This is the moment when much is being spoken about the former PM and a great son of India. His childhood, his early life & political career, each and every aspect of his life is being discussed about. A leader who redefined Indian Politics, the “Bhishma Pitamah” of Indian Politics took his last breathe at the age of 93 today. A father figure to every BJP leader is just a memory now.
While the nation is discussing about each and every episode of his life, I would like to throw light on his unforgettable leadership during the Kargil War for every Indian to remember.
Every Indian is a witness that Vajpayee was the Messenger of Peace and tried to maintain the balance of good relation’s among the two nations. Against many odds, he himself rode a bus to Lahore in 1999 for Indo-Pak peace, along with many Indian celebrities.
Sad that the Pak hawks got the better of the civilian government in Pakistan and did not allow it to go ahead and then Kargil war had its start. The assumption of Pakistan was that India would never try so hard to capture peaks of Kargil. They thought that as usual India would go to international forums and would not fall back to military options.
The credit of sorting out this threat for India goes to the crown of former PM Vajpayee that he did not allow India to cross the Line of Control during the Kargil War to avoid being called the aggressor and due to Pakistan’s nuclear status. He, even in duress, gave peace a chance.
The Kargil Timeline..
Pakistan was very successful in capturing the peaks initially and Indian intelligence failed to detect such a big military movement. But when Indian leadership came to know about loss of such important peaks, Indian reaction was very firm. India exposed Pakistan in international forum and used its full military might (including Air Force) to flush out Pakistani intruders from Indian side. Pakistani side was shocked by Indian ferocious reaction. But India never crossed LOC despite immense pressure from public.
The international community favored India as it became clear that these intruders were Pakistani soldiers. World leaders were trying desperately to avoid a nuclear war between India & Pakistan. Then American President Bill Clinton met Pak PM Nawaz Sharif on 4th July (Independence Day) but Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee declined American invitation for a summit. India was firm that these peaks were Indian territory as accepted in Shimla Agreement and India would take back all peaks.
Pakistan could not have afforded to use a single tank or aircraft. Any active help from Pakistani side to intruders would have meant an all-out India Pakistan war. Even Pakistan had stopped flying their F-16s along the LOC and border because Indian Mig-29s were locking Pak fighters with beyond visual range (BVR) missiles (Now Pakistan has also BVR missiles). Pakistan wanted to avenge Siachen but lost another (limited) war against India.