Kargil war, one of the prime events in Indian history took place 20 years back on 26th July in 1999. India celebrates this day of every year to honour and pay tribute to the courage and valour of the heroes of the Kargil War.
A war that began between India and Pakistan due to the infiltration of the Pakistani army into the Indian side of the LoC (Line of Control) came to an end on 26th July with India emerging victorious after regaining control over the mountain heights that the Pakistani intruders had seized.
Kargil war, also known as the Kargil conflict, started in the month of May and went on till 26th July. It was an armed conflict between the two nations that took place in the Kargil district of Kashmir. The Line of Control that serves as a de facto border between India and Pakistan as crossed by the Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants.
Before the war of 1999, the Indian army just had one brigade of the Indian army (2,500 soldiers) to guard a 300km Indian territory; a task merely impossible. Moreover, since it was winter, the Indian posts along the LoC were vacated. The Pakistani army took advantage of this and infiltrated into the Mushkoh, Dras, Kargil, Batalik and Turtuk sub-sectors, between Zojila and Leh. They occupied over 130 vacated Indian posts.
The first war action occurred when few soldiers of the Indian army were patrolling at Bajrang post near Dras. This is when they sensed doubtful actions. Soon after, both sides got into firefighting. The Indian soldiers, unprepared and unexpected of such an event, fell out of ammunition. They were captured by the Pakistani soldiers, tortured and killed.
Three months into the war, the then prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif revealed that Pakistan was falling short of fuel to sustain in war. He thus called his army back and asked it to retreat. Still, few of the militants refused and continue to charge at the Indian army. In response, India cast its last attack on 26th July, on these militants, clearing the Drass subsector of these militants.
India regained control over the territory south and east of the LoC, thus coming out victorious.
After the war of 1971 which led to the formation of Bangladesh as a separate country, Kargil was the first war India fought with Pakistan. At that time, India was governed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA government. In this war, India lost 500 military men.
To honour these courageous soldiers who guarded our country, this year our president Ramnath Kovind and prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes. Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat too paid tributes in Drass today on Kargil Vijay Diwas.