Kargil Revisited - II

Ashutosh
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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Ashutosh » 08 Jul 2004 02:17

Going by the outcome of Kargil and what later happened to TSP and it's then existing rulers and political setup, I would not be surprised if the government allowed Kargil to knowingly happen - as I have mentioned in the past. It could have very well been a ploy to make TSP puke in the peace party - jeez the amazing things that TSP does when you offer peace to them.

Going by that measure, I would suspect that the current peace process initiated by ABV also intends to invite TSP into blundering again - and then we have nothing to lose if the peace process works. Well, if TSP decides to do another Kargil then we will be more ready military wise than we were last time.

The only error in the judgement by ABV was that he probably assumed he would be voted back into power. Now the ball is in Kangress court.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 08 Jul 2004 06:11

That's a bit way out a thought that the ABV govt allowed Kargil to happen.

I don't think the Army would have just played ball to see its folks die without a cause.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Ashutosh » 08 Jul 2004 06:17

The cause is there - not everyone has the capacity to see it. Concern about death is an emotional issue which is irrelevant to the cause.
Originally posted by RayC:
I don't think the Army would have just played ball to see its folks die without a cause.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 08 Jul 2004 14:49

Do amplify. Hate to remain blind for so long. ;)

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Jagan » 08 Jul 2004 15:40

Originally posted by RayC:
Do amplify. Hate to remain blind for so long. ;)
I think what Ashutosh wants to imply :

"Our Great Leader Shri Vajpayee assisted by our Raksha Mantri were so cunning and calculative that they actually turned a blind eye to the incursions and ignored it, or rather asked the army to ignore it and let kargil 'happen'
- because they could foresee the defeat of the NLI, the fall of nawaz shareef and the military coup by musharaaf.

I mean if they wanted they could have nipped the incursion in the bud in its early stages itself, but letting the problem grow meant that they carefully and deftly led pakistan down the path to decline ;) . All the 526 lives lost are worth seeing Pakistan be at this stage."

Man , we are so cunning and cruel..I am impressed :wah: :wah: :wah:

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Umrao » 08 Jul 2004 18:24

Not only that they won the election too after plotting to defeat Mushy!

And thats what Mike was saying in 2001/2002 , that Indian should have a small war with TSP to cement Atalji LKg to their Gaddi for another 17 years.

But they fell for India Shining.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 08 Jul 2004 20:06

If Ashutosh implied (which I hope he didn't) that the Govt and the Army both knew of the intrusion and they wanted it to balloon, that is the most crackpot suggestion.

GOC 3 Inf Div, Cdr 121 (I) Inf Bde and CO 16 GRENADIERS and many others would sacrifice their career and military reputation? Agreed that military folks maybe ready to lay down their lives, but I am yet to see someone who will chuck his career down the drain and not be able to show their face throughout their lifetime for the sake of a govt and any political party's gain! The suggstion, if indeed made, is most stupid.

In fact, Cdr 121 is championed by Outlook and the Congress. I know Surinder and he is not a political hack. It is the blasted political swines who are making hay out of an unfortunate situation. Everything the political chaps do is not out of sincerity but to win brownie points. Janus headed.

Please do not ascribe politics to the Army. They are still free of such skullduggery. In fact to even allude to such silly stuff is most insulting to the organisation that is still free from political affliliation/ bias. And those who do it are bereft of ideas like politicians and are beneath contempt.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Abhijit » 08 Jul 2004 21:58

Ashutosh' implied chankianness is without merit. GoI does not play Russian roulette with pakiland and certainly not with the lives of Indian jawan. Moreover, if such stupendous conspiracy had been in place, what would be the endgame? The blithering NDA did not even understand the potential of a war-like situation. They thought that peace and India shining has more electoral appeal than war. This is either a gross incompetance in political field or a pinnacle of positive patriotism (because they might have felt that a limited war was not containable and the long term costs to India far outweighed short term electoral gains that might accrue to NDA)

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby merlin » 09 Jul 2004 08:49

<I>>>Please do not ascribe politics to the Army. They are still free of such skullduggery. In fact to even allude to such silly stuff is most insulting to the organisation that is still free from political affliliation/ bias. And those who do it are bereft of ideas like politicians and are beneath contempt.</I>

Please.

We all know what the score is. The Army as an institution may not indulge in politics. But are you saying that _none_ of the Army brass indulges in it? I'm taking about the men who matter here, 2 star onwards.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Jagan » 09 Jul 2004 08:54

Originally posted by merlin:
[i]>>Please do not ascribe politics to the Army. They are still free of such skullduggery. In fact to even allude to such silly stuff is i]

Please.

We all know what the score is. The Army as an institution may not indulge in politics. But are you saying that _none_ of the Army brass indulges in it? I'm taking about the men who matter here, 2 star onwards.
Merlin,

Does that mean in the current context that the officers mentioned above by Ray would have had the chance to collude with the politicos or the intel agencies like RAW to let kargil happen? Its highly unlikely, to get ALL of them involved in such a consipiracy.

I am yet to see an Indian general (whether honest, corrupt, whatever) who would wantonly throw away 500+ lives for the 'greater good of the country'

-Jagan

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 09 Jul 2004 12:07

Originally posted by merlin:
>>Please do not ascribe politics to the Army. They are still free of such skullduggery. In fact to even allude to such silly stuff is most insulting to the organisation that is still free from political affliliation/ bias. And those who do it are bereft of ideas like politicians and are beneath contempt.

Please.

We all know what the score is. The Army as an institution may not indulge in politics. But are you saying that _none_ of the Army brass indulges in it? I'm taking about the men who matter here, 2 star onwards.
Merlin,

Keep your magic for the Parliament.

Have a heart. 2 stars or 9 stars, we have to live our lives till retirement with some credibility and after retirement with more credibility. Is it possible that we chuck everything down the drain? How can a military man ever show his face, lets say, if he has run from battle or sold his country? Can one sell his soul who has been trained to give his life and soul for the country? The regimental ethos can never allow. Read Amarinder's LEST WE FORGET and even he ridiculed a General who rose to be a Lt Gen having fled 1962 Thagla Ridge! I beleive this man was not allowed to enter the unit he was commissioned in! Can anyone live down this ignominy? The said General will roll in his grave with utter shame and humiliation when he enters it. Imagine his mental torture of not being able to look anyone in the face throughout his service and retirement! If this is the 2 star an above you are talking about, then, sir, they are the living dead and its not worth being so - at least for the uniformed class.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby merlin » 09 Jul 2004 16:36

For the record, I'm not saying that any of the army brass kept quiet about Kargil even when they knew it was happening. I don't believe any member of the forces would have kept quiet about this.

