The 90s brought with them rising separatist activities in the Kashmir Valley and things got tense between India and Pakistan. Both countries conducted nuclear tests in 1998, and signed the Lahore Declaration in 1999, aiming to have a peaceful and bilateral solution to the “Kashmir issue”.
Late in 1998 and early in 1999, some sections of the Pakistani Armed Forces launched “Operation Badr”, aiming to sever the link between Kashmir and Ladakh by sending in trained personnel into Indian territory.
During the early days, the Indian army did not realize the magnitude of the operation. When they caught some infiltrators, they planned to evict them. However, when more infiltrators were discovered in other places along the LoC (Line of Control) and the army realized that they had different tactics, they realized the plan was much bigger in scale than they first assumed.
200,000 Indian soldiers were mobilized with “Operation Vijay” to tackle the situation. The battle lasted for 73 days, ending on 26 July, 1999. On this day, India took back command of the high outposts that had been overtaken by the Pakistani infiltrators in the Kargil-Dras region.
Every year, Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July. In Delhi, the Prime Minister pays homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. 527 Indian soldiers lost their lives during the war.