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Kargil Vijay Diwas
Geographical location and its importance to India
Geographical location: Kargil war took place in Kargil District Kashmir, its Geographical location, and importance are given below.
Before the Partition of India in 1947, Kargil was part of Gilgit-Baltistan, a region of many various linguistic, ethnic and religious groups, due in part to the many isolated valleys separated by some of the world’s highest mountains. The First Kashmir War (1947-48) resulted in most of the Kargil region remaining an Indian territory; then, after Pakistan’s defeat in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the remaining areas, including strategic military posts, also passed into Indian Territory. Notably, Kargil is the only district in the Ladakh subdivision that has a Muslim majority. The town and district of Kargil is in what is now called Jammu and Kashmir. The town lies on the Line of Control (LOC), the defacto border for the two nations, located 120 km (75 miles) from Srinagar, facing the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Like other areas in the Himalayas, it has a temperate climate. Summers are cool with frigid nights, while winters are long and cold with temperatures often dropping to −40 °C (−40 °F). A national highway connecting Srinagar to Leh cuts through Kargil.
The area that witnessed the infiltration and fighting is a 160 km long stretch on the border of the LOC, overlooking a vital highway on the Indian side of Kashmir. Apart from the district capital, Kargil, the front line in the conflict encompassed the tiny town of Drass as well as the Batalik sector, Mushko Valley and other nearby areas along the de facto border. The military outposts on these ridges were generally around 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) high, with a few as high as 5,600 meters (18,000 feet). One of the main reasons why Kargil was specifically targeted for incursions was its terrain lent itself to a pre-emptive seizure. With tactically vital features and well-prepared defensive posts atop the peaks, it provided an ideal high ground for a defender akin to a fortress. Any attack to dislodge the enemy and reclaim high ground in a mountain warfare would require a far higher ratio of attackers to defenders, which is further exacerbated by the high altitude and freezing temperatures. Additionally, Kargil was just 173 km (108 mi) from the Pakistan town of Skardu, which was capable of providing logistical and artillery support to the Pakistani combatants. All these tactical reasons, plus the Kargil district being a Muslim majority, were probably contributing factors to why Kargil was chosen as the location to attack.