India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday took a swipe at Pakistan during his address at the sombre commemoration event on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of India-Pakistan Kargil War. While addressing the gathering, Singh stated that the war was imposed on the country and we were backstabbed by Pakistan.
Taking a dig at the neighbouring nation, Singh said, "The Kargil war was imposed on India. India at that time had tried to solve the issues with Pakistan through talks...During Operation Vijay, Indian Army gave a message not only to Pakistan but to the whole world, that when it comes to our national interests, our Army will not back down at any cost. We are fully committed to safeguarding our national interests even today."
Singh then gave an indirect yet stern warning to Pakistan that India is behind the LoC only because we are peace-loving. However, if required, we will cross the LoC, he asserted.
"A war is not just between two armies but between two nations...Even after winning the war on 26 July 1999, if our forces did not cross the LoC, it is only because we are peace-loving, we believe in Indian values, and we have a commitment to international law. At that time if we did not cross the LoC it does not mean that we could not cross the LoC. We could cross the LoC, we can cross the LoC and will cross the LoC in future if there is a need, I assure the countrymen," said Singh.
Salute To Jawans Who Put Country First: Rajnath Singh
Remembering the valour of India's brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the war, Singh said, "I salute the brave sons of our soil, who sacrificed their all in the service and protection of their motherland. I salute our jawans, who put the nation first and did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives to defend our motherland."
"I draw a lot strength and feel empowered whenever I find myself standing among our jawans. As I was paying tribute to the fallen jawans, I couldn't help recollect the misadventure from across the border. I will never forget this day," the Defence Minister said.
"The blood that our brave jawans have spilt on the frontlines have helped make India what it is today," Singh added.
Singh Met Family Members Of War Martyrs
After the wreath-laying ceremony, the Raksha Mantri met with the family members of the soldiers, who made the ultimate sactifice in the 1999 Kargil conflict. He also handed them mementos and shawls as a mark of respect to the fallen Kargil heroes.
Later, he paid a visit to the 'Hut of Remembrance' museum in Drass, which holds memorabilia testifying to the valour and sacrifice of the Indian Army in the Kargil conflict.