India remembers its Bravehearts as it marks 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas


Guwahati: India salutes its Bravehearts as it marks the 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas. The Kargil War was fought between India and Pakistan between May and July 1999. Every year on July 26, the country remembers the soldiers who fought in the war and those who were martyred while fighting for the nation. TIMES NETWORK’s team brings in a ground report from Kargil War Memorial, also known as Dras War Memorial, located on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway, which was built by the Indian Army in the town of Dras, commemorating the 1999 Kargil War between India and Pakistan.

The anniversary is observed each year across the nation to show respect and gratitude to the brave servicemen of the armed forces who laid down their lives to re-capture all positions that had been seized by the Pakistan Army.

The Kargil War took place between May 3 and July 26, 1999, in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). While the 60-day long war resulted in the loss of several lives on both sides, India eventually won the war by regaining control of all the previously held territory, re-establishing the status quo antebellum.

To honour the Kargil War Heroes, who laid down their life for the country, a host of events and functions are organised all over the country to commemorate the contributions of the armed forces.

The Kargil war was fought in 1999 between India and Pakistan in Kargil, Ladakh which was initially Baltistan district, separated by the LoC after the first Kashmir war.

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 was the first war between India and Pakistan after the one in 1971 which had led to the formation of Bangladesh as a separate country.

 Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government was in power at the time of the war. The war took place despite the two nations signing the Shimla Agreement that stated that no armed conflict shall take place on the said boundary.

As India witnessed television grabs of its army men in Kargil fighting Pakistan, ‘Operation Vijay’ was termed successful on this day 22 years ago when India won a decisive victory. While PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared the operation successful on July 14,  the operation was officially declared closed on July 26, 1999.

Safed Sagar, the Indian Air Force’s operation, was a major part of the Kargil war. It used air power at the height of 32,000 feet for the first time. From identifying the Pakistani troops and Mujahideens to interdiction, all the actions were performed well by the pilots and engineers despite just one week of training.

Kargil is one of the most recent and infamous examples of high-altitude warfare i.e wars that are fought on mountainous terrain. Such wars are considered more dangerous due to the rough terrain and natural habitat.

It was one of the few instances when war was fought between two nuclear states. It was also the first war between the two countries widely covered in the media.

 India lost more than 500 military men on the Kargil territory while reports from Pakistan claimed that more than 3000 of their soldiers, mujahideens and infiltrates died.

Built by the Indian army, the Kargil War memorial wall in Dras has inscriptions of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the war. The Memorial also has a museum with documents, recordings and pictures of the Indian soldiers at Kargil.