‘India needs a war memorial’: Arun Jaitley promises funds for tribute to fallen soldiers
(Left to right) Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Army Chief General Bikram Singh, Naval Chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha pay homage to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas in New Delhi

‘India needs a war memorial’: Arun Jaitley promises funds for tribute to fallen soldiers

The government on Saturday reiterated its commitment to build a war memorial at a prominent location in New Delhi as a tribute to hundreds of soldiers who have died for the country in wars and various operations.

The assurance from the government came on the day the country was commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Kargil War of 1999, when Pakistani intruders were pushed back during a fiercely fought offensive on the heights the Drass-Kargi-Batalik segment along the Line of Control.

After paying homage to the martyrs at India Gate along with the three service chiefs, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the government was working to ensure that the long-pending proposal to build a war memorial is not delayed further.

The government on Saturday reiterated its commitment to build a war memorial at a prominent location in New Delhi as a tribute to hundreds of soldiers who have died for the country in wars and various operations.

The assurance from the government came on the day the country was commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Kargil War of 1999, when Pakistani intruders were pushed back during a fiercely fought offensive on the heights the Drass-Kargi-Batalik segment along the Line of Control.

After paying homage to the martyrs at India Gate along with the three service chiefs, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the government was working to ensure that the long-pending proposal to build a war memorial is not delayed further.

The memorial will have names of all the martyrs of the Kargil War along with those who died in other wars.

The government has declared July 26 as Vijay Diwas as the Kargil conflict officially came to an end on this day in 1999.

The government is expected to announce the war memorial site soon.

Asked about the kind of talks India will have with Pakistan at the Foreign Secretary-level when ceasefire violations were taking place frequently, the minister said: “Whenever talks are held, India takes up issues which are related to its sovereignty.”

Speaking with reporters, Army chief General Bikram Singh said ceasefire violations on the LoC are being responded to by Indian troops. The defence minister also rubbished reports that there was a shortage of funds for armed forces modernisation.

“The Army is fully equipped and ready,” Jaitley said.

“Whenever the armed forces require anything, the government on priority basis, even if we have to cut expenditure from other avenues, meets the requirements of the forces. This year also, we have increased the defence expenditure,” he added.

Meanwhile, military veterans of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula paid homage to martyrs at a commemoration at Major Shankla War Memorial at Panchkula under the aegis of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement, an official statement said.



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