Jammu, Jul 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.

“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 the army is “fully geared to take on challenges” and 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.

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.