All I'm saying that some of the brass are not above politicing. I'm just joining issue with Ray's statement "Please do not ascribe politics to the Army". I'm not referring to Kargil in this instance.
Just saying that I don't agree with that statement made by Ray. That's all.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby merlin » 09 Jul 2004 16:40

<I>>>Does that mean in the current context that the officers mentioned above by Ray would have had the chance to collude with the politicos or the intel agencies like RAW to let kargil happen? Its highly unlikely, to get ALL of them involved in such a consipiracy.</I>

I wasn't referring to the Kargil conspiracy at all here. I'm just not agreeing to the fact army doesn't indulge in politics.

<I>>>I am yet to see an Indian general (whether honest, corrupt, whatever) who would wantonly throw away 500+ lives for the 'greater good of the country'</I>

I agree. At max the politics would be indulged in to further the career and I don't think that anybody in the forces considers other ranks as cannon fodder.

Best to let it rest here if things are clear as to what I meant. Didn't mean to digress into other things.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby ramana » 09 Jul 2004 17:48

merlin, The topic is TSP perfidy. And not anything else. Thanks, ramana.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby somnath » 09 Jul 2004 17:49

I dont want to join any issue here, but I think there is too much of a "holy cow" status accorded to the Army sometimes in India. As an institution, it is susceptible to the same fallibilities that affect the Indian society, maybe at a far lesser degree due to the inherent discipline and ethos.

One small example, on corruption. Very few people know this, but the CBI was set up precisely to investigate corruption cases in the British Indian Army. It was only later that its mandate was widened. The first preference for many Army cadets in the NDA happen to be the ASC!! Imagine why?

Similarly on politics. Most serving (and retired) officers will tell you how much politics goes on about promotions (especially after the Lt.Col rank), decorations and commendations. Even more visibly, one can see events like Gen Kaul's appointment before the China war, elevation of a senior officer when Mulayan YAdav was the minister (apparently on caste grounds!) etc.

But all this does not mean that any officer would have deliberately kept quiet about Kargil. That is well nigh impossible, but it isnt immune to the normal ills of society!

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Umrao » 09 Jul 2004 18:00

As a family who had near and dear in Army, Navy and batch mates in Air Force, I agree with somnath and merlin. There are many great men in IA IAF IN who are truly Officers and gentlemen, but to say no black sheep is beyond belief.

The recent faking of Saichen encounters, to many a scandal in ASC, MES is all to well known to people in the know.

Spinster had often repeated during Kargil and also Adm Bhagwat affair that above the rank of col, the shadow of politics cast is huge and discomforting.

Yes this is a discussion on Kargil and how the "war Like situation" was handled by top brass DM/RM, HM, PM and PMO.

One last word the recent revelation by a junior lady officer who trying to thrust a file about Kargil for Gen Malik to read on his departure to Poland was told to hold off till his visit was over.

Most often intelligence and feed back from subordinates is to prove what the masters have set (or want )LHS = RHS ( from elementary trignometry.)

WYWIWYG ( what you want is what you get)

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Jagan » 09 Jul 2004 18:10

People make mistakes at every stage in thier career. Some turn out to be big blunders, others not.

It will take something reallly really big to help me convince that Gen VP Malik deliberately did not read that file that was thrust onto him before going to his poland trip.

The whole concept of deliberate ignorance ranks up there on absurdness with the story of Zionists and Israel being the people who carried out 9/11.

Somnath,

Agreed that the army is not a holy cow, but lets not digress from the topic of this thread. anyone who wants to discuss the things that are wrong with the army - beyond kargil consipracy theories can start a new thread.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Ashutosh » 09 Jul 2004 20:03

Yes, it does sound like a big conspiracy theory - however everyone is guilty until proven innocent. If one reads between the lines of the Subramanyam committee report, one will realise what exactly is being hidden. There are some assertions made in that document that are quite startling. I haven't read the document, however I have read the abbreviated portions of it.

The first thing that comes to mind is that the IB director reported to the PM with his report bypassing all RAW, DGMI and JIC.

Subramanyam also states that
it was a serious lapse on part of RAW to identify five TSP Army battalions across the LoC.
On first reading, it sounds ok.

But - that statement talks about battalions deployed "across the LoC", not on our side of the LoC! Secondly, it talks about "identifying" the battalions, and not "locating them" or "detecting their presence". Is this not proof enough to assume that RAW was very well in posession of intel information about the TSP Army batallions even before they moved across the LoC - which incidentally Subramanyam claims to have happened around November-December 1998?

Subryamanam also doesn't explain how he came to this conclusion - did he refer to counter intelligence reports filed from TSP to assess that - or is it just a wild guess - or is it a concrete assertion made by looking into RAW files?

Subramanyam also states that RAW failed to "track" NLI formation movements. He also states that there could be no realistic expectation of hard intelligence about TSPA plans after this. Does anyone see the loopholes in this statement? Isn't it obvious that RAW knew the location of NLI formations but only a mild claim is being made that their "movement" couldn't be tracked - and then all blame over RAW is established.

RAW and LTTE anyone? That is why I mentioned in my first post in rather archaic terms without going into details - this is territory not too many people want to talk about.

B. Raman in his assessment goes to state that RAW could identify 13 out of the 15 TSP Army batallions deployed in NA and Gilgit - however he doesn't explain the timeframe here.

Raman also states that RAW ruled out TSPA misadventure due to it's economic state - guys isn't this total hogwash - when did TSP wait to get rich to screw India?

Why is Raman pleading for a better understanding of RAW matters w.r.t. Kargil?

Raman goes on to mention directly that
the focus has been more on the criticality of its deficient reporting than on the reasons, which should have been gone into in order to put their deficiencies in the proper perspective
Guys, doesn't this mean that RAW deliberately hid something with a valid reason???

To quote him further:
The KRC would have been equally fair to the R&AW, as it has been to the JIC, if it had highlighted the facts that till 1999 the R&AW's main focus in the Ladakh sector was more on Tibet than on the Northern Areas of Pakistan; that the absence of winter posts of the army near the LOC in the Kargil area, which provide the security and logistic cover to the border intelligence collection posts of the R&AW, ruled out any observation posts of the R&AW near the border during the winter; and that the only way of overcoming the resulting handicap was to have given the R&AW a better technical intelligence (Techint) collection capability in this area, but, unfortunately, the R&AW's proposal for improving its over-all Techint capability reportedly remained unacted upon till the intrusions took place.
How convenient!!! RAW didn't have logistical backing from the Indian Army - so they decided to cool off the TSP sector and gaze towards the north-eastern region of Tibet - where they might find some big fat Yaks spying for China!

No intelligence agency can provide a 100 per cent coverage, whatever be its resources and competence. If it can, there would be no wars and no other breaches of security and there would be no need for a separate assessment agency. The setting-up of separate assessment agencies all over the world is based on the realisation that in the absence of a 100 per cent coverage, the only protection against surprises is through perspicacious assessment on the basis of available intelligence and past knowledge of the mind-set of the adversary.
So isn't Shri Raman (ex-RAW babu) assuming how his reports will be dissected and acted upon?
Three of them fortuitously found themselves represented as members of the KRC from which the IB and the R&AW were excluded and used this opportunity to hang the R&AW and the IB from the nearest lamp-post without any examination or introspection on their moral right to do so when their own pre-Kargil performance was not free of serious blemish.
Oh - since when did RAW start demanding "moral rights"???

