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Kargil Vijay Diwas: How India evicted Pakistani intruders from the icy heights

The Kargil Vijay Diwas, which is celebrated across the country on July 26 every year, reminds us of India’s military prowess and the great sacrifices made by the armed forces while steadfastly keeping the nation safe.
New Delhi: The Kargil Vijay Diwas, which is celebrated across the country on July 26 every year, reminds us of India’s military prowess and the great sacrifices made by the armed forces while steadfastly keeping the nation safe.
As we celebrates the 18th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay, a proud nation also remembers its fallen heroes who made supreme sacrifices during the 60-day armed conflict in the treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir in 1999. Here is a brief history of the Kargil War that took place between India and Pakistan-backed infiltrators, 17 years back between May and June in 1999.
1999 Kargil War
In 1999, between May and June, an armed conflict took place between India and Pakistan in the Kargil district of Kashmir and adjoining areas along the Line of Control (LOC), which serves as the de facto border between the two countries.
Pakistan-backed infiltrators had captured strategically important high-altitude outposts which prompted the Indian Army to launch a full-scale ‘Operation Vijay’ to recapture the lost posts.
The operation also aimed at clearing the Kargil-Drass Sector of infiltration by Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
The war that was fought for more than 60 days, finally ended on 26 July, and resulted in heavy loss of lives from both sides, India and Pakistan.
Finally on 26 July, 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders.
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,
Kargil Vijay Diwas
Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on July 26 every year to commemorate India’s emphatic victory against Pakistan and in the honour of the Kargil War’s Heroes.
On this day in 1999, the Indian Army successfully took control of posts at a treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, after fighting for 60 days.
This day is celebrated in the Kargil-Dras Sector and the national capital New Delhi, where the Prime Minister of India, pays homage to the martyred soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate every year. Various functions are also organized all over the country to commemorate the contribution of the Armed forces.
Key highlights of the 1999 Kargil War
Operation Vijay officially concluded on July 26, 1999 after the Indian armed forces gained full control over the mountainous Kargil-Drass sector.
General Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan Army Chief, is widely believed to have orchestrated the Kargil conflict without the knowledge of the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
It began with the infiltration of Pakistan-backed terrorists into the Indian territory.
The intruders positioned themselves in key locations that gave them a strategic advantage during the start of the conflict.
The Indian Army received valuable inputs from the local shepherds which helped the armed forces  to locate the position of infiltrators and other points of incursion.
After a go-ahead from the political establishment, the Indian Army 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.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government was in power at the time of this war.
‘Operation Vijay’ was launched to clear the Kargil Sector of infiltration by Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
The bloody conflict between the two sides took place despite the Shimla Agreement that stated that no armed conflict shall take place on the said boundary.
The Indian Air Force played a major role during the war through ‘Safed Sagar’ Operation. The IAF used its air power at the height of 32,000 feet for the first time to aide ground forces recapture the lost high-altitude posts.
The operation was officially declared closed on July 26, 1999 by PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
India lost more than 500 armed personnel due to the Kargil War while Pakistani media claimed that their country suffered a casualty of more than 3000 of their soldiers, mujahideens and infiltrators.
The 1999 Kargil War is also holds significance since it is one of the most recent high-altitude war that was fought on mountainous terrain.
The Government of India later awarded four Param Vir Chakras, nine Maha Vir Chakras, 53 Vir Chakras and other medals to felicitate the Kargil War heroes.

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