KARGIL: Kargil Vijay Diwas or Kargil Victory Day is the celebration of India’s historic win against Pakistan on July 26, 1999. The Indian Army successfully removed Pakistani forces who were illegally occupying a hilltop at the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) at Kargil, Ladakh. To commemorate this victory and remember those who sacrificed their lives for this country, Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated annually in India on July 26. Shared below are 10 facts about Kargil Vijay Diwas and the Kargil War.

Pakistan covertly sent its troops and paramilitary forces to the Indian side of the LoC under ‘Operation Badr.’ They occupied an area between 130 to 200 square kilometres in Kargil.

Pakistan had planned to cut off Ladakh from Kashmir and starve the people of Siachen valley to force India to accept Pakistan’s terms in the then-ongoing Kashmir issue.

According to estimates, nearly 30,000 troops were moved into the Kargil-Dras area along with special forces to secure Kargil. 527 such soldiers lost their lives.

Indian Air Force successfully bombed out Pakistan’s illegally occupied posts.

Retired Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Commodore Kaiser Tufail exposed Pakistan’s plans against India after the War to an Indian aviation and defence magazine, Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review.

The illegal Pakistani occupation of Kargil was allegedly masterminded by Pakistan’s then Army General Pervez Musharraf along with Pakistan X Corps Commander Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmad and Major General Javed Hasan and Major General Ashraf Rashid of the Pakistan Army.

Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not only aware of this operation.

Pakistani troops were forced to leave their occupied Indian territory on July 26, 1999, which ended the war in India’s favour.

Every year, on July 26, the Prime Minister pays his respects to the soldiers who were martyred in the war.

Soldiers such as Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, Captain Vikram Batra, and Captain Keishing Clifford Nongrum, who sacrificed their lives to secure Kargil hill, were posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra and Mahavir Chakra.