JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Kargil and its Impact on India’s National Security

Maj Gen Alok Deb, SM, VSM (Retired) is Deputy Director General at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). Click here for detailed profile
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  • July-September 2019
    Volume: 
    13
    Issue: 
    3
    Articles

    With the melting of snow and improvement in weather conditions, the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) that separates India and Pakistan has traditionally been a ‘hot’ place in summers, with multiple ceasefire violations by Pakistan culminating in frequent artillery duels. Over time, and well before the era of instant news, this perception of the LoC had embedded itself in the collective consciousness of the Indian public. Despite loss of life and property in the border areas and continued suffering of the local residents throughout the 1990s, the possibility of an all-out war over Kashmir had veered from the probable to the unlikely, more so after then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous bus ride to Lahore in January 1999. Also, given the traditional tranquillity prevailing in the border districts of Kargil and Leh, the possibility of a full-fledged war in Ladakh was considered to be even more remote. All these suppositions came crashing down in the summer of 1999 after discovery of the intrusions in the Dras, Kargil and Batalik sectors, leading to the initiation of full-fledged combat operations by the Indian Armed Forces.

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