Kargil Diwas: A Chronology of Events During Operation Vijay

On the 20th anniversary of the Kargil War, we take a look at how the almost three-month conflict unfolded.

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The Kargil War was a milestone event that redefined the relationship between India and Pakistan. Between May and July 1999, hundreds of lives were lost on both sides of the border, as India carried out ‘Operation Vijay’

On the 20th anniversary of the war, here is a timeline of events:

  • 3-15 May 1999
    Indian army patrols detect intruders atop Kargil. In fact, it was actually a shepherd, Tashi Namgyal, who had first informed the Indian army about the infiltration.
  • 25 May 1999
    The army acknowledges that 600-800 infiltrators have crossed the LoC and are stationed in and around Kargil. The Indian army moves more troops from Kashmir to Kargil.
  • 26 May 1999
    India retaliates. The Indian Air Force launches air strikes against the infiltrators.
  • 27 May 1999
    Flight Lieutenant K Nachiketa’s MiG 27 flames out and he lands in Pakistan where he is taken in as a prisoner of war. A MiG-21 which was being flown by Sqadron Leader Ajay Ahuja is shot down over the LoC, and Ahuja is killed in action.
  • 31 May 1999
    Then-prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee declares that it is a ‘war-like situation’ with Pakistan.
  • 1 June 1999
    Then-defence minister George Fernandes stirs up controversy by offering a ‘safe passage’ for the intruders back to Pakistan.
    Pakistan beefs up attacks and bombs National Highway 1
    Diplomatic efforts from countries like France and USA begin as they hold Pakistan responsible for crossing the LoC.
  • 3 June 1999
    Pakistan hands over Flight Lieutenant K Nachiketa to India as a ‘goodwill gesture’
  • 10 June 1999
    Pakistan returns the mutilated bodies of six soldiers of the Jat regiment.
  • 13 June 1999
    India recaptures the strategic Tololing peak, changing the course of the war.
    Vajpayee visits Kargil.
  • 15 June 1999
    US President Bill Clinton urges Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif through a telephonic conversation to pull his troops out of Kargil.
  • 20 June 1999
    The Indian Army captures point 5140, completing their capture of Tololing peak.
  • 23-27 June 1999
    US General Zinni visits Islamabad, urging Sharif to retreat.
  • 4 July 1999
    Indian Army Recaptures Tiger Hill
    Clinton meets Sharif in Washington DC. Clinton tries to persuade Sharif to pull his troops back.
  • 11 July 1999
    Pakistani troops start to retreat. India recaptures major peaks in Batalik.
  • 12 July 1999
    Nawaz Sharif addresses the nation through a televised address explaining the pullout and proposes talks with Vajpayee.
  • 14 July 1999
    Vajpayee declares ‘Operation Vijay’ a success. Government sets condition for talks with Pakistan
  • 26 July 1999
    The Kargil war officially comes to an end.

In this war, India lost 407 officers and soldiers, while Pakistan lost 696.

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