IANS

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that free hand has been given to the armed forces to deal sternly with the enemies of the nation.

“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,” the Defence Minister said on the occasion of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’.

He said that India is a peace-loving nation which believes in its centuries-old values and is committed towards international laws, but to safeguard India’s interests, ‘we will not hesitate in crossing the LoC’.

He said that earlier, the nation and the armed forces lacked political will, which has now been provided by our government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We stand firm with our forces. The people and Parliament have full faith in our soldiers,” the Defence Minister said.

To mark the Kargil Vijay Diwas, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Kargil War Memorial at Dras in Ladakh, laid a wreath and paid homage to the valiant soldiers who displayed unparalleled bravery during ‘Operation Vijay’.

The ceremony at Dras also witnessed a gathering of war heroes, Veer Naris and the families of the fallen heroes.

The Defence Minister 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,” the Defence Minister said.

He described ‘Operation Vijay’ as an episode that displayed India’s grit and determination as it stood its ground in the face of adverse circumstances.

He termed the victory 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,” he said

Defence Minister recalled the heroic deeds of a number of bravehearts of the Kargil war, including Param Vir Chakra (PVC) Awardees Captain Vikram Batra and Captain Manoj Pandey and Vir Chakra (VrC) Awardees Lieutenant Colonel R Vishwanathan, Captain Jintu Gogoi, Captain Vijayant Thapar and Naib Subedar Mangej Singh, who are a source of inspiration for the future generations and will be remembered forever.

He also made special mention of Flight Lieutenants Gunjan Saxena and Srividya Rajan who showcased exceptional courage during the war and spread the message that Indian women are no less than their male counterparts when it comes to securing the country’s borders.

He said that all these soldiers belonged to different regions of India, but fought as one to protect the interests of the nation and its people.

Citing the example of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Defence Minister said that the war, which has been continuing for more than one year, reflects the unpredictable nature of conflicts in today’s times.

He said that the war has been prolonged as the people are training and joining their military in fighting for their cause.

The Defence Minister also 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.


 

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