NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs of Kargil on Kargil Vijay Diwas today.
The day marks the victory of Indian forces over Pakistan in the hills of Kargil and the success of India's Operation Vijay in 1999.
"On Kargil Vijay Diwas, every Indian acknowledges the efforts and gallantry of our Armed Forces.
We salute the ultimate sacrifice of the martyrs of Kargil, and record our everlasting debt to their families," the president said.
Vice President Naidu said he saluted the valour, courage and sacrifice of the brave jawans that resulted in a "spectacular victory for our country in the Kargil War in 1999".
"Vijay Diwas helps in reminding our countrymen of the bravery of soldiers who are all the time alert in extremely difficult situations and environment in defence of our country and for the safety and security our lives," he tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi said a grateful nation pays homage to all those who served the nation during Operation Vijay and remembered former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for the leadership provided by him during the operation.
"Our brave soldiers ensured that India remains protected and gave a befitting answer to those who tried to vitiate the atmosphere of peace.
"India will always remember with pride, the outstanding political leadership provided by Atal Ji during Operation Vijay.
He led from the front, supported our armed forces and clearly articulated India's stand at the world stage," he said on Twitter.
India will always remember with pride, the outstanding political leadership provided by Atal Ji during Operation Vijay. He led from the front, supported our armed forces and clearly articulated India’s stand at the world stage. #KargilVijayDiwas— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 26, 2018
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three Service chiefs -- Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Naval chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa -- laid wreaths and paid rich tributes to the martyrs on the 19th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas at the Amar Jawan Jyoti here.
"We salute all the bravehearts who proudly protect the nation," the defence minister said.
Other ministers also paid tribute to the soldiers.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "On Kargil Vijay Diwas we salute the unflinching courage and supreme sacrifice of all those soldiers who fought valiantly in 1999.
Every Indian citizen is proud of their heroism and service to the nation."
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj added that she saluted the "courage, valour and sacrifice of our martyrs and heroes".
Union minister Arun Jaitley tweeted, "Salute to indomitable courage of our soldiers."