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Kargil Vijay Diwas 2021: How India recaptured the infiltrated territory and declared it 'free of Pakistani presence'

06:38 PM Jul 25, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated annually to commemorate the day India brought the Kargil War to a successful conclusion. On July 26, 1999, India had declared its territory to be "free of Pakistani presence".

Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place for nearly three months from May to July 1999, in which the Indian Armed Forces won the war against Pakistan. Many brave young soldiers laid down their lives defending their nation in the ferocious battle.

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Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July every year in honour of the Kargil War's Heroes.

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Kargil Vijay Diwas 2021: Tracing end of the India-Pakistan war of 1999 through FPJ Archives

During the 1990s, there were heightened tension between India and Pakistan due to separatist activities in Kashmir and nuclear tests being conducted by both countries. Lahore Declaration was signed by both sides in February 1999 in an attempt to diffuse the escalating conflict.

During the time, some elements of Pakistani Armed Forces, after General Pervez Musharraf took over as Army chief, were covertly sending troops into Indian territory in an infiltration attempt with the code name "Operation Badri". Their aim was to force India to negotiate and settle the Kashmir dispute by creating International pressure.

The war started rising by the third week of May 1999, when Pakistani soldiers infiltrated Indian area past the Line of Control (LOC) through gaps in the garb of militants. Indian Chief of Staff started planning a military strategy to deal with the attack as India was determined to get the intrusion vacated.

There was internal and international pressure on Pakistan for ceasefire and negotiation, due to which then Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif sent his Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi for further talks.

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On June 12, 1999, Sartaj Aziz arrived in Delhi with his three-point formula - a ceasefire, a joint working group to review the LoC and demarcate it on the ground and a reciprocal visit by Indian Foreign Minister the following week. All of this was turned down by the Indian side, not willing to negotiate with its Pakistani counterpart unless the intruders vacated Kargil.

During the ongoing unrest, 56 Mountain Brigade attacked Tololing for the second time after initial failure, and after five days of consequent fighting, the Indian Army was able to capture the area. This was the turning point of the war with Indian army rising in its attempt and suppressing the Pakistani troops.

Indian Army troops cleared the Kargil sector infiltrated by Pakistani soldiers in "Operation Vijay" on 26 July, which transformed the adverse situation into a military and diplomatic victory. In this war, 527 Indian soldiers were martyred and more than 1,300 were injured.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, after the victory, lauded the efforts of the Army and said, "No one will forget the bravery and sacrifices of our armed forces, who successfully vacated Pakistan's armed aggression and intrusion at Kargil."

Kargil Vijay Diwas 2021: Tracing end of the India-Pakistan war of 1999 through FPJ Archives

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