One of the biggest wars in the Indian history was when India fought for about three months and attained victory against Pakistan in the 1999 Kargil conflict and since then 26th July ‘Kargil Vijay Divas’ is marked as a tribute to our national heroes for sacrificing their lives in order to protect our country. While many of us do not know about how India won against Pakistan and under what circumstances did the war began.
Going back to the time, India began Operation Vijay to weed out Pakistani infiltrators from the Kargil sector along the Line Of Control in India. The war between India and Pakistan was fought in the period between May and July 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district. This was also the first televised war keenly followed by the entire world. This was a time when electronic media had just emerged so most satellite TV channels sent their own reporters to cover the war live. Real footage from the battle zone was telecast live.
On the other hand, conflicting editorials in Pakistan media forced India to block the country-owned PTV while placing a temporary restriction on news coming in from Pakistan. Online edition of Dawn was also blocked.
When local shepherds first reported Pakistani intrusion in Kargil on May 3, the Kargil Brigade told the commanding officers: “Some rats have come in. Throw them out.” Even though defence minister George Fernandes hoped to evict Pakistani intruders in 48 hours, the war went on for nearly three months as the intruders fired artillery shells with accuracy as they had the advantage of height.
It was then that the Indian Army understood the gravity of the situation. The soldiers figured that these men were no ordinary intruders but Pakistani Army men who were trained to carry out the act after months of planning as was evident in the way they had set up bunkers.
India lost over 500 soldiers in the war which was seen as a challenging one given the conditions under which it was fought—high altitude, rough terrain. As part of Operation Vijay, The Indian Army personnel successfully recaptured Tiger Hill after evicting Pakistani intruders.