Kargil was a military, political and diplomatic victory for India which observes the 17th Kargil Vijay Divas on Tuesday in honour of the men who lost their lives in the war.
Here are ten highlights of war:
1. The Kargil war was fought in 1999 between India and Pakistan in Kargil, Ladakh which was initially Baltistan district, separated by the LOC after the first Kashmir war.
2. Kargil was the first war between India and Pakistan after the one in 1971 which had led to the formation of Bangladesh as a separate country.
3. Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government was in power at the time of this war.
4. India launched ‘Operation Vijay’ to clear the Kargil sector of infiltration by Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
5. The war took place despite the two nations signing the Shimla Agreement that stated that no armed conflict shall take place on the said boundary. The Indian and Pakistani armies fought the Kargil War in May-July 1999 in Kargil and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LoC).
6. Safed Sagar, the Indian Air Force’s operation, was a major part of the Kargil war. It used air power at the height of 32,000 feet for the first time. From identifying the Pakistani troops and Mujahideens to interdiction, all the actions were performed well by the pilots and engineers despite just one week of training.
7. Victory over Pakistan: As India witnessed television grabs of its army men in Kargil fighting Pakistan, ‘Operation Vijay’ was termed successful on this day 17 years ago when India won a decisive victory. While PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared the operation successful on July 14, the operation was officially declared closed on July 26, 1999.
8. Men lost: India lost more than 500 military men on the Kargil territory while reports from Pakistan claimed that more than 3000 of their soldiers, mujahideens and infiltrates died.
Built by the Indian army, the Kargil War memorial wall in Dras has inscriptions of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the war. The Memorial also has a museum with documents, recordings and pictures of the Indian soldiers at Kargil.
9. Kargil is one of the most recent and infamous examples of high-altitude warfare i.e wars that are fought on mountainous terrain. Such wars are considered more dangerous due to the rough terrain and natural habitat.
10. It was one of the few instances when war was fought between two nuclear states. It was also the first war between the two countries widely covered in the media.