Anyways.

I am not claiming that all of the last five years were planned and executed in clockwork fashion. But I do think there is reason enough to assume (to me atleast) that the ABV government did want the power struggle in TSP to fire up.

Jagan:

No one asked the Army to ignore the intrusions. They did a very good job of not being able to detect it anyways. The first indication of a large scale TSP intrusion became evident only in the first week of May 1999 when Indian Army patrols got roughed up.

I dunno what 526 lives you are talking about, I think I've read only 470 in reports. Anyways - the death of lives is not calculated and even you know that. Reducing the number of casualties is however an Army job and not of the GoI.

RayC:

First you claim that I said that the Government allowed Kargil to happen. Then you go on to say that you think that I mentioned armed forces too. Time and again I have noticed you don't read carefully, and then go on to make lengthy assumptions based on mere emotions. Not that they don't make sense but they can definitely be avoided.

The rest of your posts about repudation, izzat, regimental ethos and other stuff is nothing but pure emotion.

Please do not ascribe politics to the Army. They are still free of such skullduggery. In fact to even allude to such silly stuff is most insulting to the organisation that is still free from political affliliation/ bias. And those who do it are bereft of ideas like politicians and are beneath contempt.
Then you have to define what exactly is politics. What exactly were Indira Gandhi and Sam Manekshaw doing in the run up to the 1971 war? Wasn't it evident as to what was happening? Wasn't India training undercover agents even before the beginning of the war? Since Manekshaw refused to get the army ready before November-December of 1971, should we assume that he was playing politics? And that he was a wimp and incompetent?

Abhijit, the GoI knowingly doesn't pick and choose the soldiers it wants to kill - however in due course of war casualties will eventually happen. In the '71 war, India suffered around 3000 casualties, right? So were IG and SM playing politics with the lives of their jawans? And led them to their glorious deaths?

Stop being so emotional about war casualties.

Does that mean in the current context that the officers mentioned above by Ray would have had the chance to collude with the politicos or the intel agencies like RAW to let kargil happen? Its highly unlikely, to get ALL of them involved in such a consipiracy.

I am yet to see an Indian general (whether honest, corrupt, whatever) who would wantonly throw away 500+ lives for the 'greater good of the country'
AFAICT, RAW definitely knew what was happening. And it did not inform or it did inform somebody and nothing was done. One will never know the truth. RAW & LTTE anyone?

Is it possible that we chuck everything down the drain? How can a military man ever show his face, lets say, if he has run from battle or sold his country? Can one sell his soul who has been trained to give his life and soul for the country? The regimental ethos can never allow. Read Amarinder's LEST WE FORGET and even he ridiculed a General who rose to be a Lt Gen having fled 1962 Thagla Ridge! I beleive this man was not allowed to enter the unit he was commissioned in! Can anyone live down this ignominy? The said General will roll in his grave with utter shame and humiliation when he enters it. Imagine his mental torture of not being able to look anyone in the face throughout his service and retirement! If this is the 2 star an above you are talking about, then, sir, they are the living dead and its not worth being so - at least for the uniformed class.
Emotions, emotions, emotions ...

Lessons of Kargil:
1) We learnt what a new India-TSP "equilibrium" would be post-Shakti-II. (isn't that what the current peace process trying to cement?)
2) To change that military and geopolitic equilibrium, one side needs to significantly enhance it's fighting power. (aren't we seeing exactly that?)
2) We learnt how far USA would go to cover up TSP against India.
3) USA's ability (or inability) to do get involved militarily or otherwise in the course of an India-TSP conflict was confirmed.
4) USA's clout/lobby (or lack thereof) over the Indian politicians is also clear.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Jagan » 09 Jul 2004 20:33

Ashutosh,

If RAW knew, its safe to say that the GOI knew. GoI is RAW And vice versa. If it was RAW's plan, then it will be the govt of india's plan.

If RAW knew and it has enough proof to prove the incursions, then it is its job to inform the GoI or the Army. If it informed the GoI and the GoI did not do anything to alert the army, then its safe to conclude that RAW did not have enough substanting evidence in the first place to convince the GoI.

Unless you are saying that RAW deliberately did not inform the GoI because it expected all this to happen (defeat for pak, coup by musharraf, deep soup for pakistan etc).

I say you are giving too much credit to RAW and in turn the GoI in suggesting they knew about the incursions all along.

Is this not proof enough to assume that RAW was very well in posession of intel information about the TSP Army batallions even before they moved across the LoC - which incidentally Subramanyam claims to have happened around November-December 1998?
Isn't it equally possible that RAW didn't actually posses the info and were clueless about the presence of the units?

Jagan

PS: 473 were the 'fresh' figures - 530-540 were the 'final' figures.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Ashutosh » 09 Jul 2004 20:53

Yup the argument runs both ways. It's anybody's prerogative to belive whichever. For me you are guilty unless proven innocent.

Isn't it equally possible that RAW didn't actually posses the info and were clueless about the presence of the units?
Err, Subramanyam is openly stating that they had not "id"ed the batallions. It's a foregone conclusion that they knew about their presence. Read both KRC and Raman's assessment.

The rest of your arguments are rather circuitous and confusing at the very least.

If you think stage-managing of events doesn't happen, then you are too naive. I might as well be branded conspiracy theorist.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Jagan » 09 Jul 2004 21:25

Originally posted by Ashutosh:
Yup the argument runs both ways. It's anybody's prerogative to belive whichever. For me you are guilty unless proven innocent.
Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. If you are asserting something, back it up with evidence. Just saying what you 'think' might have happened will not stick in any serious discussion.

Tommorrow we will have someone coming and saying that musharaf is in RAW payroll all along, hey, i cant disprove that either. doesn't mean that will be true.

It's a foregone conclusion that they knew about their presence. Read both KRC and Raman's assessment.
B Raman hangs around the board, I am sure if he thinks you are correct, he will come on this thread and assert the same.

I might as well be branded conspiracy theorist.
You will be - if you keep going at this ;)

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 09 Jul 2004 22:46

Asutosh,

I am not going by emotions.

I read your post very carefully. If I was wrong so are many since maybe you speak in riddles without coherent logic.

Do answer this simple question - a person gives up his 37 years of reputation and career for a lark to salvage some pet ambition of a govt? If that is logic or common sense, I think committing suicide is a natural phenomenon!

I can assure you that when lives are at stake or military reputation is at state, then emotions have no place. Emotions maybe are for barakhanas and Unit reunions but not otherwise. We deal with lives and those lives depend on split second decisions. Therefore, in such decisions emotions can havoc all. We are trained to keep emotions in check.

