The Kargil War, which occurred during the summer of 1999, was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan. The city of Kargil, located in the tough mountains of Jammu and Kashmir, was the main place where the two countries fought. Many soldiers from both sides suffered injuries or lost their lives in this battle. They showed a lot of bravery and courage. Kargil got its name from the town in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir where the fighting took place.
Pakistan’s nefarious plot exposed
On May 3, 1999, a shepherd named Tashi Namgyal reported the intrusion in Kargil. On May 2, 1999, while searching for his lost yak, he ventured into the Kargil hills where he saw Pakistani infiltrators. Whose information he gave to the Indian Army the next day. When the patrolling team of the Indian Army reached Kargil, the Pakistani Army caught them and killed 5 of them. The Pakistani army strengthened its position in Kargil due to which it destroyed India’s ammunition store. On May 10, infiltrators were first spotted in Ladakh in Drass, Kaksar and Mukoh sectors.
Operation Vijay: The Battle for Kargil
Pakistani soldiers disguised as terrorists had entered the Indian side and occupied strategic positions in the high altitude mountains towards the Srinagar-Leh highway. The Indian Army launched a series of coordinated attacks to dislodge the intruders and regain control of the occupied heights. Which was named ‘Operation Vijay’. Operation Vijay was the code name of the campaign conducted during the Kargil War. The Kargil War specifically took place in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir, along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. The Pakistani Army’s objective was to cut the vital link between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, which would give them a significant advantage in any future negotiations on the Kashmir issue. The campaign posed significant challenges due to the rugged terrain, harsh weather conditions, and combat at high altitudes.
India’s Triumph in the Kargil Conflict
The battle started out on May 8, 1999, when India initiated Operation Vijay Abhiyan. Both the Indian Army and Air Force actively involved in the conflict. The Indian Air Force utilized the MiG-27 and MiG-29 aircraft, launching R-77 missiles at Pakistani positions. During the conflict, the military forces fired approximately 250,000 shells, utilizing over 300 mortars, cannons, and rockets to launch 5,000 bombs. Throughout the 17-day war, they fired a round every minute. One major challenge faced by the Indian Army was the disadvantageous positioning, with intruders holding higher ground.
In the Kargil War, Pakistan lost more than 600 soldiers and suffered over 1500 injuries, while the Indian Army witnessed the martyrdom of 562 soldiers and the injury of 1363 others. Despite lasting for over two months, the Indian Army emerged victorious over the Pakistani forces. The final peak was captured on July 26, which is now celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas.
Impact of the Kargil war
The Kargil War had a significant impact on the trust and stability between India and Pakistan, making future negotiations and resolutions more challenging. It created a severe strain on India-Pakistan relations, resulting in the breakdown of diplomatic ties and an escalation of hostilities. This conflict exposed weaknesses in India’s defense preparedness, prompting subsequent efforts to reform and modernize its armed forces.
Through effective diplomatic efforts, India successfully portrayed Pakistan as the aggressor and garnered international support, which diplomatically isolated Pakistan. The war also strengthened India’s resolve to safeguard its territorial integrity and national security.