Hindsight is an indulgence affordable to most, and its utility never ceases. It allows great liberty—of imagination and scope of analyses. It is a most useful tool when matters of national security are at stake, and on the table of discussions. Lost lives are revisited for that duration of the parleys. And there are no limits to stretching of the vision when in hindsight mode. So when the question appears, during most commemorations—is India better prepared to handle an intrusion like Kargil 1999—the action replay is instant, stark and violent. Myriad visuals, letters, tales and tears make a reappearance from 1999, and before.
In hindsight it is possible to say that the Pakistan Army had deployed some elements for intruding into the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kargil sector, for limited durations, over at least a couple of years before they launched the intrusions during the winter of 1998-99. It may seem bizarre now, but there is secondary evidence to support this thesis. And it appears only from the overbearing heat of the LoC. Across the world, the LoC was the hottest boundary zone in that decade. It was live, across the calibre range of lead, all hours, seasons and weathers.