20 years of Kargil Vijay Diwas: PM, President pay tribute to forces

Operation Vijay concluded 20 years ago on July 26, 1999

kargil-3-arvindjain Tricolours on the eve of Kargil Vijay Diwas, at Kargil war memorial in Drass | Arvind Jain

20 years ago to this day, the Indian Army announced the end of Operation Vijay, successfully forcing Pakistani troops to withdraw from occupied regions in Kashmir. Kargil Vijay Diwas marks two decades since the end of the last and only armed conflict between two nuclear powers.

Commemorating the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted photos of his visit to army camps during the war. "During the Kargil War in 1999, I had the opportunity to go to Kargil and show solidarity with our brave soldiers. This was the time when I was working for my Party in J&K as well as Himachal Pradesh. The visit to Kargil and interactions with soldiers are unforgettable."

President Ram Nath Kovind visited the Kargil-Drass sector in the morning, where the moment was commemorated by the three service chiefs of the armed forces — the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Birender Singh Dhanoa and the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh.

Paying tribute to the soldiers and martyrs of Kargil, the President tweeted:

"On Kargil Vijay Diwas, a grateful nation acknowledges the gallantry of our Armed Forces on the heights of Kargil in 1999. We salute the grit and valour of those who defended India, and record our everlasting debt to those who never returned. Jai Hind!"

The Additional General Directorate of Public Information (ADGPI) tweeted a tribute to Operation Vijay, including names and photos of those who won gallantry awards during it.

Earlier, on July 24, General Bipin Rawat warned Pakistan against committing any more misadventures in Kashmir, adding that he felt such intrusions would be unlikely, a position he has held before. He said, "No matter what heights they capture the Indian army will always get back to them and recapture those heights. This was evident during the Kargil war in 1999."