Josy Joseph in New Delhi
General (retired) Ved Prakash Malik, chief of army staff during the Kargil war, does not figure in any list of invitees for the official celebrations on Thursday to mark the second anniversary of India's victory over Pakistani intruders.
According to sources, neither the prime minister's office nor the defence ministry nor Rashtrapati Bhawan have issued a formal invitation to the general.
Most of Thursday's functions are being organised by the PMO, senior army officers said. "It is up to the PMO to decide who should be attending the prime minister's functions," one of them explained.
As for functions involving the army, no former chief is being invited, the officer said, adding that an exception could not be made for Gen Malik.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be spending some time with the families of some of those killed in the fighting. The army has invited the families of martyrs from the states adjoining Delhi to attend the function in the capital.
The evening function will have patriotic songs and some other cultural programmes. A long list of invitees is expected at the function, but not Gen Malik.
The daylong celebration will begin with President K R Narayanan laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in memory of the martyrs. Vice-President Krishan Kant, Prime Minister Vajpayee, Defence Minister Jaswant Singh and the three service chiefs will accompany him.
The army is also mounting an exhibition of arms seized from the Pakistanis while the Indian Air Force will stage a flying show over India Gate with a 'missing man' formation.
At 2000 IST, Vajpayee will light a candle at India Gate. Hundreds of Delhi school children will take part in that function.
The Kargil Conflict: The complete coverage
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report