Posted 2009-08-14 5:34 AM Subject: India Pakistan Kargil war - 1999
The Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict,(I) was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir. The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LOC), which serves as the de facto border between the two states. During and directly after the war, Pakistan blamed the fighting entirely on independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistan's Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces, led by General Ashraf Rashid. The Indian Army, later on supported by the Indian Air Force, attacked the Pakistani positions and, with international diplomatic support, eventually forced withdrawal of the Pakistani forces across the LOC.
The war is one of the most recent examples of high altitude warfare in mountainous terrain, which posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides. This was only the second direct ground war between any two countries after they had developed nuclear weapons, after the Sino-Soviet border conflict of 1969; it is also the most recent. (India and Pakistan both test-detonated fission devices in May 1998, though the first Indian nuclear test was conducted in 1974.) The conflict led to heightened tension between the two nations and increased defence spending by India. In Pakistan, the aftermath caused instability of the government and the economy, and, on October 12, 1999, a coup d'etat by the military placed army chief Pervez Musharraf in power.
July 26, 1999 will go down in the annals of Indian history as a day when the determined Indian forces achieved a glorious victory over the retreating Pakistani army.
It was on this day that the Indian victory over Pakistan was complete. True to its character despite having to pay a heavy price for fighting a war within its territory, the Indian forces allowed the Pakistanis to return across the Line of Control (LoC). It was a gesture which depicted the great Indian tradition of forgiving even the enemy, when it pleads for it. For Pakistan, it was another lesson which it would probably not forget for a long time. It would also put Pakistan to shame, for it chose to torture and kill the Indian prisoners of War (PoWs), rather than handing them over safely as was done by India through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).