IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Aditya G
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IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 17 Nov 2002 16:35

Op Parakram is over and looking back at "India's War Against Terror By Attrition", I think some very valuable new positives happened for the IAF.

Some observations:

(1) The UAVs and the satellites are not there to impress the junta, they are being put to use and they have produced results. However, from Kargil-II it seems that the UAVs cannot replace actual patrolling of the frontlines by troops, Kargil-I happened even though there were chopper patrols.

Also, even though the UAVs are relaively new, they are seeing action: a couple were even shot-down, including one claimed by the Fizzelers.

(2) The Inter-Service co-operation is there for real. While the CDS is being implemented at the top and the creation of the present structure at Andamans, Op Khukri (Sierra Leone 2000) and Kargil-II are sufficient proof at the battlefield level. With the renewed emphasis on 'Spec Ops', Op Parakram forced the Army and the AF to smoothen things out in 2002 itself. As ACM Kitha said, Op Parakram has honed the IAF's skills.

However, I dont think the co-operation is as high as it should be. For example, the american SpecForces act as FACs for the USAF, I dont think this is the case with the IAF-IA (things may have started to change during this period though). The Paras are restricted to directing artillery fire and IAF has to send officers aboard Cheetaks to their job.

What prompted me to start this was a series of relatively detailed and recent news reports. Also, the Attrition War for Army had a thread started by Mike, and the IAF can use the same.

* It will be interesting to know how many flight hours the IAF did in these ten months. Anybody got any info?

* Why cannot they (the PR folks in the MoD) decide for once whether there was a 'Kargil-II' or not. :mad:

Admins feel free to do whatever with this thread.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 17 Nov 2002 16:36

Rediff: 'Indian forces were ready for raids into Pakistan'

Josy Joseph in New Delhi

Indian Army Special Forces and Indian Air Force had conducted mock commando attacks during Operation Parakram to prepare itself for possible lightning raids into Pakistani territory to destroy terrorist camps and their logistical bases.

"Most of our targets were on the hilly northern areas," a senior officer said, as the IAF gave the first detailed insight into its preparations during the standoff with Pakistan, which saw a heightened state of military mobilisation.
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The IAF also for the first time confirmed that it assisted the Indian Army in evicting Pakistani intruders from a military post along the Kashmir border

The officer told rediff.com they had pressed 12 fighters into services for what the media called 'Kargil II', and four of the fighters struck at the target within 24 hours of the army requesting assistance.

The army headquarters in August flatly denied 'Kargil II', when it was first reported.

"During entire Operation Parakram period we were fully prepared for deep penetration strikes into Pakistani territory, as the Western Air Command augmented its fighter and radar abilities," he said.

After the full mobilisation on both the sides, the IAF enjoyed a clear domination over their Pakistani counterparts, he added.

From peacetime's 12 squadrons, Pakistan had raised its air force deployment to 16 squadrons across India's Western Air Command, by almost completely draining out its Central Air Command to the border with India.

From its usual aircraft strength of some 144 fighters, the number was upped to 200 fighters fully ready against India.

The Western Air Command increased its squadron strength from the usual 17 to 23 and the number of aircraft from 204 to 272.

Against Pakistan's 20 air superiority fighters, Western Air Command had 58, and for the 60 deep strike fighters, the WAC had deployed 96 such aircraft.


The New Delhi-based Western Air Command of the IAF covers an area of some 400,000 square kilometres, and accounts for about 30 per cent of the entire IAF's man strength.

The biggest command of the air force covers most of Pakistan and a large bit of the Chinese border in the Ladakh side.

The Pakistani radar coverage was 'highly optimised towards low-level coverage', a senior WAC officer said.

The Pakistani weakness, however, was the lack of radar cover above a certain height. Pakistan's surface-to-air weapons were mostly shoulder-fired, like US-made Stingers, and were ineffective above some 10,000-feet height, the officer said. "India had comparatively powerful surface-to-air missiles."

Even now the WAC is ready to go into action 'within 24 hours', the officer added.
Source: http://www.rediff.com

* Nice info for ORBAT junkies! Summarised below from above:

IAF WAC normal: 17 Sqds (204 a/cs)
IAF WAC in bad-a$$ mood: 23 Sqds (272 a/cs )

PAF ??? Comm normal: 12 Sqds (144 Ac)
PAF ??? COmm in heightened state of 'alert': 16 (200 Ac)

PAF Air-superiority: 20 a/cs
IAF WAC: 58 " (2 Mirage sqds + 1 MiG-29?)

PAF Deep-Strike: 60 a/cs (ROSE Mirage 5s + 12 F-16Bs?)
IAF Deep-Strike: 96 (5 jags?)

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 17 Nov 2002 16:37

IAF officially acknowledges Kargil-II

TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2002 01:49:47 AM ]

NEW DELHI: Apart from extensively practising high-altitude precision bombing during Operation Parakram along the Indo-Pak border, the IAF also sharpened its skills in conducting helicopter-borne operations with special forces of the Army.

IAF officials on Wednesday also for the first time publicly acknowledged their role in dislodging Pakistani intruders from an Indian post in the Gurez-Machal sector in J&K towards the end of July. This incident, as reported earlier, came to be known as the 'Kargil-II intrusion'.

Officials said that the 10-month-long forward deployment was also used to get a measure of the extent of coverage of the Pakistani radars. "Satellite imagery and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) were extensively used to detect and pinpoint enemy radars," said an officer.

As for the 'Kargil-II' incident, the IAF had pressed into service four Mirage-2000 multi-role fighters to launch "pin-pointed ground attack operations" with laser-guided bombs to dislodge the Pakistani soldiers who had intruded into the Indian territory.

By the time the intruders were detected by Indian soldiers, they had occupied a strategic hill feature, the Loonda Post, overlooking the Neelam Valley. Both the countries suffered several casualties in the operation.

"We did what we had to... the Army had asked for our help and we went ahead and did what was required," said a senior official, responding to questions on the 'Kargil-II' incident.

IAF officials said that Pakistan, during the forward deployment, had mustered its almost total air force strength of 200 frontline fighters in the northern sector facing Punjab and J&K.

The Pakistan military high command, apart from their six 'main' air bases, had also activated 15 of their satellite bases during the period and boosted the fighter strength facing the IAF's Western Air Command from 12 to 16 squadrons.

"But we were fully prepared to overwhelm them if the directive was given. We had built up a comprehensive structure and also carried out extensive augmentation of our radars," said an officer.

Officials said that the IAF was now focussing on "greater reach and penetration capability", precision targetting, responsive intelligence and secure communications.
<I>We had built up a comprehensive structure and also carried out extensive augmentation of our radars," said an officer.</I>

What does this statement mean? i.e. comprehensive structure? augmentation of radars?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 17 Nov 2002 16:38

'Kargil II' did take place, confirms Indian Air Force

New Delhi, Nov 13

Nearly four months after the incident, the Indian Air Force(IAF) on Wednesday confirmed that Pakistani troops did occupy a strategic Indian post at the Neelam valley near Gurez in Jammu and Kashmir before the Army and the IAF evicted them in their joint "Kargil II" operation.

