New Delhi: Slamming Pakistan for indulging in deceit since 1947, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Kargil war of 1999 had changed the world's perception about India, which took military action to evict the Pakistani Army and foiled the neighbour's attempt to redraw the boundary.
Addressing a gathering to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Kargil war, the Prime Minister said modernisation of the armed forces was a priority of his government as the wars have now reached the space and are being fought even in the cyber world.
In 1999, Pakistani Army had captured the mountainous heights in Kargil in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and India undertook military action to evict the intruders in a three-month war.
"We foiled Pakistan's deception in Kargil... This war changed the perception of the world towards India... We exposed the deceitful plans of Pakistan to re-draw the Line of Control (LoC). The world witnessed that we never initiated any act of violence and instead gave a befitting reply," Modi said.
While quoting the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the episode, Modi said Pakistan had launched the misadventure, thinking that India would seek the help of the international community and foreign powers would step in to mediate.
However, India did nothing like that and on its own used the military power to throw out the Pakistani Army, the Prime Minister said.
Hailing the armed forces for their exceptional valour displayed while recapturing the mountain peaks of Kargil, Modi named a few of those decorated for their bravery.
He recalled the Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra, who had famously said, "Yeh Dil Maange More" and said the late officer's "heart wasn't asking for himself, not for a religion, language or caste, but for the whole Bharat, for 'Maa Bharati'."
Batra, who belonged to Himachal Pradesh, was killed in close combat with Pakistani troops while recapturing a peak after having taking over one peak already.
Paying tributes to the armed forces for safeguarding the borders of the country, he emphasized modernization to make them in tune with the modern warfare scenario.
"Today, the wars have reached the space. Wars are being fought even in the cyber world. So, the modernization of defence forces is not only a necessity but also our priority", said Modi.