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Indian Army to present a
medal to Jaswant Singh
Josy Joseph in New Delhi |
March 07, 2003 16:00 IST
The Indian Army will present a medal to Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh for his services during the Kargil conflict of 1999.
As India's external affairs minister during the Kargil war, Singh had led India's diplomatic offensive against Pakistan. His efforts paid off with the then US president Bill Clinton summoning the then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharief to Washington DC and asking him to withdraw the intruders unilaterally from the Kargil hills.
Defence Minister George Fernandes told Lok Sabha on February 27 that the recommendation for the medal had come from the Army Headquarters. It was former army chief, General S Padmanabhan, who had recommended Singh for the medal.
General Padmanabhan retired on December 31 last year, handing over charge to General N C Vij.
The Indian Army had announced two medals for Operation Vijay -- the military operation staged by the army and the
India Air Force in Kargil in the summer of 1999 -- Operation Vijay Medal and Operation Vijay Star. While the medal was for soldiers who were mobilised during the operation, the star was for those who participated in the battle.
The armed forces had also presented several other military honors to individual soldiers, including four Param Vir Chakras, the highest military gallantry award of the country.
A senior army officer said when Singh is awarded the military medal he would become "the first civilian to
win a military honor."
Singh used to be a Major with the Indian Army's Central India Horse Regiment. He later took premature
retirement and joined politics.