The Kargil war, fought for nearly two months, was to recapture territory intruded upon by Pakistan in the Kargil region of erstwhile state of J&K.
The Indian operation was codenamed ‘Operation Vijay.’ It concluded on July 26, with Indian Army regaining control over all the posts occupied by Pakistani forces, that included army regulars and armed militias.
Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the Indian victory at Kargil.
Here’s all you need to know about the Kargil war.
How it began:
The first information about presence of Pakistani intruders at the heights in Kargil was passed on to Indian Army by local shepherds in early May of 1999.
5 Indian Army soldiers on patrol to the captured heights were killed by the intruding forces.
Infiltrations were also reported in Drass, Kaksar and Mushkoh sectors.
The infiltrators had positioned themselves at strategic heights, that gave them an advantage in the initial stages of the conflict.
India’s counter offensive to recapture occupied regions
In late May, Indian Air Force began airstrikes against suspected infiltrator positions.
An IAF MiG-27 was downed by Pakistani missiles; its pilot was captured by Pakistan, and later released
An Indian Mi-17 chopper was shot down killing 4 crew members.
India then moved in troops in large numbers to the front
As the conflict progressed…
India released intercepts of conversations between top Pakistani military officials as proof of the Pakistan Army’s involvement in the infiltrations.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to Washington and asked the US to intervene. However then US President Bill
Clinton declined to do so until Pakistani troop withdrew from the LoC.
An Indian victory
Pakistani forces and terrorists backed by Pakistan began to retreat under heavy offensive by India.
On June 9, two key positions in the Batalik sector were captured.
Subsequently, all occupied positions in Drass also came under Indian control.
Then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared Operation Vijay a success on July 14.
On July 26, Indian Army announced a complete withdrawal of Pakistani forces- regulars and mercenaries from the region.