"We did what we had to. Of course, it was an operation jointly conducted with the Army", senior IAF officials here said.

The officials said the Army wanted the IAF's assistance in launching the operation and "we provided them whatever help was needed".

This is the first time that the IAF has officially confirmed the operation which it had initially tried to keep under wraps.

In late July when the two countries were engaged in a prolonged stand-off on their borders, the Indian security agencies came to know about the possession of the Indian post by the Pakistani troops through an unmanned aerial vehicle(UAV).

Immediately, it was decided by the top brass of the defence forces that the Pakistani troops must be evicted from the post.

The Army and the IAF launched a joint operation and succeeded in evicting the Pakistani troops but not before both sides suffered casualties.
Source: UNI /Sify

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 17 Nov 2002 22:13

Posted first by Rangudu:

The world came dangerously close to nuclear war in late July. The nuclear standoff between India and Pakistan became dangerously hot over the Pakistani occupation of a "strategic" border post that Indian troops then recaptured. There were casualties on both sides but the conflict remained confined to the immediate vicinity of the Neelam Valley near Gurez in Kashmir. Senior officers of the Indian air force have confirmed its role in the operation now known as Kargil II. (The first Kargil operation was an 1999 invasion of Kashmiri guerrillas from Pakistan territory.) "We did what we had to. Of course, it was an operation jointly conducted with the army," one says. The crisis began when a Predator-like unmanned aerial vehicle spotted the Pakistani troops on the wrong side of the line of control - LoC -- and the air force then flew cover and air support, and airlifted Special Forces and mountain troops to the Neelam Valley. The air force confirmation was then followed by a contradictory flurry of denials and "no comments" from various sections of the Defense Ministry. The story emerged because the air force wanted to show how close it was to India new army chief, Lt. Gen. Nirmal Chander Vij, who won his spurs by planning the original Kargil operations of 1999. General Vij is about to become a heartthrob, with all the starlets of the Indian film industry vying for bit parts in J.P. Dutta's new Kargil movie "LoC."
It seems that the paras got to kick puke in the PA's faces again eh!?

Source: http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20021114-100834-6290r

An reasonable piece of analysis by ramana in the older thread:

I think the crisis started when the TSP decided to provoke an incident on the eve of Richard Armitage's visit and present a fait accompli....They hoped that Amrithraj's visit would deter India from acting in its interests. And they could wipe the defeat of Kargil with this token incident.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Y I Patel » 19 Nov 2002 22:43

Interesting report buried in IE:

PoK blackout in anticipation of Indian air attack

http://www.indiaexpress.com/news/world/20020603-2.html

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rangudu » 21 Nov 2002 21:27

India used troops, IAF to evict Pak intrusion

India used troops, IAF to evict Pak intrusion

NEW DELHI, NOV 21 (PTI)

After a four-month silence over the issue, Government today said ground troops and IAF fighters had been used to evict Pakistani intrusion at point 3260 in Machil sector of Kupwara on August 2 at the height of 'Operation <u>Parikarma</u>' :roll: .

Disclosing this for the first time, Defence Minister George Fernandes told the Lok Sabha in a written reply that in the last week of July this year, Pakistani troops had intruded aproximately 800 metres into the Indian side of the LoC in what he described as "a relatively low feature having little tactical significance".

Fernandes told the House that it was only on August 2 with the appropriate action of ground troops backed by IAF fighters that Pakistani forces had been pushed out.

"Point 3260 is not considerded tactically important and viable for physical occupation by our own troops," the Minister said, adding being in close proxmity of the LoC and the area not being physically occupied, Pakistani troops had intruded into the area.

He said as the area round the feature was closely patrolled, Indian troops had noticed the Pakistani intrusion on July 26, after which a suitable action was launched to force out the enemy troops and to restore the sanctity of the LoC.

Fernandes, however, said as such no inquiry was ordered into the incident and Indian troops had suffered no casualties in the operation. "Casualties to Pakistan troops are not known," he added.

Reports of intrusion, on the pattern of Pakistani penetration in the Kargil sector in 1999, have been surfacing in media off and on and had been dubbed by Armed forces in their border despatches as 'Kargil II'.

However, the Defence Ministry particularly the IAF has been consistently denying the use of air power.

According to highly placed Defence Ministry sources, a battalion of the Sikh Regiment was guarding the sector, when the intrusion took place. The ground forces despite mounting two attacks had been unable to dislodge the Pakistani forces and ultimately had to call for air support.

Four IAF Multi-Role Mirage 2000 fighters had then swung into action and using precision bombs and missiles from a stand off distance flattened hastily-built Pakistani bunkers and defences on the feature, paving the way for Indian troops to evict the intruders.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rangudu » 22 Nov 2002 00:21

George admits to Pak intrusion in July

The government has officially admitted, for the first time, that the Pakistan Army had intruded into the Machchal sector across the Line of Control (LoC) and occupied an Indian post for several days in the last week of July.

Defence Minister George Fernandes made this admission in a written statement in the Lok Sabha on Thursday and said a combined operation was undertaken by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) on August 2 to evict Pakistani soldiers. He described the action as "appropriate".

The incident had been referred to as 'Kargil-II' in media reports emanating from Washington, which referred to the occupied Indian post as 'Loonda'.

But New Delhi had been cagey about admitting the intrusion at a time when the Indian armed forces were supposedly on the highest alert and in a full state of mobilisation as part of Operation Parakram — the largest troop build-up since independence.

As recently as November 13, the Ministry of Defence categorically denied the incident in an official press release. "The Indian Air Force refutes any operation like 'Kargil-II' as reported by a section of the media, and the associated reference about air operations in the sector," it said.

Fernandes, however, contradicted his own ministry. "There was a minor Pakistani intrusion, approximately 800 metres on our side of the LoC in the area of Point 3260," he said.

Fernandes sought to play down the seriousness of the incident: "Point 3260 is a relatively low lying feature having little tactical significance. It is not considered tactically important and viable for physical occupation by our own troops."

Fernandes also defended the armed forces, saying the intrusion had occurred since the area was not physically occupied.

No loss of life was suffered by the Indian troops during the operation, and casualties on the Pakistani side are not known. No inquiry was ordered into the incident, Fernandes said.

"In the August 2 operation, the IAF used four Mirage-2000 fighters for a precision-guided attack to blast out Pakistani soldiers from their positions at Loonda post. They were well entrenched.

“Twelve IAF fighters were in the air when the operation was launched," senior defence ministry sources said.