However, since you know about military psychology more than me, I leave the floor to you! :)

Between you and me, to believe it was staged managed is really extraordinary; if it were then I would have refused to go up there to put my life on the bind for drama! Are you crazy that men will go to die fully knowing its all a drama? Why were they being paid astronomical sums to die? Christ, you are really an interesting psychologist and a security analyst!

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 09 Jul 2004 22:56

In so far as 1971, are you suggesting it is politics?

The govt ordered the Army to prepare for War. Maneckshaw did just that. Is that politics? Indeed, if you are suggesting he should have told Mrs G that Indian Army should never go to war because it is an immoral thing, then you are barking up a wrong tree.

The CIVIL Govt orders and the Army will jolly well Obey it, unless he is Musharraf or Ayub or Zia etc etc.

God forbid the day when the Generals decide what is to be done or not done!

With your logic I reckon all wars right from the first war against Pakistan is a conspiracy!

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 09 Jul 2004 23:13

Originally posted by John Umrao:
As a family who had near and dear in Army, Navy and batch mates in Air Force, I agree with somnath and merlin. There are many great men in IA IAF IN who are truly Officers and gentlemen, but to say no black sheep is beyond belief.

The recent faking of Saichen encounters, to many a scandal in ASC, MES is all to well known to people in the know.

Spinster had often repeated during Kargil and also Adm Bhagwat affair that above the rank of col, the shadow of politics cast is huge and discomforting.

As far as black sheep, nothing is free from this phenomenon. No one would ever dispute that. The Siachen fake encounter is a disgrace and they will be punished. Remember unlike civil court, there is no appeal. Not even the Supreme Court can overturn the sentence, unless it is procedurally flawed! The military justice is harsh. Of that there is no doubt.

Do amplify as to how politics casts a shadow over the rank of Colonel? Do visit the MS Branch and see how any poltical influence is handled. English is a very strong weapon of war! Even an MS (Lt Gen dealing with postings) could not send his son abroad and in turn the General himself was shunted out!

It is requested that loose statements should not be made. Back it up with facts and authority.

Who was this lady officer who was thrusting a file. The senior most lady officer (not MNS or Doctors) would not be more than Capts. And what wa this earth shaking file she was thrusting into the hand of the COAS? Indeed, if it were to do with an intrusion of the magnitude of Kargil, it would be handled by an officer of higher rank and who knew the case well (including confidential stuff) so that all queries could be answered.

BTW, 90% of the MES is civilian. Next you will claim that Ordance Deport mazdoors and Base Wksp civilians too are from the Army. They are not governed by Army Act.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Ashutosh » 10 Jul 2004 04:29

Ray, I think we are talking past each other. Anyways, regards.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Umrao » 10 Jul 2004 09:43

1)Who was this lady officer who was thrusting a file. The senior most lady officer (not MNS or Doctors) would not be more than Capts. {Ray C}

It came as a shock for the Kargil Review Committee (headed by defence analyst K Subrahmanyam) when a lady officer at Army Headquarters told it that General Ved Prakash Malik, then chief of army staff, got a report of intrusions by Pakistanis a day before he was to leave for Poland on an official visit. General Malik instructed his office not to forward the report until his return. The Kargil Review Committee did not, however, pursue this matter.
http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/jul/07spec4.htm

2) BTW, 90% of the MES is civilian. Next you will claim that Ordance Deport mazdoors and Base Wksp civilians too are from the Army. They are not governed by Army Act. {Ray C}

It was not any more. PSUs MES were the preferred posting for hon discharge Soldiers, Officers.

In MES Barrack officer and above positions you find many a ex servicemen. IIRC Garrison engineer and above it is very rare to see civilians unless they come through UPSC exam ( a few my batch mates joined as station workshop engineers for EME ).

Anway regards.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby RayC » 10 Jul 2004 12:56

I have been a Station Commander in three stations including Calcutta. In Calcutta the CWE was army and everyone else including the Chief Engineer was a civilian and one GE I shoved into Alipur Jail!

So, rediffmail is the most credible source of knowledge! Does it appear in the Report of the Committee? I am quite fair, If indeed it is true, then I am shocked. Yet, with little service that I have, important issues are not handled by Capts. Further, to the best of my knowledge, there are no lady officer yet in MO Directorate.

EME and MES are two different things excepting that there is the letter 'E'in both.

Further, no one can be an officer without an UPSC exam. So, the UPSC exam is no rare exception or a badge of honour!

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Shishir » 11 Jul 2004 04:59

Looking back on Kargil war - by Gen V.P. Malik (retd)

Five years downstream is a good time to look back on Kargil war. What were our major lessons? Have we overcome the shortcomings? In this article, I will confine myself to some macro level observations.

Kargil war made it obvious to the political and military authorities that although nuclear weapons tests had made all-out conventional wars between India and Pakistan less likely, this development had not made them redundant. As long as there were territory-related disputes, the adversary could indulge in irregular war, proxy war leading to a conventional war, border war or a limited war. A peculiar strategic problem that the Indian military faces is that it cannot trade any space for major offensive manoeuvre elsewhere. Every inch of territory has to be defended. Loss of territory is not acceptable to the public or political authority. This is a strategic handicap and a risk in a conventional war setting, which increases in a limited war scenario. It implies greater attention to surveillance and close defence of the borders or lines of controls.

In Kargil war, Pakistan had made use of “Stability/ Instability Syndrome” (A stable nuclear balance may permit offensive action to take place with impunity), exploited large gaps in our defences and used regular troops in irregulars’ facade.

On account of active and prolonged proxy war in the Valley, the Corps Commander in Srinagar had to pay greater attention to that area. He was left with inadequate reserves in Ladakh. This was already in my mind when we ordered return of HQ 70 Infantry Brigade from the Valley to Ladakh in October, 1998. The command and control of Srinagar Corps, having to look after nearly 1490 km of Line of Control with Pakistan and China, and active anti-terrorist operations, was over-extended. The long and short-term strategic requirements called for raising a separate Corps Headquarters re-inducting a division (in place of 28 Infantry Division which was raised for Siachen Sector but moved to the Valley in 1991), and improving border/lines of control surveillance and overall combat capability in Ladakh. For this purpose, we raised HQ 14 Corps and retained 8 Mountain Division in the sector. With additional forces, including Ladakh Scouts, better command and control, and improved surveillance capability, this shortcoming of Kargil war has been overcome.

The new strategic environment calls for speedier, more versatile and more flexible combat organisations along the non-mountainous Western border also. There is a general agreement in the Army on this but the opinion gets divided whenever a suggestion is made to split any large, unwieldy “strike” corps into more effective and usable battle groups. With induction of new tanks, medium artillery (on the way) and improved night fighting capability, I hope this aspect will be reviewed. Meanwhile, some additional Special Forces units have been raised. Equipped with the state-of-art weapons and equipment, all of them are combat effective.

