India and Pakistan had a relatively long period of stability following the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, with relatively few armed conflicts involving military forces between the two neighbouring nations. However, escalating separatist activities in Kashmir during the 1990s, along with both nations trying to conduct nuclear tests led to an increasingly tense atmosphere.
In an attempt to defuse the situation, both countries signed the Lahore Declaration in February 1999, promising to provide a peaceful and bilateral solution to the Kashmir conflict.
However, during the winter of 1998–1999, Pakistani soldiers, disguised as Kashmiri militants infiltrated into positions on the Indian side of the LOC. The war that ensued saw India trying to regain control of all the previously held territory and came to be known as the Kargil War of 1999. The war ended on July 26, when India regained control of all the previously held territory, hence re-establishing the state existing before the war.
Here’s a brief timeline of the 1999 Kargil War:
May 3: Pakistani intrusion in Kargil reported by local shepherds
May 5: Indian Army patrol sent up to check; five Indian soldiers were captured and tortured to death.
May 9: Heavy shelling by Pakistan Army damaged ammunition dump in Kargil
May 10: Infiltrations were first noticed in Dras, Kaksar, and Mushkoh sectors
By mid-May, Indian Army moved in more troops from Kashmir Valley to Kargil Sector
May 26: IAF launched air strikes against infiltrators
May 27: The IAF lost two fighters – MiG-21 and MiG-27;. Flt Lt Nachiketa was taken POW
May 28: IAF MI-17 shot down by Pakistan; four air crew were killed in the attack.
June 1: Pakistan stepped up attacks; bombed NH 1
June 5: Indian Army released documents recovered from three Pakistani soldiers indicating Pakistan's involvement
June 6: Indian Army launched major offensive in Kargil
June 9: Indian Army re-captured two key positions in the Batalic sector
June 11: India released intercepts of conversation between Pakistani Army Chief Gen Pervez Musharraf, while on a visit to China and Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Aziz Khan in Rawalpindi, as proof of Pakistani Army's involvement
June 13: Indian Army secured Tololing in Dras
June 15: US President Bill Clinton, in a telephonic conversation, asked Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pull out from Kargil
June 29: Indian Army captured Point 5060 and Point 5100 near Tiger Hill
July 2: Indian Army launched three-pronged attack in Kargil
July 4: Indian Army recaptured Tiger Hill after an 11-hour battle
July 5: Indian Army took control of Dras. Sharif announced Pakistani army's withdrawal from Kargil following his meeting with Clinton
July 7: India recaptured Jubar Heights in Batalik
July 11: Pakistan began pullout; India captured key peaks in Batalik
July 14: Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared Operation Vijay a success. Government set condition for talks with Pakistan
July 16: Kargil conflict officially came to an end with the Indian Army announcing complete eviction of Pakistani intruders.
Notably, there were three major phases to the Kargil War. First was when Pakistan infiltrated its men into the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir and occupied strategic locations, in the process bring NH1 within range of its artillery fire. The second was India discovering the infiltration and mobilising forces to respond to it and the final stage involved major battles by Indian and Pakistani forces resulting in India recapturing most of the territories held by Pakistan.