The army did the mopping up operations after the IAF blitzkrieg, and reoccupied the post.
If the Army did the mop up work and they could not get any estimate of the Paki body count, then I surmise that the M2Ks must have just vapourized the post. :eek:

Serves the Pakis right. Even with the high cost of PGMs, it doesn't make sense to launch frontal attacks on such posts with the potential to lose many men. Lives are much more important, especially young officers many of whom gave their lives in Kargil-1.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rudra » 22 Nov 2002 01:13

Matra AS30L ?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Phil » 22 Nov 2002 01:55

Could be Rudra or also one of the MATRA family of LGBs. Link here: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Info/LGB.html

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Skanhai » 22 Nov 2002 13:00

Why was this kept a secret? Why is it only now that this is being brought out?
All those newsflashes that the army was ready for raids in PAK, mean nothing. Fact is AGAIN that pak raided Indian territory. They were kicked out, but still .... Why are we still waiting? One more thing, at the hight of the tensions between India and pakistan, pakistan invaded Indian territory, and wasn't punished. Makes one think, what are they really doing in Delhi.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby daulat » 22 Nov 2002 14:30

What was going on was armed diplomacy and not warfare per se.

India was perversely being painted as the aggressor in the international media, since plucky little mushy was the west's bulwark against the 'bearded 72 houri coveter brigade' - so paks intruding was them trying to goad india into an escalation, gambling that america would step in. india evicting them is a signal that we won't tolerate any more stupidity and also a signal that we are being very restrained and (US) please tell those idiots to stop playing around and fooling with redlines

remember around that time the paks were ranting on about hair trigger nuclear responses - and shortly afterwards there was a big calming down about what would constitute a real trigger

no doubt in a few years time, we will see stories about colin powell fuming and stomping around getting mushy to back off from playing Dr. Strangelove {see current reports of powell telling mushy that he must ditch the tali-tubbies or else...}

it is tempting for us to focus on the tactical in these scenarios - but before open war has actually broken out, there are many many strategic and political issues to be addressed and messages to be sent

the paks now know that they can be winkled out of mountain strongpoints, not just at the bayonets end, but also just LGB'ed out without large scale indian casualties as in kargil 1

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 22 Nov 2002 17:25

From: http://www.mod.nic.in/pressreleases/content.asp?id=305

Pakistan troops had not occupied any strategic post on the Indian side of Line of Control during July 2002. However, in the last week of July 2002, there was a minor Pakistan intrusion, approximately 800 meters on our side of Line of Control in the area of Point 3260, a relatively low feature having little tactical significance. The intrusion was evicted by appropriate action of ground troops and Air Force on August 02, 2002.

Point 3260 is not considered tactically important and viable for physical occupation by our own troops. Being in close proximity of the Line of Control and the area not being physically occupied, Pakistan troops and intruded into this area. However, since the area is regularly patrolled by our own troops, they observed presence of some Pakistan troops in the area of Point 3260 on July 26, 2002, a suitable action was taken by the Indian troops to evict the intrusion and to restore the sanctity of the Line of Control. As such, no inquiry was ordered into the incident.

No loss of life was suffered by Indian troops during conduct of this operation. Casualties to Pakistan troops are not known.

This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri George Fernandes in a written reply to Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia and Smt Renuka Chowdhury in Lok Sabha today.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Raj Malhotra » 22 Nov 2002 18:22

We only know what pakis did, what we donot know is what IA is upto. If you remember Jasjit Singh in Jan-Feb 2002 was emphatic that action was “being” taken. Also was there not a GF statement that around 1500 pakis have been martyred in PoK by us around the same time. I think that indians give way more then we get.

I also believe that Akshardham and Kaluchak attacks were due to the things we are doing on the border.

On the second issue, india will not attack pakistan. I think this is obvious for some time that present GoI foreign and defense policy is decided by Mishra and Blackwill among themselves.

All this foot in the mouth disease is due to the fact that the statements are sometimes made without clearance by viceroy and feels bad.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby putnanja » 23 Nov 2002 05:13

From Today's Asian age, posting it in full as the link is available for only a day

George told IAF to clear peak
- By Seema Mustafa

New Delhi, Nov. 22: Defence minister George Fernandes personally cleared the use of air power to evict Pakistani troops from Loonda peak in the last week of July.

This was after the Indian Air Force rejected an informal request by the Army for the use of fighter jets to clear the peak with Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy making it clear that he would not oblige unless the request was signed and sealed by the minister.

Mr Fernandes, after repeated denials from his ministry, has finally confirmed the report by The Asian Age that Pakistani troops had occupied the strategic peak at a time when the Indian Army was on full alert, and that air power had been used to blast the resistance before it was re-occupied by Indian troops.

The confirmation to the Lok Sabha now allows The Asian Age to report details it had withheld at the time because of security reasons. The Indian Army, after discovering the presence of Pakistani troops on the peak, had approached the IAF to clear it through air action without necessarily bringing it to the notice of the entire ministry.

The Air Force Chief was reluctant to take unilateral action and insisted that the defence minister clear the request. The Army was finally left with no option but to approach Mr Fernandes after which the Mirage fighters were used. Mr Fernandes has admitted in a carefully worded reply to a question in the Lok Sabha: "There was a minor Pakistani intrusion, approximately 800 metres on our side of the LoC in the area of Point 3260." He claimed there were no Indian casualties while the number of dead on the Pakistani side were "not known." Defence sources had placed the number of Pakistani casualties at 28 at the time.

The defence minister claimed no inquiry was held. It is reliably learnt that an internal inquiry was ordered and the colonel in charge of the local unit responsible for the area was removed from office. He was subsequently reinstated on the grounds that his removal had affected the morale of the troops.

Mr Fernandes, in his written reply, also sought to make light of the incident by maintaining that Point 3260 "is a relatively low lying feature having little tactical significance. It is not considered tactically important and viable for physical occupation by our own troops." Loonda peak is just 220 km north of Srinagar and overlooks the Pakistani town of Kel. Kel, incidentally, is a major staging post for the infiltration of militants across the border into India. Its strategic importance is not in question, according to defence sources.

The IAF Chief had recently confirmed the use of air power to evacuate Pakistani troops while talking to reporters. Reports quoting the conversation were, however, categorically denied by the defence ministry on November 13, continuing the trend of denials ever since the news was first broken by The Asian Age. Officially, the Army is still in denial mode with the incident not being confirmed by the service till date. Internal inquiries were held, officers pinpointed for the blame, but Mr Fernandes is reportedly right in that no action has been initiated against any officer for the grave lapse.

Mr Fernandes and the defence chiefs have not explained how a fully mobilised Army on high alert could not detect a second Kargil-like operation by Pakistan. The Pakistani troops, as The Asian Age had reported and Mr Fernandes has now confirmed, were in position for several days before they were detected after a Sikh Light Infantry unit was ambushed.

