The Indian Army began the two-day celebrations of the 13th anniversary of its victory in the 1999 Kargil war with the hoisting of a massive national flag at the War Memorial in Drass sub-sector of the district today.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army's Northern Command Lt. Gen. K. T. Parnaik and Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal were the chief guests at the flag-hoisting ceremony, which was held earlier this morning. "Since independence, the Indian Army fought several wars and in every war it was victorious. The war of 1999 was a unique war," Lt Gen Parnaik said as he paid tributes to the officers and soldiers who died in the war.
The commander said the day was "very important" for the Army. A polo match between a local team and Army's Ladakh Scouts will be held later in the day followed by a cultural program by local artists and Army units. A motorcycle show by Army's 'Tornadoes' team will also be held on the day one of the celebrations.
The two-day commemoration will also include a wreath laying ceremony at the war memoria. 'Sainik samelan' (soldiers meet), memorial service and band display are also scheduled for tomorrow. Bollywood singer-musician trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy will also perform a stage show as part of the anniversary commemoration, army officials in charge of organizing the events here said.
The Kargil war, which began in May 1999, lasted more than two months before Pakistan soldiers withdrew from the mountain tops they had occupied overlooking the Srinagar-Leh highway. In the battle with Pakistani forces, the Army lost nearly 500 officers, soldiers and jawans, many of whom were posthumously felicitated with gallantry awards.