Mon. Jun 17th, 2024
Kargil Vijay Diwas: Unveiling the Heroic Sagas That Echo Through Time

Kargil Vijay Diwas: Unveiling the Heroic Sagas That Echo Through Time

Kargil Vijay Diwas: Unveiling the Heroic Sagas That Echo Through Time

Since the split of India and Pakistan, there has been tension along their shared border. Every day, shots are fired along the LoC. Both nations’ militaries are still engaged in conflict over Kashmir. There was a war between India and Pakistan prior to this one, hence this conflict is not one that is currently occurring.

Indian heroic warriors had freed the high peaks of Kargil from Pakistani captivity during the 1999 Kargil conflict, which pitted India and Pakistan against one another. Despite the fact that many soldiers died during this conflict, India ultimately won the Kargil war. Indian warriors died as a result of their country’s heroic victory, and both events will live on in history books.

Kargil War Background

After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, there was a period of relatively few direct armed conflicts between India and Pakistan. However, tensions escalated during the 1990s due to separatist activities in Kashmir, supported by Pakistan, and the nuclear tests conducted by both countries in 1998.

During the winter of 1998-1999, elements of the Pakistani Armed Forces launched “Operation Badr.” They covertly trained and sent troops into Indian territory along the Line of Control (LOC). The operation’s goal was to sever the link between Kashmir and Ladakh, force Indian forces to withdraw from the Siachen Glacier, and internationalize the Kashmir issue.

Some speculate that the operation may have been retaliation for India’s Operation Meghdoot in 1984, which seized much of the Siachen Glacier.  After the war, there were conflicting accounts about who was aware of the plans.

India’s Counter attack

During the Kargil War, the mountainous and high-altitude terrain of Kashmir posed challenges for both Indian and Pakistani forces. Indian forces prioritized recapturing peaks overlooking NH1, including Tiger Hill and Tololing in the Dras sector. After regaining control of these hills, they focused on driving the invading force back across the Line of Control (LOC). The battle for Tiger Hill was intense and marked by fierce hand-to-hand combat.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) also joined the operation, facing challenges in the difficult terrain. While airstrikes initially had limited effectiveness, the use of laser-guided bombs by Mirage 2000H planes proved successful. Despite artillery and air attacks, some Pakistani outposts remained intact, necessitating slow and risky frontal ground assaults by the Indian Army at altitudes of up to 5,500 meters.

As the conflict progressed, Indian troops gradually regained control of most of the infiltrated area and the high ground, with around        75-80% of the intruded area back under India’s control. India made significant territorial gains and secured NH1, which was critical for its logistical and supply operations during the conflict.

Final Battle

After the outbreak of armed conflict in Kargil, Pakistan sought American assistance in de-escalating the situation. US intelligence detected movements of Pakistani nuclear weapons to forward positions in fear of the conflict escalating further. President Bill Clinton, however, resisted becoming involved until Pakistan fully withdrew its soldiers from the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC).

Following the Washington accord on July 4, 1999, where Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed to withdraw Pakistani troops, most of the fighting gradually came to a halt. However, some Pakistani forces remained in positions on the Indian side of the LoC, as extremist groups under the United Jihad Council rejected Pakistan’s plan for a withdrawal and chose to continue fighting.

In response, the Indian army launched its final attacks in the last week of July, supported by relentless airstrikes by the Indian Air Force in Operation Safed Sagar. As the Drass subsector was cleared of Pakistani forces, the fighting ceased on July 26.

This day is now commemorated as Kargil Vijay Diwas (Kargil Victory Day) in India.

 

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