19th Vijay Diwas: Looking back at the Kargil conflict

19th Vijay Diwas: Looking back at the Kargil conflict

* The conflict is believed to have been orchestrated by the then Pakistan army chief General Pervez Musharraf without the knowledge of the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

* It began with the infiltration of both Pakistani troops and terrorists into Indian territory.

* The infiltrators positioned themselves in key locations that gave them a strategic advantage during the start of the conflict.

* Based on information from local shepherds, the Indian Army was able to ascertain the points of incursion and launch “Operation Vijay”.

* Pakistan shot down two Indian fighter jets while another fighter jet crashed during the operation.

* Pakistan asked the US to intervene, but then President Bill Clinton declined to do so until Pakistani troops were withdrawn from the Line of Control.

* As Pakistani troops withdrew, the Indian armed forces attacked the rest of the outposts, managing to get back the last of them by end-July

* The Army declared the mission successful on July 26, 1999; since then the day has been celebrated annually as Vijay Diwas.

* Pakistan initially denied any role in the conflict, saying India was facing off with “Kashmiri freedom fighters.” However, it later awarded its soldiers medals for the conflict, removing any doubt of its involvement.

* The official death toll on the Indian side was 527, while that on the Pakistani side is believed to be between 357 and 453

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