“Either I will come back after hoisting the tricolour, or I will come back wrapped in it, but I will be back for sure” – Captain Vikram Batra, Indian Army
It was on this day 22 years ago in 1999, when the Indian Army took command of the high outposts in Kargil that had been infiltrated by Pakistan’s army. Since then, July 26 has been observed as the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ to commemorate the sacrifices made by our soldiers to serve the motherland.
As the nation is observing the 22nd anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas to delineating respect and gratitude to the Bravehearts of the armed forces who laid down their lives while showcasing their valour against the enemy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to all those who lost their lives in Kargil protecting our nation on Kargil Vijay Diwas.
“We remember their sacrifices. We remember their valour. Today, on Kargil Vijay Diwas we pay homage to all those who lost their lives in Kargil protecting our nation. Their bravery motivates us every single day,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
The 60-day Kargil war took place between May 3 and July 26, 1999, in the Kargil district of Ladakh along the Line of Control (LOC), India eventually became victorious by regaining control of all the previously held territory, re-establishing the status quo antebellum.
Since 1999, July 26 India has been celebrated as the Kargil Vijay Diwas to commemorate the victory of Operation Vijay. The operation was launched by the Indian Army to recapture the Indian territories from Pakistani intruders in the Kargil-Drass sector of Ladakh.
Operation Vijay was a perfect mix of strong and determined military and diplomatic efforts which enabled India to transform an adverse situation into a military and diplomatic victory.
Kargil war was the world’s first and only hotly contested war between two nuclear-armed countries. Amid hostile weather and strategic disadvantages, India successfully pushed back Pakistan after a nearly three-month operation consisting of intense warfare with synchronized efforts.
During the war, the Indian Army took the responsibility of heavy lifting on the ground in the theatre of war while the Indian Navy mounted indirect pressure on Pakistan to cave in and retreat. The coordinated wartime planning by the Indian Armed Forces pushed the enemy to a back foot.
Operation Safed Sagar by IAF
The Indian Air Force carried out over 5,000 sorties as part of ‘Operation Safed Sagar’, attacking infiltrators and doing reconnaissance missions to support the arms of the defence forces.
Indian Air Force’s Safed Sagar operation was an imperative part of the Kargil war. IAF 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 IAF pilots and engineers.
Operation Talwar by Indian Navy
As part of Operation Talwar, the Indian Navy choked Pakistan’s Arabian Sea routes, a move that mounted immense pressure on Pakistan. It was discussed later by the former PM of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, that the blockade created a situation where the country was left with only six days of fuel to sustain itself.
The Kargil War was widely covered in the media, which telecasted the valour of the Indian Defence Forces. Televised events like the Tiger Hill victory which the people of India saw on TV proved to be turning points.
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