The Kargil Incident: Historical Analysis

Sunil Rao

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This article is a historical examination of the Kargil incident in the context of the actions by India. This article begins by presenting a historical account on the evolution of the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir. The development of the LOC has a complex history, including lapse of British paramountcy, three wars, United Nations (UN) interplay and negotiated bilateral agreements. The second part of this article analyses the facts of the Kargil incident. A particular focus of this part concerns instigation and encroachment and the response by India to address such conduct. The third part of this article analyses the principles on the use of force as established in international law. This analysis sets the basis upon which the appraisal in part four occurs. As will be seen, two interdependent sources, treaty and customary law, govern the use of force, with defined principles of engagement and conduct justification. Part four of this article appraises the Kargil incident against the principles on the use of force to establish whether the actions by India were a violation of, or justified under, international law. This study demonstrates that the actions adopted by India were consistent with international obligations on the use of force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-134
Number of pages33
JournalIndian Historical Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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