Kargil highlighted the gross inadequacies in the nation’s surveillance capability. We sought satellite imagery from two friendly countries but received a most unsatisfactory response. Steps have now been taken to acquire this capability indigenously. Some progress has been made already.

Aerial imagery, except from the Aviation Research Centre, was non-existent. Our system of interpretation and delivery was slow. On a couple of occasions, I carried air photos personally from Operations Room in Delhi to Headquarters 8 Mountain Division in Dras. By setting up Defence Image Processing and Analysis Centre and establishing direct communications to Corps Centres, there has been substantial improvement in this field.

We have also acquired effective Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, upgraded helicopter capability for day and night surveillance, and most importantly, acquired hand held thermal imagers, surveillance radars and ground sensors. It is heartening to hear young officers speak well about these new force multipliers.

Intelligence, both at the strategic and tactical levels, was our major failure. There were a few reports of Mujahideen camps miles away from the Line of Control. Our intelligence agencies kept harping on Mujahideen intrusion till the end of the war without any evidence other than Pak deception-planned radio intercepts. There were absolutely no intelligence reports of a planned armed intrusion by Pak Army before or during the early stages of war. Obviously, there were major deficiencies in our system of collection, reporting, collation and assessment of intelligence. This happened primarily because over the years the Joint Intelligence Committee had been devalued. For many years it had only a double-hatter Chairman. All intelligence agencies tended to work vertically. There was little lateral coordination or working to a plan.

With the setting up of the National Security Council Secretariat, this aspect has improved to some extent. An integrated Defence Intelligence Agency has also been established. Its technological, coordination, and assessment making capabilities need to be further strengthened to make it more effective. This can take place only when we have a Chief of Defence Staff. There is a great deal yet to be done in reforming and making Intelligence Agencies accountable at the national level.

Due to continuous lack of budgetary support, new raisings of regular units and Rashtriya Rifles, and an extremely tedious procurement system, many of our bottom line holdings and reserves were in a depleted state at the time of Kargil war. We had shortages of weapons, equipment, even clothing required for high altitude warfare. I remember spending a whole day in Srinagar ascertaining the state of controlled stores in the theatre. At the end of the day, we ordered transfer of some MMGs, mortars and radio equipment from Rashtriya Rifles to units of 3 and 8 Mountain Divisions. There was no surveillance equipment and hardly any other force multipliers.

I had to cater for a full-scale war on the rest of the Western Front. Despite acute shortages in weapons and ammunition, we took the risk in allotting extra Bofors regiments and artillery ammunition to Northern Command. The Cabinet Committee of Security was persuaded to lift the outdated ban on the erstwhile Bofors Company to enable purchase of urgently needed spares for Bofors guns and other weapons purchased from it. And yet, some people complained to the Prime Minister about my remarks to the media that “we will fight with whatever we have”!!

The state of arms, ammunition and equipment has started to improve lately: not because of additional budget but on account of overdue streamlining of procurement system and procedures. Only last year the government agreed to create a reserve fund-after surrendering defence funds year after year something that we had proposed in 1999. There is still an urgent need to streamline and establish accountability in the DRDO. In the past, very often, it not only failed to deliver but also stymied efforts to improve our capabilities like Weapons Locating Radars.

Kargil was not the first time when Pakistan initiated a war; and we must not assume that it would be the last time. Every good military would like to be pro-active. However, it has also to develop the will and capability to react. The essence of military leadership lies in the manner in which we react to restore a situation, however, adverse the circumstances of the battle.

The writer, a former Chief of Army Staff, is President, ORF Institute of Security Studies.
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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby putnanja » 13 Jul 2004 05:08

Point 5353 still in Pakistan’s possession

The second phase of the Point 5353 story started during Operation Parakram which commenced on December 13, 2001, following the terrorist attack on Parliament. By then the area north and east of Zojila Pass, including Leh, had been upgraded into a new Corps Zone from a divisional sector. Parakram had opened a window of opportunity in the Kargil sector for the new 14 Corps to complete the Army's unfinished agenda for the Kargil war: seize Point 5353. While throughout April and May 2002, Point 5353 was pulverised with metal from Bofors guns, sometimes 10,000 rounds a day, Concourse missiles, cargo ammunition and air defence guns in direct fire, by May-end, Point 5070, a pivotal feature about 10 km west of Point 5353, was quietly seized in a brilliant stealth operation. The post was named Balwan after the Jat regiment that took it. Balwan had turned the flank of Pakistani defences in the Dras sector. The Indian Army now had a grand view and domination of the Gultari valley through which Pakistani posts are maintained in Dras.

The Pakistan Army used to occupy Point 5070 as a summer post. Its surprise loss drew furious reaction and several counter-attacks, which resulted in heavy Indian casualties. An incensed General Musharraf removed both the Pakistan GoC and Brigade Commander for losing a post and a new Force Commander, Northern Areas, was also appointed.

The seizure of Point 5070 was a good diversion while all hell was being let loose on Point 5353 in preparation for the assault. On June 10 an Indian patrol managed to creep into Point 5353 and found several wounded soldiers crying for help. D-Day was fixed for June 17. The Northern Army Commander, Lt-Gen R.K. Nanavati, flew into Delhi with the final plan and for the green signal. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage beat him to it. A few days earlier, he had brought to Delhi from Islamabad General Musharraf's pledge, in his words: "To end cross-border terrorism permanently, visibly, irreversibly and to the satisfaction of India." Mr George Fernandes said "no" to General Nanavati.


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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Aditya G » 13 Jul 2004 10:28

Whats a "Concourse missiles"? :confused:

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby JCage » 13 Jul 2004 10:29

Konkurs

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby vksac » 14 Jul 2004 07:33

no one has commented further. I take it every one silently agrees.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Umrao » 16 Jul 2004 19:42

PTI

I was in dark about Kargil aggression: Sharief
July 16, 2004 19:22 IST

Insisting that he was kept in the dark over Pakistan Army's Kargil aggression, former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharief has said the then Pakistan Army chief General Pervez Musharraf and two other top military commanders toppled his government in October, 1999 as they feared their court martial for planning and executing it.

Also see: Kargil, Five year on

Currently in exile in Saudi Arabia, Sharief said Musharraf, by launching the military operation, 'sabotaged' the peace process initiated in Lahore in February 1999 between himself and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee under which the latter had "agreed" to 'try and resolve the (Kashmir) matter by 1999'.

He also lamented that Vajpayee had started talks with the Pakistan government headed by a 'military dictator' and suggests that India should have 'waited for a time when a democratic set-up came back' in Islamabad.

"Initially, when the scuffle had started, Musharraf said it was the Mujahideen that was fighting in Kashmir, I thought since Mujahideen keep fighting, therefore, it is not a new phenomenon," Sharief said in an interview to India Today magazine in its latest edition.

