It was not just a clash of ideology or a loss of human life but a phase which unleashed the brutal side of war. Ever since 1947 when HINDUSTAN was parted into its two counterparts, India and Pakistan there has been an everlasting conflict for Kashmir. And Kargil war was corollary to the conflict.
In spite of multitudinous peace agreements signed by both the countries like Lahore Declaration (1999) and different Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) between Indian and Pakistan to maintain peace along the LOC (Line-of-Control), they fought 3 wars in a span of less than 5 decades. In the wake of Lahore Declaration, India had never dreamed of Kargil conflict that followed heavy bloodshed for both the sides.
After Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, both countries were eager to exercise control on Siachen Glacier by establishing military outposts on the surrounding mountains ridges and the resulting military skirmishes in the 1980s. However this proliferating of tension between both the countries prompted them to sign Lahore declaration in 1999 for harmonious and bilateral solution to the Kashmir conflict but failed badly to render their promises.
This all started back in 1984 when India acquired control on Siachen Glacier by taking advantage of absence of Pakistani Troop owing to the heavy winter. The Pakistan was very outraged by the action and was sure to take the revenge against Indian military. That’s why they planed Kargil operation which was an esoteric operation.
They planned to capture the Kargil peak because in the winter season Indian army withdraw its soldiers from that area and they also had a plan to destroy the supply line of India which is NH-1 connecting main India to Leh Ladakh and Kashmir, the highway has very strategic importance in situations like war.
Pervez Musharraf, the then Army Chief Of Pakistan is said to be the brainbox behind the attack. Musharraf carefully chartered out the intrusion plan, without any specifics from the then Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. He was supported and assisted by General Mohammed Aziz. It is said that Musharraf executed the plan while Atal Bihari Vajpayee had responded to Nawaz Sharif invitation to Lahore and where the duo signed the Lahore Declaration.
Now it was time for India to retaliate the situation, thus, India sent its massive forces, especially Air force. According to some sources, India brought 2 lakh soldiers in the Kargil war and began with air strike with Mig and miraj and also used Baforce to destroy enemy massively. Pakistan never estimated that the Indian army could respond with such a big strike and faced lots of problems during war because they do not have food, Logistics’s support supply line and they have lost zillion of soldiers. High causality of the army and international pressure inhibited Pakistan to come back in this game. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went to US and meet with Clinton US President for help but Clinton offered no help and was adamant to fact of removing Pakistani soldiers from the area.
The war lead to a winning situation for India as their relation with U.S. got better and Pakistani totally lost the situation.
But in this whole scenario one forgets that war can never result in a victory owing to the loss it stimulates, the loss of lives, the loss of tranquillity and the repercussion on families of dead soldiers. It was not a result of action of a troop of people but was a result of fight of egos which both countries were not ready to forego.
Had Indian forces not illegally captured Siachen Glacier or If Pakistani troops would have settled with the Lahore Declaration numerous lives have been saved and many families would have been cured of unbearable pain and atrocities they were subjected to. The people with power are never subjected to the real misery of the war and one affected were never involved in it. In the war of our self-pride we forget the worth of human life and keep destroying it towards an ending which has nothing good stored in it.
We forget that the two countries fighting were the child of the same mother; they were the two parts of the inseparable Hindustan and are now biggest rivals.
After such a long time when India has worked a lot on its international relations and maintains friendly relations with most of its competitors, it still fails to maintain an affable relation with Pakistan, a country which belongs to INDIA. It’s high time we need to maintain peaceful relation with Pakistan otherwise the day of second Kargil war is not far away.
By Milandeep Bhatia,
Content Writer, DU Times