A highly embarrassed Army realised it was not in a position to get rid of the Pakistanis without incurring serious losses, as had happened in the Kargil conflict when Indian troops climbing up to regain lost positions took the brunt of the fire from the Pakistanis lodged at higher levels. Defence sources had no hesitation in maintaining that the "Americans saved the day" at that time by directing Pakistan to move out.

Kargil-II took place after the Army had reportedly intensified patrolling and filled up the lacunae identified as having resulted in the first Kargil conflict. Parliament and the media were repeatedly assured that the defence services had beefed up security and that no such "lapse" would take place again. Interestingly, Pakistan, under US direction, maintained silence about the air action but at the time did claim to have exchanged fire with Indian troops, albeit in another sector altogether.

Pakistan claimed several Indian casualties but the claim was denied by the ministry here. It is reliably learnt that Pakistan lost about 21 personnel in the Kargil-II operation. Both India and Pakistan, however, decided to maintain a discreet silence about the incident as it was a military setback for both.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rangudu » 24 Nov 2002 07:45

Laser-guided bombs used to evict Pak troops from LoC

Mirage 2000 jets of the Indian Air Force used laser-guided bombs to blast fortified bunkers and trenches erected by intruding Pakistani troops who had occupied a feature along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in August.

The Indian Army called in the air force to evict Pakistani intruders who had dug into the area after ground operations failed to dislodge the fortifications erected on Point 3260 in the Gurez-Machal sector of the 742-km LoC, highly placed military sources said.

At least 11 Indian soldiers were reported to have died in the exchange of ground fire. Casualties of Pakistani soldiers were not known.

After over three months of denial, New Delhi Thursday officially admitted its army and air force carried out the operation on August 2 to evict Pakistani troops who had entered almost a kilometre inside Indian territory.

Defence Minister George Fernandes said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha that a "minor Pakistan intrusion, approximately 800 m on our side of the LoC" was brought to an end "by appropriate action of ground troops and air force".

The Indian defence ministry and the armed forces had previously denied that the operation -- referred to as "Kargil-II" in security circles -- had been conducted.

"The army asked for our help and we did what we had to do and we did it quietly," said a senior officer of the IAF's New Delhi-based western command who was closely associated with planning the air strikes.

"Twelve aircraft were airborne (on August 2) and four were used to hit the structures on Point 3260 with precision-guided munitions," the officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The structures included 'sangars', or makeshift bunkers, made with rocks.

Pakistan-backed intruders had constructed similar structures during the Kargil border conflict of 1999 in which 520 Indian soldiers were killed. In that conflict too, Mirage 2000 jets with Israeli-made laser-guided bombs were used to target these structures after Indian artillery fire proved to be ineffective.

Indian Army officers who did not want to be named said the intrusion on Point 3260, which overlooks the Neelam Valley, occurred after a colonel commanding a Sikh Light Infantry unit failed to get his troops to properly patrol the area.

"In the absence of patrols, Pakistani troops began converting a makeshift camp on Point 3260, an unoccupied mountain, into a fortified structure," said an army officer.

Indian troops were aware that Pakistani troops sometimes used the makeshift camp as a night halt while they were on patrol.

There are many unoccupied features along the LoC and, in keeping with an informal convention, both Indian and Pakistani troops refrain from erecting any permanent structures on them.

The Pakistani build-up was spotted in late July during a reconnaissance flight by an unmanned spy plane, which the Indian Army and air force inducted in large numbers after the Kargil border conflict to boost surveillance along the LoC.

Although Fernandes did not say how many Pakistani troops were involved in the intrusion, army officers said posts along the LoC are usually manned by a group of at least 12 soldiers.

"In this case, more Pakistani soldiers may have been involved," said an army officer.

The Indian Army initially mounted artillery attacks from three sides on the structures built by the Pakistanis.

Pakistani troops responded with equally fierce artillery fire, leading to the death of at least 11 Indian soldiers involved in ground operations to evict the intruders.

Most of the dead were Ladakh Scout soldiers attached to the Sikh Light Infantry troops.

"It was only after these losses that the army called in the air force," said an IAF official.

In his reply, Fernandes said: "Point 3260 is not considered tactically important and viable for occupation by our troops. Being in close proximity of the LoC and the area not being physically occupied, Pakistan troops had intruded into the area."

Fernandes, however, said: "No loss of life was suffered by Indian troops during the conduct of this operation. Casualties to Pakistan troops are not known."

Although the defence minister described Point 3260 as "a relatively low feature having little tactical significance," army officials said the Pakistani intrusion was significant for several reasons.

"The intrusion occurred when hundreds of thousands of our troops were engaged in Operation Parakram, the mobilisation along the Pakistan border, and there should have been no let up in our vigil," said an officer.

"Besides, the operation on Point 3260 could have escalated into major hostilities. The strongest point in our favour was that the operation was conducted well within Indian territory."

Islamabad had claimed in early August that Indian forces launched an "offensive" to set up a new post in the Neelam sector and intruded into Pakistan-held territory.

The Indian Army spokesman officially denied the Pakistani claim on August 3.

Both sides subsequently played down the incident, apparently in view of the implications it could have on their dragging military standoff that ended last month.

Despite the official denials over the past three months, Indian leaders discussed the intrusion on point 3260 with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage during his visit to New Delhi in mid-August, defence ministry sources said.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Michael » 24 Nov 2002 09:28

Isn't it a little fishy that no one even knows how many Indians died in Kargil-II and Operation Parakram?

This uncertainty doesn't reflect well on India's claim to be an open democracy.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Vivek K » 24 Nov 2002 09:42

Originally posted by Mike:
Isn't it a little fishy that no one even knows how many Indians died in Kargil-II and Operation Parakram?

This uncertainty doesn't reflect well on India's claim to be an open democracy.
Yeah that is right Mike! Can u ummmm tell me the kill rate of the 'higly glamourised' patriots in the gulf war? I believe it was labelled to have an accuracy in excess of 80% by CNN ? the US military during the war. Later it turned out that the missiles had a kill rate of only 11 - 13% (not sure).

The GOI has given its figures. You mean to say that you don't believe the figures?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Michael » 24 Nov 2002 12:36

Originally posted by Vivek.:
Yeah that is right Mike! Can u ummmm tell me the kill rate of the 'higly glamourised' patriots in the gulf war? I believe it was labelled to have an accuracy in excess of 80% by CNN ? the US military during the war. Later it turned out that the missiles had a kill rate of only 11 - 13% (not sure).


Point taken on the Patriots. But we're talking about human lives here. Men with families.

[b]The GOI has given its figures. You mean to say that you don't believe the figures?[/QB]
Which figures? The ones where India lost no personell, or the statement that said there were losses? And were the other losses from Parakram tallied and reported? I don't recall seeing them.