He revealed, "Later, I got a call from Vajpayee saab, saying 'Nawaz saab, ye kya ho raha hai (Mr Nawaz, what is happening)? Your army is attacking our army. They are fighting our army'. I said there was no Pakistan Army fighting against his army... I suppose I should have known about all this. But frankly, I hadn't been briefed."

Noting that Vajpayee had asked him to pull back the army, as there was "a great pressure" on him to bring Indian troops out to the other sectors as well, Sharief said, "I thought this matter might become serious and this might be beginning of an open war between the two countries who had just detonated their nuclear bombs."

"This would be disastrous. I think, Vajpayee also thought it would be very dangerous and that is why despite being under pressure from his army he didn't bring his forces on the other sectors of the border," he said. "I kept telling him 'let us find a solution'."

Sharief insisted: "It was Musharraf who behaved irresponsibly and it was he who planned the whole affair".

Sharief said he had wanted to settle the matter directly with Vajpayee but it was Musharraf who was keen that he approach US President Bill Clinton to intervene.

The two-time former prime minister said he had later contemplated removing Musharraf 'straightaway' but had avoided 'this kind of action'.

"I felt the proper thing was to first appoint a commission and have a thorough investigation into the whole matter... While I was in that process, Musharraf acted on that and that is why he took the action against me," Sharief said.

"Musharraf and those two people, (Lt Gen) Mehmood Ahmed (Commander of 10 Corp) and (Lt Gen Mohammad) Aziz (Chief of General Staff). These three general were the main culprits who toppled my government. They all feared a court martial if an inquiry was conducted," he said.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Aditya G » 16 Jul 2004 21:41

Extract from "Despatches from Kargil" By Srinjoy Chowdhury. For a book published in 2000, and based on reporting in 1999 I'd say it is rather good.

http://vayu-sena.tripod.com/kargil-chowdhury.html

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby ramana » 16 Jul 2004 23:14

Now we have the Sharif's version finally. Neeed time to compare and contrast the different versions and see whats common and whats not.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Vivek_A » 19 Jul 2004 03:43

sethi's dailywhines says it's a good thing TSPA got it's butt kicked in Kargil.

EDITORIAL: Kargil: a blessing in disguise?

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Vivek_A » 19 Jul 2004 03:45

Musharraf admitted Kargil mistake before Nawaz: PML-N

The PML-N statement alleged the general had also requested Nawaz Sharif to approach the United States to pressure India into refraining from killing Pakistani armed forces personnel and said not a single Pakistani would return alive without US support.

The statement claimed the high command of the navy, air force and important people including Sartaj Aziz, the foreign minister at the time, were not taken into confidence before the operation.

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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby Jagan » 19 Jul 2004 08:49

India Today's latest issue has the Nawaz Shareef / Kargil interview as an exclusive. Worth checking it out if you have a subscription


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Re: Kargil Revisited - Thread 3

Postby jrjrao » 19 Jul 2004 13:47

India Today
July 26, 2004
SECTION: Cover Story: Pakistan; Pg.18
HEADLINE: Nawaz Sharif Speaks Out
BYLINE: Raj Chengappa
HIGHLIGHT:
Five years later, the former Pakistan prime minister in exile in Jeddah reveals why and how the Kargil War began, how Musharraf deceived him, his controversial meeting with Clinton and his plans to stage a political comeback
It isn't quite the life that Nawaz Sharif would like to lead. The imposing Dholpur-stone Saroor Palace near the Red Sea in Jeddah is comfortable. Amid such regal surroundings, the former Pakistan prime minister lives in exile with his extended joint family that includes his wife, two of their four children and their spouses. Along with them, his ageing parents, two brothers, Shahbaz and Abbas, and their families also live with him.

Dressed in a crisp, white salwar kameez with a black, sleeveless jacket, Sharif spends most mornings surfing the Internet for world news, especially information about Pakistan. Always at hand is his former military secretary, the bearded, broad-shouldered Brigadier Javed Iqbal Malik, who was imprisoned for resisting the military take-over and then exiled after being dismissed from service without benefits. Evenings for Sharif are taken up by a brisk aerobic workout in the gym-it has made his face look ruddier but hasn't really done too much for his waistline. Sunset usually sees him preside over what he calls a mela of expatriates and Saudi Arabian businessmen-his only touch with the real world. Most nights he spends time watching television and confesses that he is especially fond of old Hindi film songs.

It must be frustrating for the 54-year-old Sharif, perhaps the most powerful Pakistani politician since Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to live in such quiet isolation. Everyone believes it is because of Sharif's unstated agreement with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz, whom he calls his "brother", and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (he prefixes a "Mr" whenever he mentions his bte noire) that he would eschew political activity while he lived in exile in Jeddah. There was also talk of a deal with Musharraf to commute the 72-year prison term awarded to him by a Pakistan court in return for staying out of the country for 10 years starting December, 2000.

Yet on the fifth anniversary of the Kargil War, the deep scars and their devastating impact on Sharif's political fortunes have clearly not healed. Sharif is now visibly chafing at the bit and with Musharraf appearing increasingly vulnerable, the former prime minister senses that the time for him to make a dramatic comeback may be nigh.

In his most in-depth interaction with the media since his exile, Sharif spoke to India Today on July 3 with stunning candour on a range of key issues. Among the revelations in his 90-minute discussion held in his wood-paneled study inside the Saroor Palace, is a lucid, at times amusing, account of his conversations with former Indian prime minister A.B. Vajpayee that indicates that he may not have been briefed on the Kargil War plans by Musharraf, then his chief of army staff. The former prime minister's account of how the war was conducted casts serious aspersions on Musharraf's abilities as a national leader. He charges Musharraf with "backstabbing" him and wants a commission to be appointed to go into how the General had misled the nation. He also says that it was Musharraf who asked him to negotiate a settlement of the Kargil War with then US President Bill Clinton in Washington DC in July, 1999.

During the course of the conversation, Sharif recalled that while in prison he had seen a television programme featuring five former Indian prime ministers who were asked what they thought India's greatest achievement was. Sharif was struck by their unanimous reply: democracy. He then pointed out the irony that no Pakistan prime minister has ever completed his full term. Excerpts:

Q. It is now exactly five years since the Kargil War. On July 4, 1999, you flew to the US to seek President Bill Clinton's help in bringing a ceasefire. The US president in his recent book talked about that meeting. Why did you go to meet Clinton?

