LEH: Home Minister, Mr L K Advani today said India has achieved its objective of pushing away intruders from Kargil-Drass sector and declared that the aspirations of countrymen to make India a powerful nation would definitely be fulfilled.
Pakistan had smelled the gravity of consequences had it pursued with its misadventure of border incursions, the Home Minister said while addressing a large gathering of devotees assembled at Shey, 10 kilometers from Leh in observance of the 2-day Annual Sindhu Darshan Abhyan.
He said though India has won all previous wars against Pakistan, it had never successfully convinced the world community about the intentions of the aggressor but for the first time in 1999 "we have defeated Pakistan both politically and diplomatically". He said the comity of nations have appreciated Indian point of view and charged Pakistan of being aggressor.
Lauding armed forces for their splendid victory, he said it is equally heartening to note the valour of Ladakh Scouts, which too has written a saga of bravery during Kargil incursion. He said Ladakh Scouts have added a new chapter of the glorious history of Indian Army by offering sacrifice of 25 soldiers. "They have made all of us including two lakh population of Ladakh proud by their heroism", he added.
Saying that those who lay their lives for the nation actually live for ever, Mr Advani cited the example of a brave Andhra lady who after losing her husband during Kargil conflict told the Governor and the Chief Minister, who had visited her residence to console her "I want you to share my sense of pride and not the grief". He said how great is this country which has such people to defend the nation's honour and integrity.
Mr Advani said he is overwhelmed to participate in Sindhu Darshan Abhyan, which has been devoted to the great martyrs of Kargil, after the successful culmination of Operation Vijay.
Describing Sindhu river as the symbol of national pride, Mr Advani recalled his last darshan of the sacred river in 1943 before partition of India though he visited Pakistan after partition, in 1996. He acknowledged the contribution of Mr Tarun Vijay for making countrywide awareness about the river in the country and hoped that a day will come when it will attract lakhs of people like Kumbh Mela. By virtue of this river, Ladakh will be introduced to every home of the country. He complimented Dr Farooq Abdullah for making the Abhyan a success.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah cautioned against sinister Pak designs in fomenting violence and killing innocent people in the county especially in Jammu and Kashmir after their humiliating defeat in Kargil. He stressed the need for maintaining highest degree of vigil on the borders to check infiltration.
Dr Abdullah said that by aiding and abetting militancy or polluting the sanctity of Line of Control, Pakistan cannot annex even an inch of our land. They failed to do so in the past and will fail in future as well. He complimented the media for extensive coverage to Kargil incursion and said the brave people of the country have shown exemplary unity at this critical juncture. He said Ladakh, its heights like Tololing or Kaala Pahaad are now on every lip in the country.
The Chief Minister urged the Centre for taking up the issue of opening Ladakh route to Kailash Mansarover pilgrimage. This as well as Sindhu Darshan Abhyan will attract a large number of devotees which will give fillip to economic activity in Ladakh region.
He expressed his gratitude to the people of Ladakh who irrespective of religious or party affiliations made the Abhyan a success.
The Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, while speaking on the occasion, complimented armed forces for their great victory over the enemy and acknowledged with pride the contribution of Ladakh Scouts during Operation Vijay.
He said according of regimental status to Ladakh scouts is under active consideration of the Government and recruitment of Ladakh youth in the armed forces would be undertaken soon.
The Defence Minister said the officers and soldiers have shown exemplary bravery during the operations in Kargil-Drass sector and referred to the heroism of brave soldiers in capturing Tololing heights. He said such occasions of demonstrating heroism comes rarely in the history of any nation and the brave armed forces have risen to the occasion during recent successful operations. He also complimented the people of Ladakh region who extended valuable cooperation to the Army.
Mr Fernandes said the recent battle was fought on the banks of Sindhu river, which passes through Batalik, and in this way it has witnessed history in making. "Today we are meeting at the banks of this river which has been witness to our great army success", he said.
The General Officer Commanding, Maj Gen V S Bhudhwar and the Chairman, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Mr Thuptsan Chewang also spoke on the occasion.
To mark the occasion, a three rupee postal stamp was released by the widow of great war hero Col Rinchon.
The Ministers Mr Qamar Ali Akhoon, Togdan Rimpoche and Mr Tsetan Namgyal, Mr Sharief-ud-Din Shariq, MP, former MPs Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, Mr Kirti Azad and Mr Vishnukant Sharma, a large number of devotees from various parts of the country, locals, senior civil, military and security forces officers and jawans were present on the occasion.
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This Archives is Maintained by Md. Sadiq, 1998