A little transparency might not be a bad thing unless there's a really nasty truth that needs to be hidden, in which case I'd have to say better to just cover it up.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby daulat » 25 Nov 2002 15:11

information transparency is not necessarily a good thing in a hot or even a warm situation. there is also the propaganda/psyops situation to be considered

note - actual UK Gulf War casualties were not apparent until well after the event (except for the 18 killed in an APC by the USAF!)

incidentally, NDTV's coverage of the Jammu incident yesterday was probably much more transparent than was necessary - wounded and dead being dragged out, dead terrorist being searched, etc.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rangudu » 03 Dec 2002 02:07

From Today's Daily Pioneer.

Let Army take a strategic decision

PK Vasudeva

Speaking in Islamabad on August 23, 2002, Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Rashid Qureshi alleged India had attacked positions in the Gultari sector of Kargil in the course of the night. Qureshi did not say exactly where the offensive had occurred, but claimed scores of Indian soldiers had been killed when Pakistan troops retaliated. The IAF, he claimed, had bombed Pakistan forward positions in support of ground troops. Army Headquarters immediately denied the reports of Qureshi who suffers from a credibility problem, given his often-dishonest recounting of events during and after the Kargil battle. The Army said it suffered no losses whatsoever.

Factually, India and Pakistan had been indulging in intense fighting in July and August over disputed peaks in the Kargil sector. In July, after 8 weeks of steady skirmishes, India re-occupied Point 5070 in Drass sector. Point 5070 named for its altitude in meters, dominates the strategically vital Mushkoh nullah in the Drass sub-sector. The Mushkoh nullah has been a key infiltration route in the Kargil war, and saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the 1999 war. Fighting continues even over point 5303 in the Marpo La area. The conflict of August 19 saw intense artillery exchanges up and down the LoC in the Kargil sector.

At the end of August, India used air power to attack Pakistan-held positions for the first time since the end of Kargil battle. At 1:15 pm on July 29, 8 Mirage 2000 aircrafts bombed Pakistan-held positions at Loonda post, on the Indian side of the LoC in the Machil sector. One thousand pound precise bombs were used to obliterate 4 bunkers occupied by Pakistan, while 155 mm Bofors howitzers were used to hit troops who had dug into forward trenches prepared by Indian troops in earlier years. At least 28 Pakistani soldiers, intelligence sources claim were killed in the fighting.

The fall of Loonda and recapture illustrates that the LoC management problems brutally exposed by the Kargil war still persist. Musharraf needs to be taught a lesson of disturbing peace in any part of India to say nothing of J&K, which is an integral part of India. The Army Headquarters insist freak whiteout conditions caused by rain and fog in the late July allowed Pakistan soldiers to occupy the positions. If Indian patrols were unable to dominate Loonda Post because of bad weather, however, it is hard to understand how Pakistani soldiers were able to do so in exactly the same weather conditions.

The failure was particularly serious, since Loonda Post faces out towards the forward town of Kel in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, a key route of infiltration to Indian side of Kashmir. As in Kargil, the infiltration was only detected only when a patrol of the Sikh Light Infantry was ambushed. At least 3 soldiers died in the ambush, however unofficial report many more casualties.

Part of the ongoing fighting can be attributed to the routine peak grabbing campaigns that take place each summer along the LoC, with both sides fighting to dominate key peaks as the snow melts. Had India failed to evict Pakistan from the Loonda Post, it would have entered into a wider conflict. Loonda Post occupation was probably motivated by the desire to ease pressure on the Neelam Valley, on which India has exercised a stranglehold in the past. Nonetheless, the local action could well have gone out of control.

India's key problem in regaining 5303 is that the highest peak in the area, Point 5353, is held by Pakistan. Troops fighting to recapture point 5303 have faced steady fire from Pakistan-held positions on the higher peak, making their task extremely difficult. The Army has lobbied the Defence Ministry for the last 2 years for a full-blown assault on Point 5353, which could include beside artillery fire, air support also.

The MoD as usual has failed to make a considered command decision, which should have been left with the Army Command only. This weakness of Indian strategy has let the Army down on a number of occasions and the junior leadership in the Army is feeling frustrated for inaction. Indecision on the part of the political leadership and politically motivated dithering is costing precious Indian soldiers' lives. If IAF could bomb Loonda Post, why can't the same means be used to retake Point 5353, which falls on the Indian side of the LoC? If a full-scale assault on Point 5353 is launched supported by all arms and air force, Pakistan will lose its stranglehold on the Srinagar-Leh route.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Bharat » 03 Dec 2002 03:27

<I>"In this case, more Pakistani soldiers may have been involved," said an army officer.

The Indian Army initially mounted artillery attacks from three sides on the structures built by the Pakistanis.

Pakistani troops responded with equally fierce artillery fire, leading to the death of at least 11 Indian soldiers involved in ground operations to evict the intruders.
""</I>

It is important to know the time response of the Pak arti strikes.How soon did they respond to the Indian arti and how effecively.
It is operationally an important aspect of attrition warfare.
Can some one give info on this??

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Joeqp » 03 Dec 2002 03:47

<I>The MoD as usual has failed to make a considered command decision, which should have been left with the Army Command only. This weakness of Indian strategy has let the Army down on a number of occasions and the junior leadership in the Army is feeling frustrated for inaction. Indecision on the part of the political leadership and politically motivated dithering is costing precious Indian soldiers' lives.</I>

Why should the IA even ask the MoD for permission for such routine tasks? There's something known as delegation of responsibility. Let the local Corps Commander do the job. If he needs IAF's help, let him talk to AOC WC. Deal with it at the Command level, at most. Why get the MoD involved? What will a babu sitting in Delhi know about the ground realities, anyway? I bet he won't be any better than the armchair generals we see over here!

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Bharat » 03 Dec 2002 04:01

The area commander should have the right to vacate intruders.
But as far as IAF is concerned the approval should be from the MOD.
The reason for that is IAF will be an increase in the level of warfare and this would lead to an egg in the face when local commander and IAF commander jump the gun.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 06 Dec 2002 15:20

Infiltration from across the border down: Army chief

Army chief General S Padmanabhan on Friday said that infiltration from across the border has been reduced by "about 43-44 per cent," which is reasonably good.

He was inaugurating a military building on the outskirts of Chennai.

Asked to comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks on the continuance of cross-border terrorism, he said remarks of the "leader of a great nation" are being considered carefully.

To another query about the pullback of heavy equipment from the forward areas, he said, "It was not a pullback but a redeployment and relocation of the equipment and forces. The exercise being carried out in the east, central and south of the forward areas would be completed by the end of December."

He described as "rubbish" reports of "mini Kargil", in which Pakistani troops allegedly occupied some forward posts and were later evicted with the use of air power.