A. I seriously wanted the war to come to an end. Initially when this scuffle had started, Musharraf said it was the mujahideen that was fighting in Kashmir. I thought since mujahideen keep fighting, therefore, it is not a new phenomenon. Later on I got a call from Vajpayee saab, saying, 'Nawaz saab, ye kya ho raha hai?' I asked, 'Kya ho raha hai?' Vajpayee said, 'Your army is attacking our army. They are fighting against our army.' I said there was no Pakistan Army fighting against his army. Vajpayee said, 'Nawaz saab aap ko pata nahin hai? It is your regular forces that are now attacking our positions and have now come into our area. You have occupied our posts.' I said, 'Vajpayee saab let us find out and I will investigate the matter.' I suppose I should have known about all this. But, frankly, I hadn't been briefed.

Q. So General Musharraf hadn't briefed you of the real intent.

A. No. Not at all. He said to me that the mujahideen are fighting and the Pakistan Army was not involved.

Q. When did you have this conversation with Vajpayee?

A. Just a couple of days after the incidents. I told Vajpayee saab that let us tell our respective DGMOs (directors general of military operations) to be in touch and settle the matter. He agreed but I believe that the conversation the DGMOs had was not a very pleasant one. I feared the matter might get further aggravated. So I called back Vajpayee saab to request him to instruct his DGMO and I would do mine so that they could seriously examine the issue. Vajpayee saab then interrupted me and said, 'Bhai, your forces have attacked our forces so you should pull them back. There's a great pressure on me to bring our troops out to the other sectors also'.

Q. So what did you do?

A. I thought this matter might become serious and this might be the beginning of an open war between Pakistan and India. The two nations had just detonated their nuclear bombs and this would be disastrous. I think, Mr Vajpayee also thought it would be very dangerous and that is why despite being under pressure from his army he didn't bring his forces on the other sectors of the border. I kept telling him, 'Let us find a solution.' I sent my foreign minister, Sartaj Aziz, to India. Although reluctant, Mr Vajpayee agreed to receive him. But when he met his counterpart nothing really happened. Then we were looking for an honourable way to end the battle. Mr Musharraf felt we should bring Mr Clinton into the matter. He pushed me to meet him. Mr Musharraf said, 'Why don't you meet Clinton? Why don't you ask him to bring about a settlement?'

Q. So it was the other way around and not as General Musharraf had claimed.

A. It was Mr Musharraf who behaved irresponsibly and it was he who planned the whole affair. Even when I was in Pakistan and in jail I had said categorically that it was a very confused, ill-planned and ill-executed affair. If Mr Vajpayee says that Mr Sharif had stabbed me in the back, I think, he is absolutely right. Because he visited Pakistan in February and in May we were attacking the Indian forces in Kargil which was absolutely wrong. I hold Mr Musharraf responsible for this. I can only tell Mr Vajpayee that I did not know that I was being stabbed in the back by my own general.

Q. Didn't you ask your army chief what was happening?

A. I didn't approve of this idea from day one. When he committed regular Pakistan forces also to fight the Indian forces it was a very dangerous development. Mr Musharraf hid all these matters from me. He didn't allow many of these inside developments to reach me.

Q. Do you mean General Musharraf did not brief you at all?

A. Mr Musharraf didn't brief me on any of these things. When Mr Musharraf called his No. 2 from China (where he had paid a visit during the war-a conversation Indian intelligence recorded), Mr Musharraf categorically told him, 'I hope the prime minister is not aware of these things.' He had no authority to start any war against India without the permission of the prime minister, without the permission of the government, without the cabinet's approval. It was the defence secretary who should have given the permission-the go-ahead signal to start any move by the army. It happened without all this. A thorough inquiry needs to be conducted in the whole affair. This has been my demand ever since I have been out of power.

Lately, General (Antony) Zinni (then chief of US Central Command forces), who was a close friend of Musharraf, has revealed in his book that it was Mr Musharraf who pushed me to pull out our forces from Kargil.

Q. Did you think that there was a threat of a nuclear war with the possibility of a larger battle looming?

A. I was not the only one who feared it. Mr Clinton also expressed these fears candidly when I met him. He said, 'Nawaz Sharif, what have you done? This could lead to a nuclear conflict between the two countries and the consequences and the implications would be catastrophic for both countries.' Mr Clinton also said the war was started by Pakistan. To that, unfortunately, we had no answer. If Pakistan had started it, only four people were responsible for it as far as I know: Mr Musharraf, Lt-General Mohammed Aziz (the Chief of General Staff), Lt-General Mehmood Ahmed (Commander of 10th Corp, Rawalpindi) and Major-General Javed Hasan (GOC of FCNA). Let me tell you that the rest of the army was not aware of it. The other corp commanders were not taken into confidence about this very, very major development. The air chief and the naval chief were also absolutely ignorant about it. They said in a meeting, 'Why were we not informed?' When I learnt all this I was very upset with Musharraf's approach. It is a serious matter and an open defiance of the policy of the government of Pakistan.

Q. Why didn't you sack General Musharraf soon after the war?

A. One way was to remove the man straightaway. Frankly, I was avoiding this kind of action. I was trying to defuse the matter. I felt the proper thing was to first appoint a commission and have a thorough investigation into the whole matter. I admit that I was late in appointing a commission. You are right. While I was in that process, Mr Musharraf acted on that and that is why he took the action against me. Mr Musharraf and those two people, Mr Mehmood and Mr Aziz. These three generals were the main culprits who toppled my government. They all feared a court martial if an inquiry was conducted. For the first time I am uttering these words to somebody.

Q. What are the true figures of the number of Pakistani soldiers killed in the Kargil War?

A. It runs into thousands. The battlefield casualties were more than the combined casualties of the 1965 and 1971 wars. There is no official statement. Some say 2,700 and others say it was more. It was high on both sides.

Q. What was General Musharraf saying during the war?

A. He was telling me that the mujahideen was taking control of these places. But finally we came to know that rather than gaining control they were losing control (laughs).

Q. His briefing wasn't accurate.

A. No, he was hiding these things.

Q. Isn't that serious if your army chief hides all these facts?

A. Of course, that is another major charge against him. It would be part of the overall charge sheet that would be made against him. We will hold an inquiry, inshallah. We have demanded that a commission be appointed to go into the facts of the matter and to come up with a course of action. Our party has taken it up. We owe it to the mothers, wives and the children of the soldiers who lost their lives in Kargil.

Q. Why did you appoint him chief of army staff superseding so many other generals? Didn't you assess his true character?

A. Unfortunately, it was not written on his face for me to read it (laughs). Otherwise, I would not have made such a blunder. He was very submissive to start with. He looked very obedient-appeared to be very pro-democracy-which generals should be when they take their oath to uphold and abide by the Constitution of Pakistan, to obey the orders of the government of Pakistan and also to obey his superiors. He has openly defied his own oath.

Q. When the war was over, did you continue to interact with Musharraf?

A. Even after the war Musharraf used to brief me. I didn't agree with all that he had done-I was tolerating all that-the way he hid the facts. To be honest I took all the blame on myself and I wanted to swallow all this so that Pakistan doesn't get a bad name. I wanted to save the honour of Pakistan and take everything on my shoulders.

