyricist Sameer, who was also present during the launch of the video at an event held at Manekshaw Centre to commemorate 20th anniversary of Kargil war.
Lt Gen Ranbir Singh announced at the event that the video clip of the song will be played soon in movie theatres, TV channels and on the internet as part of the week-long activities planned ahead of the main event on Kargil Vijay Diwas on July 27 that will culminate the centenary celebrations.
Lt Gen Singh said Kargil victory celebrations is a “national festival”.
“The 20th year celebrations mark the gallantry of the soldiers who participated in Operation Vijay, and how the Indian Army stood tall, and evicted enemies from Pakistan perched on top of jagged hills. It is also a saga of sacrifices and valour of our soldiers,” he said.
It is also tribute to senior officers like Lt Gen Mohinder Puri, who guided operations at that time, Lt Gen Singh said.
Puri later authored the book, Kargil: Turning the Tide, which contains a gripping account of the operations of 8 Mountain Division, which was tasked to evict the enemy from the Drass-Mushkoh Sector during ‘Operation Vijay’. Puri led the division during the operation.
Sameer said the song was very special to him, adding, “before penning the song, I went to Leh, Ladakh and Kargil to feel the emotions running through my senses”.