India celebrates 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas today, pays tribute to its brave martyrs

The nation is observing the 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas on Sunday, remembering its brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives to uphold and safeguard the integrity of the nation. This day commemorates the success of ”Operation Vijay” which was launched by the Indian Army to recapture the Indian territories captured by the Pakistani intruders in the Kargil-Drass sector in 1999.

Kargil war took place from May 3 to July 26, 1999 after Pakistani troops were detected on top of the Kargil ridges. Pakistan had started planning the attack in 1998 itself. It is also believed that the proposal for such an attack was given by previous Pakistan Army chiefs to Pakistani leaders but the proposals had then been shelved fearing an all-out war. Even the then Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif claimed that he had no knowledge of such an attack till he got a call from his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Indian Army on Saturday (July 25) tweeted a post telling the country what happened a day before the ‘Operation Vijay’ achieved ultimate success. On June 25, 1999, “The Indian Army launched a daring attack at Zulu Top in Muskoh Valley. Undaunted courage and unflinching determination of our troops led to successful capture of the objective”: the army posted on Twitter.

July 26 is dedicated to the Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice to uphold and safeguard the integrity of the nation. The soldiers fought legendary battles in Dras, Kaksar, Batalik and Turtuk sectors at heights above 12,000 feet.

The war resulted resulted in the loss of several lives on both the sides but India emerged victorious in this unofficial war by regaining control of all the previously held territory, re-establishing the status quo.

Notably, the violent armed conflict between Indian and Pakistani troops in Kargil and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LoC) took place just months after then PM Vajpayee and his then Pakistani counterpart signed the Lahore Declaration in February 1999. The February conference was aimed at deescalating the tensions that had existed since May 1998 over the Kashmir issue, but the issue further flared up after with the Kargil war.

The three phases of the Kargil War included infiltration by Pakistan with an aim to occupy strategic locations in order to seize the control of National Highway One. In the second phase, Indian forces identified the infiltration by Pakistani intruders and responding to it while the third phase saw major battles between Indian and Pakistani forces.

Indian Army in close coordination with the Indian Air Force launched its final attacks in the last week of July clearing all of Pakistani forces from the area. The fighting ended on 26 July which has since been celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas.

The Indian Army on Saturday (July 25) tweeted a post telling the country what happened a day before the ‘Operation Vijay’ achieved ultimate success. On June 25, 1999, “The Indian Army launched a daring attack at Zulu Top in Muskoh Valley. Undaunted courage and unflinching determination of our troops led to successful capture of the objective”: the army posted on Twitter.

The nation will always remember the valour, sacrifice and exemplary courage of our soldiers.