On July 26th 1999, the Kargil war between India and Pakistan came to an end. The Kargil war was an armed conflict that took place between India and Pakistan between May and July 1999. The war took place in the Kargil district of Kashmir and other places along the Line of Control (LOC). The Kargil war is also referred to as Operation Vijay on the Indian side.
The war was fought over the disputed territories of Kashmir, the area being the primary issue of conflict between both nations since Independence in 1947. The issue of Kashmir has also been the reason behind two wars fought between both countries.
The war was caused due to infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into the Indian side of the LOC. Initially, Pakistan refused to have anything to do with the war and blamed it on Kashmiri agitators. However, according to facts found later and statements made by Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Chief of Army staff, there was an involvement of Pakistan’s paramilitary forces. Eventually, the Indian Army aided by the Indian Air Force recovered most of the positions on the Indian side of the LOC which had been permeated by Pakistani troops and militants. The war ended after international diplomatic intervention and finally Pakistani forces departed from the remainder of Indian positions along the LOC.
The Kargil war was one of the first war’s to be covered extensively by the media on both sides of the border, but more so on the Indian side. The war came at a time when India was seeing a spurt in digital and electronic media. The Kargil war was often telecast live on TV, along with an in-depth study of it being covered on many news websites. This was the first war in South Asia which was covered “live” in an attempt to shoot up excessive patriotic feelings. The war soon turned into a news propaganda on both sides with both India and Pakistan making claims and then counterclaims. The print media in India and abroad covered the war religiously with many foreign publications supporting India, stating that Pakistan was responsible for entering Indian Territory.
The war soon intensified and Pakistan found itself getting little support from other countries, who frowned upon their role in the war. Many Indian newspapers followed the war with a pro-India bent of mind. It is widely believed that the extensive media coverage of the war helped India gain diplomatic supremacy.
However, the media also received many brickbats about their intensive participation in the war, to the extent of the Central Information Commission (CIC) alleging that the extensive coverage of the Kargil War by the media resulted in more causalities than there would have been otherwise.
The Kargil War came to an end on July 26th 1999 with the aid of international diplomatic intervention, due to which Pakistani troops exited Indian territories. By the end of the war it was estimated that more than 500 soldiers had been killed and over 1000 injured. This war remains a very recent example of high altitude conventional warfare between two countries which possess nuclear arms.
Also On This Day:
1874: Revolutionary freedom fighter and social reformer Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati is born.
1923: Famous playback singer Mukeshchandra Mathur is born.