Explaining the circumstances, Gen Padmanabhan said, "A patrol of about 15 Pakistani soldiers located themselves in an unoccupied area for about three days before they were discovered and thrown out."
Source: http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/dec/06army.htm

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rangudu » 10 Dec 2002 23:56

UPI Hears

The India-Pakistan crisis could be turning hot again in the cold snows of the Himalayas. The Indian army is pressing for full-scale assault to take a strategic hilltop called Point 5303 from Pakistan. Efforts so far to recapture the hill have been frustrated by Pakistani artillery fire from the even higher peak known as Point 5353, which is just on the Indian side of the line of control, so now the Indians want to take it out with airstrikes. The civilians in the Indian Defense Ministry are sitting on the assault plan submitted by the military, and the generals are getting restive, claiming that retaking the hilltops would "remove Pakistan's stranglehold on the strategic route from Srinagar to Leh."

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 16 Dec 2002 15:01

I recommend the latest India Today to everyone for archival. Costs 15 bucks. The cover story: "When India Came Close to War". It basically talks of 2 times in Jan and May when we almost did it. Some talk of our plans, the para cdos and the No 1 Tigers etc. good stuff. A lot of it is insider's view, previously unknown to us junta. The number of pages is not too many, but as i said, a lot was not there in the press earlier.

Plans of the Army, AF and the navy are briefly pointed out, and from the article one gets a clear impression that the IA and IAF were building their plans together. They dont eat samosas and discuss tea in those CCS meetings. I found it interesting that the Viraat would be used right from the start, infact as a "leader" to the naval offensive.

Also we finally get one fact: it was the tigers who did kicked puke butt in Kargil-II. Jagan/Nikhil/Rupak might like to update the squad history.

There are 2 absolutely saxxy pics of a M2000 - would be nice if shiv/jagan could scan them.

The issue is not online yet, so the desis :) can keep an eye on the site: http://www.india-today.com

I'll be away for some days, hope to see this thread expand to a few pages.

Does the BRT have any plans for a section on Operation Parakram? I think this is very important for BR to have one. BR can just start of with an article or two and slowly build up the content in the future ?

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rangudu » 16 Dec 2002 20:42

Aditya,

What is the date of the India Today issue and the cover photo?

I'll ask my Dad to buy and mail it to me.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Aditya G » 16 Dec 2002 20:59

You dont need to, posted first by Subin in the Pakistan Thread:

From: http://www.indiatoday.com/itoday/20021223/cover.shtml&SET=T

<center>When India Came Close To War

Twice this year, in January and June, India was on the verge of striking against Pakistan. Here's why it didn't.

By Shishir Gupta
</center>

======================================

Last Christmas, fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force's No. 1 Tiger Squadron of Mirage-2000 H aircraft were not in celebratory mode. Moved a week earlier from home base Gwalior to the forward base Adampur near Jalandhar, the Tigers packed pistols, high-protein Swiss chocolates and a quarter-inch map of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK). These would come in handy in case any of them was shot down behind enemy lines.

Their comrades in arms, the Indian Army's para-commandos, looked like the US marines with war paint, MP-5 sub-machine guns, infrared night-vision devices, Kevlar bulletproof jackets and hi-tech frequency-hopping radio sets. For the past week, the two elite forces had been secretly conducting mock raids in the hills of Jammu and Kashmir. This was not a routine exercise. It was preparation for war. Just how close India actually came to war, not once but twice, is emerging only now, and India Today was able to piece together key details.

It all began on December 13, 2001, when Pakistan-based terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attacked the Indian Parliament, killing nine people. As the real intent of the strike sunk in and evidence of Pakistan's involvement mounted, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee made it clear that India's patience had worn thin. At a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and the three service chiefs on December 15, Vajpayee asked the service chiefs, "Can we do something quickly?" All three responded in the affirmative. The CCS-comprising Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, the then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh, finance minister Yashwant Sinha, Defence Minister George Fernandes, Planning Commission Chairman K.C. Pant and National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra-agreed on a strike against PoK-based terrorists.

-------------------------------------------

Vajpayee wanted stikes on PoK-based terrorists, but Pakistan cleverly shifted their camps, limiting India's options

THE CAUSE

> The December 13 attack on Indian Parliament by Pakistan-based LeT and JeM jehadis that left nine dead.
> Pakistan's use of cross-border terrorism as state policy and ISI's abetment of terrorist groups in Jammu and Kashmir.
> The extremely low post-9/11 global tolerance for terrorists posing as freedom fighters.

THE BUILD-UP

> Government directs force mobilisation on December 18, 2001.
> Defensive corps in the western and southern sectors mobilised by December 28, 2001, the largest build-up since the 1971 war.
> IAF deploys 272 jets in the western sector; the navy moves its eastern fleet to the Arabian Sea.

THE D-DAY PLAN

A Mirage-2000 H, MiG-27 fighters to hit PoK-based terror camps with precision munition.
B Artillery guns to fire across the LoC targeting Pakistani troop bunkers and terrorist launch pads with laser-guided bombs.
C Under cover of artillery fire and air support, special forces to be para-dropped behind enemy lines to destroy terrorists and camps.

-----------------------------------------------

INDIA'S OFFENSIVE

> To use air-land battle to open various fronts on the LoC and stretch Pakistani forces in PoK.
> To push in a brigade of army commandos into PoK while regular troop formations retain tactical heights on the LoC against enemy offensive.
> To gain control over terrorist infiltration routes in PoK, destroy terrorist communication network and launch pads near the LoC.
> To stretch Pakistani forces at strategic Haji Pir pass and try to link up the Uri-Poonch axis.
> To occupy dominant heights on the LoC in Siachen, Kargil and in Poonch-Rajouri sectors.
> To hold on to PoK territory near the LoC and use it for future talks on Kashmir.

PAKISTAN'S COUNTER

> Packs the eastern sector with troops by moving two Peshawar-Corps divisions to Muzaffarabad and Punjab. Beefs up the Lahore area to counter the Indian attack in PoK.
> Places the Mangla-based Army Reserve North on red alert. Plans to launch a counter-offensive in Akhnoor sector.
> The focus of the Pakistani Air Force is on the Indian Western Command with 200 jets ready to counter the IAF fighters.
> The Pakistani Navy moves its key war assets from Karachi to Omara, Gwadar and Pasni ports.

THE US FACTOR

> Called for Indian restraint but conceded Delhi's right to respond to Islamist terrorist attacks.
> In case of a war by Pakistan, India would be hampered by the US forces in Pakistan and in north Arabian Sea.
> Declared LeT and JeM as terrorist outfits and put the heat on Musharraf to publicly renounce terrorism in Kashmir.
> Feared Musharraf would go nuclear after the Indian strike.

