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Kargil War
Location of the conflict
Date 3 May – 26 July 1999
(2 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)

Indian victory

  • India regains possession of Kargil
No territorial changes
India India Pakistan Pakistan
Commanders and leaders
India K. R. Narayanan
(President of India)
India Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(Prime Minister of India)
Flag COAS.svg Gen. Ved Prakash Malik
(Chief of the Army Staff)
Flag of Indian Vice Chief of Army Staff.svg Lt. Gen. Chandra Shekhar
(Vice Chief of the Army Staff)
Flag of the Chief of Air Staff and Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force.svg ACM Anil Yashwant Tipnis
(Chief of the Air Staff)
Flag of the President of Pakistan.svg M. R. Tarar
(President of Pakistan)
Flag of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.svg Nawaz Sharif
(Prime Minister of Pakistan)
Flag of the Chief of the Army Staff (Pakistan).svg Gen. Pervez Musharraf
(Chief of the Army Staff)
Flag of the Pakistani Army.svg Lt. Gen. Muhammad Aziz Khan
(Chief of the General Staff)
30,000 5,000
Casualties and losses

Indian official figures

  • 527 killed
  • 1,363 wounded
  • 1 POW
  • 1 fighter jet shot down
  • 1 fighter jet crashed
  • 1 helicopter shot down

Pakistani claims

  • 1,600 (as claimed by Musharraf)

Independent figures

  • 400—4000 killed
  • 700 killed (U.S. Department of State estimate)

Pakistani figures

  • 2,700—4,000 killed (according to Nawaz Sharif)
  • 453 killed (Pakistan army's claim)
  • 3,000 killed (PML-N White Paper)
  • 357 killed and 665+ wounded (according to Pervez Musharraf)
  • 8 POWs

Indian claims

  • 737+—1,200 killed (at least 249 dead bodies recovered in Indian territory)
  • 1000+ wounded

The Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict fought between India and Pakistan from May to July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LoC). In India, the conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay (Hindi: विजय), which was the name of the Indian military operation to clear out the Kargil sector. The Indian Air Force's role in acting jointly with Indian Army ground troops during the war was aimed at flushing out regular and irregular troops of the Pakistan Army from vacated Indian positions along the LoC. This particular operation was given the codename Operation Safed Sagar (Hindi: ऑपरेशन सफेद सागर).

The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani troops—disguised as Kashmiri militants—into positions on the Indian side of the LoC, which serves as the de facto border between the two states in Kashmir. During the initial stages of the war, Pakistan blamed the fighting entirely on independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistan's Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed the involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces, led by General Ashraf Rashid. The Indian Army, later supported by the Indian Air Force, recaptured a majority of the positions on the Indian side of the LoC. Facing international diplomatic opposition, Pakistani forces withdrew from the remaining Indian positions along the LoC.

The war is the most recent example of high-altitude warfare in mountainous terrain, and as such, posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides. It is also the sole instance of direct, conventional warfare between nuclear states (i.e., those possessing nuclear weapons). India had conducted its first successful test in 1974; Pakistan, which had been developing its nuclear capability in secret since around the same time, conducted its first-known tests in 1998, just two weeks after a second series of tests by India.

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