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Kargil Conflict 1999

Kargil conflict in 1999 was generally portrayed as one of the big events in the relation of two neighboring but hostile countries_ Pakistan and India. For Pakistan, it was a defensive strategy, which ultimately went towards a permanent conflict. This conflict erupted along the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir. Many agreements related to borders were signed between both countries like Cease Fire Line in 1948 and Simla Agreement and Line of Control (LOC) in 1972. All these agreements failed to meet the desired results because India was persistently violating every agreement and considered them of no value. She violated the agreement of LOC. It showed aggression in Siachen, Nellum Valley and finally in Kargil. There were multiple factors, which led Pakistan and India to war in Kargil. Pakistan’s army won Kargil war militarily but did not win it diplomatically as well as politically. Indian diplomats exploited the conflict and went to get support from America, in which they succeeded. Repercussions of this conflict had been damaging for Pakistan internationally and proved that there was a huge communication gap between army and the government.


Kargil conflict has its root in the past, when two agreements were signed between India and Pakistan. First military exchange between India and Pakistan over Kashmir established in 1948 having the name of Cease Fire Line. It was considered international border line between both the countries. In 1972 another agreement was signed namely as Simla Agreement with little modification of what was Cease Line Fire and became Line Of Control (LOC) . In this agreement both countries come to the settlement that both were to be remained in their own dominions within the area of LOC. First violation of LOC was done by India in 1984, when attack had been initiated by Indian army on Siachen and occupied 10 sq Km area across the line. Indian military showed aggression and it was a first challenge to Simla Agreement. A serious conflict was started between both countries. About six talks took place between both rivalries, in which Pakistan was at the point of view that India had to withdraw from the Siachen but Pakistan did not get fruitful results of these talks. Once again in 1988 Indian troops attacked on Qamar Sector, Pakistan’s army did respond but Indian managed to hold 10 posts within Pakistan’s territory. This was accompanied by an Indian attack on Nellum Valley route in Pakistan’s side. These consecutive conflicts proved to be an eye opener for Pakistan because all the agreement failed to prevent an Indian aggression.


For Pakistan things were going wrong and she started to realize that this is the time to deter the Indian bellicosity. India attacked Nellum Valley on regular basis and for that Pakistan responded and started to attack Dras-Kargil road, Where India faced much difficulty because Indian supply route was blocked. Pakistan army had subjugated the kargil and some posts which came under the dominions of India and the height advantage also went to Pakistan. Indian leader L.K Advani and many other leaders condemned this act of Pakistan. India also started to deploy its army on these areas. A mission was started having the name Vijay Operation, in which about 200,000 soldiers were mobilized by India. A serious conflict was started and many innocent people along with the LOC were killed. India attacked on Pakistan army equipped with many weapons like small guns, anti-aircraft guns and grenade launcher and air force of India also got involved. The only motive which Indian army had at that time was to remove, the Pakistan army posts, which had clearly height advantage. For that, Indian firstly targeted the Tiger Hill with full power, in this operation India managed to recapture some of the important territories. Both countries had lost many soldiers in this area. Then clash was started in Dras Sector, where India simply damaged the Pakistan army and this post was also recaptured by Indian. India faced a lot of problem from the Mujahedeen of Kashmir in every step of their planning. Many Indian soldiers had been killed by Mujahedeen. India initiated its final attack on Pakistan army on every occupied area and got about 80% of its territory back in their pockets.


At the end, Pakistan withdrew from Kargil because of the pressure of America. American role in this conflict was an obvious fact. It looks like that America was playing neutral role in this conflict but the reality stands somewhere else. American adopted a unilateral approach and that was Pakistan must withdraw from Kargil. Indian diplomats were completely exploiting the existed conditions during Kargil conflict. The image of Pakistan came in international community as a hostile and terrorist country. On the other hand, America was not happy of Pakistan nuclear program. Another most important factor was Nawaz Sharif’s unprecedented tour to America and unscheduled meeting with American president Clinton. This made Pakistan a culpable state and it also played a role to tilt American towards unilateral approach.


Kargil War ended up with a lot of casualties from both sides. About 587 soldiers were killed of India and roundabout 387 soldiers were killed of Pakistan. Repercussions of this conflict were devastating for Pakistan than India. Inability of politicians can be seen during the war and the result was that in same year Nawaz Sharif’s government had to depart. Weak and nominal communication between military and civilian government came in front of the picture. Even Pakistan nation had no idea that what was going on in Kargil? This war affected the image of Pakistan in international level. Pakistan was about to face many problems from international community and international community started to tilt towards India more sympathetically than Pakistan. Even international media exposed its biasness and started to publish against Pakistan and Nawaz-Clinton meeting depicted as “Pakistan will withdraw from Kashmir”. Mujahedeen took complete advantage from this situation and started to target Indian military. This conflict gave the chance of freedom fighter of Kashmir to act more organized and properly.


To conclude, Kargil war for Pakistan was a Defensive-offensive approach but it failed in both. A clearly won battle on military basis ultimately was lost badly on diplomatic level. Pakistan had to pay the price of this both, internationally and domestically.

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