---------------------------------------------

WHY THE STRIKE WAS CALLED OFF

> Indian war planes would have to cross international borders as Pakistan, fearing strikes, moved terrorist camps from PoK to northern areas in Pakistan.
> The global community aligned firmly with India, realising for the first time that Kashmir was facing Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and not a freedom struggle.
> On January 12, Musharraf banned LeT and JeM and announced regulation of madarsas in his speech.
> Delhi's fear that Pakistan would launch full-scale war and call for global intervention in Kashmir.

==============================================

January 14, 2002
First Chance

Orders were immediately issued to mobilise troops-more than those in the runup to the 1971 war. Considering that it would take three to four weeks for deployment on the western borders, the armed forces planned action for the second week of January 2002. After much debate, the service chiefs opted for a limited offensive against the terrorists' training camps in PoK. It would essentially entail air force strikes to pulverise zones with a high concentration of camps-that's where the Tiger Squadron came in. A limited ground offensive by special forces of the army would further neutralise the camps and help occupy dominant positions on the loc (see graphic on previous page). D-day was tentatively fixed for January 14.

In Delhi's war calculus, limited action in PoK made sense as it would not only convey the Indian resolve to Pakistan but also keep international retribution to manageable levels. India, after all, was only taking a leaf out of the ongoing US action against Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida terrorists in Afghanistan. The daunting prospect of Pakistan launching an all-out offensive in response to the Indian action weighed heavily on the CCS. But the intelligence assessment that the Pakistani Army was not well prepared loaded the dice in India's favour. This meant that the chances of Pakistan launching a full-scale war were minimal. The Indian plans were also backed by a sound economy that was bolstered by low inflation, high forex and petroleum reserves. Sinha went on record saying the economy was prepared for war even though it was the last option.

A limited strike was a clever tactical option. The build-up indicated to the world, especially the US, that India was serious. If Pakistan wasn't reined in, India would have no option. Delhi also stepped up the diplomatic offensive, recalling its high commissioner and banning civilian flights from Pakistan. Picking up the war signals, Pakistan went into hypermode: it began mobilising forces and exchanged frantic calls with the US, getting President George W. Bush into the act. Secretary of State Colin Powell called India and Pakistan to cool down temperatures. British Prime Minister Tony Blair even flew to India in the first week of January to say that they were leaning on Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. As proof, the US declared LeT and JeM as terrorist groups. Advani, meanwhile, flew to the US on January 8, where he was briefed on the contents of Musharraf's impending landmark speech. The speech finally came on January 12, when Musharraf declared that terrorism in the name of Kashmir was unjustified. Practically giving in to Indian demands, he also announced plans to regulate madarsas and ban known terrorist groups operating out of Pakistan.

Besides Musharraf's speech, there was another factor that shot down the CCS plans of an immediate war when it met on January 13. Satellite imagery revealed that Pakistan had moved out most terrorist training camps from PoK in January, implying that the Indian forces would have to cross the international borders to achieve militarily significant results. This was risky as it would show India as an aggressor and could invite global intervention on Kashmir. So the CCS decided to give Musharraf another chance but keep the armed forces fully mobilised for war. And in a symbolic gesture on January 14, the Tiger Squadron destroyed an "enemy" bunker at Pokhran in Rajasthan with a laser-guided bomb.

----------------------------------------------

THE CAUSE

> Terrorists attack an army camp at Kaluchak on May 14, leaving 22 dead.
> Cross-border infiltration rises after a low spell in February and March.
> Musharraf fails to deliver on his January 12 speech.
> Pakistan-based jehadis become active in Kashmir, PoK camps return.

THE BUILD-UP

> CCS favours action against terrorists at its May 18 meeting.
> Plans to move Strike Corps I at Northern Command by June 3; Corps II moves between Suratgarh and Punjab; Corps XXI from Barmer to Rann of Kutch.
> Contingency plans firmed up by May 27 for second-strike against Pakistan's nuke attack.

THE D-DAY PLAN

A Backed by IAF jets, Stirke Corps 1 to launch attack from Akhnoor-Pathankot secotr.
B Simultaneous division-level hits in Kargil, Uri and Rajouri.
C Strike Corps II and XXI to engage the Pakistani counter-offensive from Multan-based Army Reserve South and target Pakistani economic assets in Singh if needed.

----------------------------------------------

INDIA'S OFFENSIVE

> Synergised attack by the Northern Command to split Pakistan's Army Reserve North and provide an opening in PoK.
> The Indian Navy fleet led by aircraft carrier INS Viraat to engage Pakistani warships and target economic assets. Karachi harbour to be blockaded if Pakistan launches a war.

PAKISTAN'S COUNTER

> To block Indian thrust in PoK, launch counter-offensive in Punjab and Rajasthan.
> Cause maximum attrition in the Indian forces and wait for monsoon stalemate.
> Use Agosta submarines to delay the Indian flotilla.

THE US FACTOR

> A full-scale India-Pakistan conflict could hamper the US operations against bin Laden's Al-Qaida terrorists in Afghanistan.
> The US told India it was putting pressure on Musharraf to permanently end cross-border infiltration in Kashmir.
> War could damage the growing Indo-US cooperation in nuclear energy, space, hi-tech equipment and defence.

---------------------------------------------

THE NUCLEAR FACTOR

> The US conveyed to India it was unsure about Pakistani
nuclear threshold, particularly after Musharraf and his UN representative
Munir Akram threatened to use nukes against India.
> India began exploring its second-strike options after Pakistan tested
N-capable Ghauri missile on May 25.
> Intelligence reports indicated that Pakistan had mobilised strategic
assets post-Kaluchak. Despite Indian military's assurance, the nuke
threat bothered Delhi.

WHY THE STRIKE WAS CALLED OFF

> Musharraf's May 27 speech assuring nothing was happening on the LoC; infiltration dipped to a new low in May and June.
> A big complication was the oncoming monsoons that could bog down the forces.
> US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage assured India on June 6 that Musharraf would end infiltration in Kashmir and dismantle terrorist infrastructure in PoK.
> Nuclear blackmail by Musharraf raised Indian fears that in case of war, the global community would intervene in Kashmir.

==============================================

June 10, 2002
Second Shot

The readiness strategy paid off when Pakistan's terrorist groups struck again on May 14. Storming into the army residential quarters at Kaluchak cantonment in Jammu, they killed 22 women and children. Even before the killings, India had accused Pakistan of failing to keep its promise on ending cross-border terrorism. A day after the massacre, a visibly tense Vajpayee told Parliament, "Hamein pratikar karna hoga (We will have to counter it)." On May 18, Vajpayee, along with Fernandes, was briefed on military preparedness by Director-General Military Operations Lt-General S.S. Chahal and Military Intelligence Chief Lt-General O.S. Lochab. Later, after a two-hour meeting, the ccs favoured military action against terrorists in Pakistan.

