Image Source: National Herald

July 26 was the day when 20 years ago the Indian Army flew the ‘Tri-colour’ on the snow-clad mountains/posts in Kargil sector that had been occupied by Pakistan army and intruders. The victory came at a very high price, as 527 brave Indian soldiers had sacrificed their lives when they valiantly fought against the enemy. The fight was backed by the Indian Air force which lost a couple of their Fighter Aircraft. As we observe the 20th Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas (Kargil Victory Day), we salute the great soldiers for their supreme sacrifice and take a solemn pledge that we should strive to work for the unity and integrity of our nation. 

Perhaps, this is the most appropriate time to rewind our memories to the turbulent days of post partition period in 1947 when India-Pakistan relations started on a strained note on the question of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which led to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War. The war ended, but the question of J&K remained unresolved adversely affecting the geopolitics of both the countries. Thus, in 1965, the Pakistan soldiers tried to occupy strategic locations in Kashmir Valley. The Indian forces successfully pushed them back to Pakistan/Pak-Occupied Kashmir (POK). The 1971 Indo-Pak war was a major landmark in the security scenario of the Indian sub-continent leading to the liberation of Bangladesh.

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Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research

K V Thomas
K V Thomas
K V Thomas is Senior Fellow at CPPR. He has over 36 years of distinguished service in the Intelligence Bureau (Ministry of Home Affairs) of India where he rose to become the Associate Director. He can be contacted at thomas@cppr.in

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