Kargil Special: Army chief Bikram Singh pays tribute to Kargil war martyrs in Dras

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Dras, July 25: Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh on Friday paid tribute to the martyrs of 1999 Kargil war in Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region on the occasion of 15th Vijay Diwas.

Singh, who is retiring July 31, paid homage at the Kargil war memorial in the Drass area.

The Army Chief told OneIndia, "I will retire on July 31. I am fortunate to pay tribute to the brave martyrs at the war memorial before my retirement. Since Kargil war, there have been drastic changes in the Indian Army. There are some challenges but still the army is fully geared to take on challenges."

"Even after facing defeat during the Kargil war, Pakistan is not yet changed. Very often, Pakistani intruders try to enter into Indian territory and Pakistani army frequently indulges in ceasefire violations. But, we are proud of our soldiers who are alert day and night, to save their nation", he told OneIndia.

"I want to assure you as chief of the army staff that the Indian Army is deployed at the border and has the capability to protect India's sovereignty and integrity," Singh told the media.

He added that the present government is committed towards ensuring that the needs and aspirations of the soldiers are met.

Each year since 1999, the army observes Vijay Diwas to remember its soldiers who laid down their lives in Kargil district of the cold desert Ladakh region during the conflict between India and Pakistan.

OneIndia at Kargil: Follow exclusives

The Kargil conflict was the most serious military engagement between the two neighbours since the war of 1971 that resulted in the division of Pakistan into two countries and the creation of Bangladesh.

(Reported by Richa Bajpai, OneIndia reporter at Kargil)

(With IANS inputs)

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