Kargil conflict took place during May- July 1999 between two new nuclear power nations in theKargil district of Kashmirand elsewhere along the LOC. Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants infiltrated into Indian side of the LOC which serves as the de facto border between the two nation since long. This conflict is one of the most recent examples of high altitude warfare in mountainous teritory which posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides. Like other areas in the Himalayas, Kargil has a strenuous climate. Summers are cool with frigid nights, while winters are long and chilly with temperatures often dropping to −48°C (−54°F).
Initially Pakistan had claim that the fighting in Kargil sector was entirely due to independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed clearly involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces led by General Ashraf Rashid .
Indian national highway NH 1D connects Srinagar to Leh which cuts through to Kargil. This 160 Km long stretch connecting Leh and Srinaga was the area where Kargil conflict took place. Apart from the Kargil, the populated areas near the front line in the conflict included the Mushko Valley and the town of Drass, southwest of Kargil . the aim of Pakistan was to break the link between Kashmir and Ladakh, and force the Indian forces to withdraw from the Siachen Glacier forcing India to negotiate a settlement of the Kashmir dispute at the Pakistan’s term and conditions. Pakistan also believed that any tension in the region would ultimately internationalize the Kashmir issue.
Kargil War can be divided in three phase
(1) Pakistan infiltrated Pakistan forces into the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir and occupied strategic locations enabling it to bring NH1 within range of its artillery fire.
(2) The Second stage consisted of India discovering the infiltration and mobilizing forces to respond to it and
(3) The final stage, involved major fighting by Indian and Pakistani forces resulting in India recapturing most of the territories held by Pakistani forces and the subsequent withdrawal of Pakistani forces back across the Line of Control because of the valor and exceptional fortitude of the Indian soldiers who gallantly pushed and drove back the Pakistani initiators supp orated by Pakistani forces.
It is being said that around 30000 Indian soldiers were involved the in the military operation in the Kargil-Drass sector. Huge number of infiltrators and Pakistan’s mile tray persons were involved in this conflict.
Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Indian land forces coordinated their efforts in excellent manner resulting in victory in the war. The Bofors Gun played a vital role in this war. In spite of Pakistan”s effort USA President Clinton refused to intervene until Pakistan had removed all forces from the Indian side of the Line of Control. G8 nations, The European Union and other organizations like the ASEAN Regional Forum too supported India’s stand on the inviolability of the LOC. Following the Washington accord of 4th July 1999, when Sharif agreed to withdraw Pakistani troops, most of the fighting came to a gradual halt, but some Pakistani forces remained in positions on the Indian side of the LOC. However United Jihad council (an umbrella for extremist groups) rejected Pakistan’s plan for a climb-down and they continue the fighting . The Indian army launched its final attacks in the last week of July; as soon as the Drass subsector had been cleared of Pakistani forces, the fighting ceased on 26 July. The day has since been marked as Kargil Vijay Diwas in India.
Besides the Valient Anuj Nayyar, Vikram Batras and Yogender Yadav there wer many others outstanding courageous soldiers namely Captain Jerry Prem Raj, Captain Shashi Bhushan Ghidiyal, Subedar Raghunath Singh and Havildar Sis Ram Gill and hundreds of unsung Heroes. We salute all the brave warriers who obtained in Martydom for the cause of the Motherland . on the 20th anniversary of Kargil Victory Day every Indian salute all Martiyers .
Compiled by Dr. J. K. Garg
Referencese—-clips of various News Papers and pages of my Diary etc.
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