Q. Why didn't you just settle it with Vajpayee instead of asking President Clinton to mediate?

A. Good question. I would have to reveal lots of secrets if I tell you that. I can only tell you that I did express my desire to settle the matter directly with Mr Vajpayee. But it was Mr Musharraf who was keen that I meet Mr Clinton and come to a settlement. So that hamara bharam rah jayega (the illusion will be maintained).

Q. What exactly was your conversation with Clinton on July 4, 1999?

A. He said, 'You would have to withdraw troops if you want me to play any role.' I said, 'Please, play a role in resolving the Kashmir issue.' He said he would seriously play a role and he would try to help us or both countries in coming to a settlement. He did mention that it might not be possible for America to play any direct role unless the two sides were willing. And India, he said, was not willing to accept that role, therefore, it might not be possible for him to do so. But he said he would take special interest in finding a solution to the problem of Kashmir. I told him this was very important because I strongly believed in the normalisation of relations between Pakistan and India. Musharraf had, in fact, sabotaged the whole peace process.

Q. How close were you to a solution after the Lahore Declaration?

A. We were discussing various options and considering the best one to adopt. We were not trying to score a point over each other while we were negotiating. We were doing it in a nice, cosy atmosphere and not a hostile one. Mr Vajpayee had agreed that we should try and resolve the matter by 1999. But Kashmir being a very, very complicated issue, I didn't expect a settlement by 1999. We could have made some headway in getting closer.

Q. It is ironical that the proposals of the Lahore agreement are now making headway. Are you happy?

A. I wish that India should have talked to only a democratic set-up in Pakistan. It would have been much better if Vajpayee saab had not taken this matter forward with a government in Pakistan which is headed by a military dictator.

Q. You think Agra was a mistake.

A. At the first instance Mr Vajpayee should not have invited Mr Musharraf to Agra. And Agra turned out to be a disaster. Isn't that right? Once the process had been started by two democratic governments, I think, Mr Vajpayee should have rejected any offer from Mr Musharraf because he was the one who had sabotaged and subverted the whole process of peace between the two countries. Because he toppled my government. Because he was the one who openly declared after taking power that he would sort India out and avenge Kargil. Because Mr Musharraf is a military dictator. Mr Vajpayee should have said, 'No, no, no, we don't want to talk to you, you are the culprit.' He should have stuck to his ground and waited for a time when a democratic set-up came back to Pakistan. He could have then restarted the discussions with that set-up.

Q. Do you think Musharraf will give up wearing his uniform as demanded?

A. He has to. The Constitution says that he would have to give up his post of army chief by December.

Q. But will he do it?

A. Look at the way he ridicules Parliament and parliamentarians. He comes to Parliament in his uniform, sits there and meets them. This is very insulting and humiliating to Parliament and parliamentarians. They must not accept that.

Q. What is your opinion about how General Musharraf is bringing the military into almost every sphere of politics and civil administration?

A. This is not desirable. The military rank and file itself is not very happy with this sort of situation. It would be very wrong to say that the military as an institution is backing these policies these days. We can't blame the military for it is a one-man show that is going on in Pakistan. This one man doesn't have the support of the masses of the country, the people of Pakistan. The National Security Council should be convened to go into the need of legitimising the army in the national decision-making process so as to keep the army out of politics. It is like keeping the army in to keep the army out.

Q. What is your reaction to the removal of prime minister Jamali?

A. Mr Musharraf is turning Pakistan into a laughing stock-a tamasha. Even Jamali doesn't know why he resigned. The nation doesn't know why he has resigned. Look at the other man who has become prime minister for 45 days in the country. And Musharraf calls this a smooth transition. What bloody transition is this? This is an insult not only to the parliament, the politicians but also to the people of Pakistan.

Q. Many of your partymen, who were with you, have now joined him.

A. I am happy that those who deserted me are now with Mr Musharraf. They are the ones who would be the cause of his downfall. They may eventually desert him

Q. What is your opinion of the increased role of America in Pakistan's affairs?

A. I am not very happy with the US policy in Pakistan. Americans should not be supporting a military dictator. For Americans, democracy has been their hallmark. Through their policies in Pakistan they are alienating the political forces in the country and undermining the will of the people. They are providing support to a usurper of democracy which is against all principles of the US.

Q. Were you shocked by the charges against A.Q. Khan for leaking nuclear secrets?

A. Mr Musharraf cannot absolve himself of the charges that have been levelled against A.Q. Khan. Do you think Mr Musharraf, as chief of staff and as chief executive of the country, has been totally ignorant of what has been happening? Everything was being guarded by his own army, by his own people. If at all there was anything going on he is the one to be blamed. A.Q. Khan has been made the scapegoat. This is my conclusion and I can say it with full authority having been prime minister of Pakistan.

Q. Why don't you return?

A. I want to go back. Musharraf hasn't renewed my passport. Look at me, somebody who has been the prime minister of Pakistan not once but twice. I was once the chief minister of Punjab. I am the leader of a major party in Pakistan. Are former Indian prime ministers treated like this?

Q. Why did you agree to go into exile for 10 years in Saudi Arabia?

A. This is not all true. All of a sudden I got a message when I was in jail that 'we have made arrangement to go to Saudi Arabia'. What transpired between the Saudi crown prince and Musharraf is between them. And, well, I am grateful that the Saudi Government thought about us like that and felt we should come here.

Q. There was no deal.

A. I had no deal with Mr Musharraf and I would be the last man to do so. I could have struck a deal the first day when I was arrested from the prime minister's house and brought to an army mess in Rawalpindi. Three senior generals (names them) came to me in the middle of the night. They brought a piece of paper in which was written: I, Nawaz Sharif, hereby advise the President of Pakistan under article such and such of the constitution to dissolve the national assembly and I also resign the office of prime minister of Pakistan. They said 'sign it'. I said, 'Who the hell are you to ask me to sign this declaration?' They said, 'If you sign this paper you will be a free man but if you don't you will be in trouble.' I said 'over my dead body'. If I was to strike a deal with Mr Musharraf I could have struck a deal with them. Why wait so long in solitary confinement where I could not see the light of the day? In that dungeon all I could listen to was the sound of the birds.

Q. Will you soon be returning to Pakistan?

A. Yes, why not? Inshallah.

Q. Even if it means getting arrested and being thrown in jail?

A. I am not scared of being arrested. I had been under arrest for 14 months without rhyme or reason. I now have a role to save my country. I will struggle against this tyranny.

Q. In terms of going back do you have a plan?

A. Things could change tonight and I could go back tomorrow morning. The kind of politics that is being practised in Pakistan is not my cup of tea or Benazir's either. We must bring about a change. That will be our first priority. I am willing to join hands with Benazir (Bhutto). We will restore the Constitution to its original form passed in 1973 and take all the people to task who subverted the Constitution.


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