23 years have passed but the memories of Kargil War are still unforgettable. Every year, Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated as an occasion to pay homage to the hundreds of Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives. On this occasion the Prime Minister and Defence Minister of India pay homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate. Several other events are also organised along with a flag-off ceremony by the Indian Army at the war memorial to recognise the contributions of the Indian Armed Forces.
Paid homage to fallen soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces who fought valiantly during Kargil War in 1999.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 26, 2022
Operation Vijay: Kargil War 1999
The Kargil War which was also given the name of Operation Vijay was over 2 months of struggle of recapturing India’s own territory which was occupied by the Pakistani troops as disguising Kashmiri Militants. During the war the Indian Army evicted Pakistani intruders and succeeded in recapturing Tiger Hill and other posts as a part of “Operation Vijay”.
Kargil Vijay Diwas is a reminiscence of undaunted bravery & courage of the #Bravehearts who inscribed a golden chapter in history, with their blood & sacrifice.
They gave a befitting reply to enemy’s misadventure and a resounding victory to #India.#IndianArmy pic.twitter.com/HwVFrYHwt1
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) July 26, 2022
Kargil War: The Series of Events
The war took place between May and July of 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district. The war consisted of a series of events starting from May 3, 1999 to the final day 26th of July when India’s victory over Pakistan was declared. Have a look at the series of events.
- May 3, 1999: The first Pakistani intrusion was reported.
- May 5, 1999: Indian Army patrols were sent out in response to earlier reports.
- May 10, 1999: Multiple infiltrations across the LoC were confirmed in Dras, Kaksar, and Mushkoh sectors.
- May 26: The Indian Air Force began airstrikes against suspected infiltrator positions.
- May 27: One IAF MiG-21 and one MiG-27 aircraft are shot down by Anza surface-to-air missiles of the Pakistan Army’s Air Defence Corps.
- June 1: The Pakistan Army began shelling operations on India’s National Highway 1 in Kashmir and Ladakh.
- June 5: Release of documents by India recovered from three Pakistani soldiers that officially confirmed Pakistan’s involvement in the conflict.
- June 9: Indian troops recaptured two key positions in the Batalik sector
- June 11: India releases intercepts of conversations between Pakistan COAS Gen. Pervez Musharraf and CGS Lt. Gen. Aziz Khan (in Rawalpindi) as proof of the Pakistan Army’s involvement in the infiltrations.
- June 13: Indian forces secure Tololing in Dras after a fierce battle with militias backed by Pakistani troops.
- June 15: United States President Bill Clinton forces then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif to immediately pull all Pakistani troops and irregulars out from Kargil.
- July 4: Three Indian regiments Sikh, Grenadiers and Naga engaged elements of the remaining Pakistani Northern Light Infantry regiment in the Battle of Tiger Hill. The region is recaptured by Indian forces after more than 12 hours of fighting.
- July 5: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif officially announces the Pakistan Army’s withdrawal from Kargil.
- July 11: Pakistani forces disengaged from the region; India retook key peak points in Batalik.
- July 14: Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee declares Operation Vijay a success. The Indian government sets conditions for talks with Pakistan.
- July 26: Finally the Kargil War officially came to an end.
Consequences of Kargil War
It is rightly said by Brock Chisholm, “No one wins a war…there are different levels of loss, but nobody triumphs,” Although India claimed its victory in Kargil War, the victory came at a huge cost of lives. The official death toll on the Indian side was recorded around 527, whereas there were between 357 and 453 fatalities on the Pakistani side. One of the bravest soldiers Captain Vikram Batra martyred during the war. Captain Batra was awarded India’s highest gallantry honour the Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.
Today, on Kargil Vijay Diwas, the whole country bows to the martyrdom of those soldiers. We will all be forever indebted to their sacrifices.