The political leadership apparently wanted limited action similar to the one in January. But after evaluating various military options, it was decided that action in PoK was not viable as Pakistan had beefed up its forces across the loc. Any action limited to forays across the loc would translate into minimum military gains and would risk attrition in the Indian forces. The military, however, favoured an all-out offensive that would stretch Pakistani troops across the international borders and give India an opening in PoK. So the armed forces came up with a daring plan: destroy Pakistan's war-waging potential and pulverise the terror factories in PoK. The June canvas was bigger than the January one, since Pakistan had packed areas north of Chenab with forces and military logic dictated the battle should not be confined to the loc. But there were serious limitations to the plans that worried the political bosses. With the monsoons imminent, the armed forces warned that the window for attack was extremely narrow. Any miscalculation could see the offensive bogged down with disastrous consequences.

Even as the debate raged, the military made its plans. The launch of the offensive was entrusted to Strike Corps I led by Lt-General J.J. Singh, who had directed military operations in Kargil war. The IAF, along with Strike Corps I, would initiate action in the Shakargarh bulge and engage Pakistan's Army Reserve North (ARN) spread from Muzaffarabad in PoK to the Shekhopura-Lahore area. The idea was to lock Pakistan's key strike corp in battle that was essentially a boxer's feint. The real offensive would be in PoK by strike formations moved in from the east and tasked to capture strategic points used by Pakistan to push in terrorists (see graphic).

The period considered for limited strikes was between May 23 and June 10. On May 22, at Kupwara brigade headquarters near the loc Vajpayee declared that "it was time for a decisive battle". A day later, the CCS met to assess the readiness of the country's key sectors in the event of a war. An economic review was also undertaken: Sinha said India's economy was a hundred times stronger than Pakistan's to bear hostilities, and RBI Governor Bimal Jalan pointed to a low inflation rate of 1.56 per cent and all-time high forex reserves of $55 billion (Rs 2,64,000 crore) to tide over the crisis. The crude oil and petroleum stock reserves, which should sustain the country for more than a month in a war, were also sufficient.

With the CCS endorsing a strike, Vajpayee wrote to Bush, Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac, saying Musharraf had failed to deliver on his January 12 speech and that India's patience was running out. Hectic diplomacy followed as Bush, Putin, Blair and even Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called and pleaded with Vajpayee not to take the extreme step. The global community conveyed to Delhi that it would impress on Musharraf to clarify his promise on stopping cross-border infiltration.

That June was an option considered seriously by the Vajpayee Government is borne out by the Defence Ministry's SOS for defence supplies to Israel during the month. But the global community urged restraint as it was worried Pakistan would use the nuclear card to address its conventional asymmetry against the Indian armed forces. Musharraf had already played the nuclear brinkmanship-hinting he would use nukes against India-in an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel in April. Pakistan had even tested three missiles-Ghauri (N-capable), Ghaznavi and Abdali-between May 25 and 28 as a deterrent to India's posture.

This belligerence forced India to review its N-capability to strike back-Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Anil Kakodkar and Defence Research and Development Organisation Secretary V.K. Aatre reportedly participated in a CCS meeting in late May. In the absence of any formalised strategic force command, the nuclear strategy was handled on a need-to-know basis by Mishra, who reportedly attended an AEC meeting on May 24 in Chennai and later flew to Manali to brief Vajpayee.

Pakistan's nuclear theatrics also led to Powell calling Musharraf five times in the last week of May and reading the riot act to him. Bush sent Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to Pakistan on June 5. He apparently asked Musharraf three times whether he would "permanently" end cross-border infiltration and help dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. He conveyed Musharraf's commitment to Powell while flying to Delhi on June 6, and to India, on arriving. On June 10, Powell disclosed Musharraf's promise to the world, by which time India had already called off its strike plans. The political logic was understandable as a full-frontal attack would translate into war. It was better to give Musharraf another chance. Or perhaps, the build-up was a shrewd ploy by India, not only in June but also in January, to force Pakistan as well as the world community into action.

Last week, Fernandes denied (to India Today) that India had been on the brink of war, claiming that at no point had the ccs given directions to the armed forces to take action against Pakistan. He, however, did not put it beyond the army generals to prepare for contingency plans. Mishra, on the other hand, reiterated that India had indeed been "close to war" in January and May. While refusing to disclose dates, he pointed out that on June 23, Vajpayee had said in an interview to the Washington Post that it was a "touch and go affair".

The Tiger Squadron, on its part, did have its share of action. On August 2, four Mirage fighters evicted Pakistani intruders 800 m across the loc in Machhil sector of Kashmir. In Washington, it was dubbed Kargil II. The Tigers know that given the murky Indo-Pak relations, all it will take is another carnage for them to be back in air, in action.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby ramana » 16 Dec 2002 22:55

Interesting account of events. A quick look shows the following.

A time lag of 5 ~10 days for CCS meets and further 10~15 days for forces to be mobilized.

Mushy times his speeches right near D-Day as if he was informed by his well wishers who in turn were informed or observed GOI. Lt Gen Kapil Vij is not told that party is called off for Jan 14.
Looks like the second shot was more extensive than the first one in scope.

Might have taken more time to put assets in place for this round as scope is more extensive. Also curious aspect of AEC being consulted second round but no mention in first round. In the other thread we had some speculative comments on the PAF plan to concentrate 200 planes on the Western Command's front.

I will let Yogi Patel to do the detailed review.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby gauravsavant » 16 Dec 2002 23:09

Sorry for deviating from the topic. Does anyone have any links for the Musharraf-Aziz tele conversation during Kargil-I


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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Surya » 16 Dec 2002 23:34

Lots of info for Yogi ;)

Raj Malhotra
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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Raj Malhotra » 16 Dec 2002 23:38

Originally posted by aditya.g:
Mishra, on the other hand, reiterated that India had indeed been "close to war" in January and May. While refusing to disclose dates, he pointed out that on June 23, Vajpayee had said in an interview to the Washington Post that it was a "touch and go affair".

This looks like a spin story leaked from PMO-read Brijesh Mishra to make Vajpayee look good. By end of Dec it was practically clear that no action was intended. (rest of my views about the this dispensation is self censored as they will not pass muster with the admins) if you want to find out any new spin story put out by PMO then read frontpage of TOI. I pointed out this long time back to Ramana. This so called plan or its watered down versions has appeared in various print versions of media many times.

Samir
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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Samir » 17 Dec 2002 00:41

Waah, waah, what aggressive reporting. Talk about Tigers and all you can come up with is their plans in case they get shot down. Wonderful. Oh, yeah, that sounds really aggressive. Mian, yeh Tiger hai ki billi?

ASPuar
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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby ASPuar » 17 Dec 2002 00:55

huh.. by the looks of the conversations between mush and his cronies, the govt of India is playing into their hands... they seem typical bullies, who will learn only after a good thrashing.

Umrao
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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Umrao » 17 Dec 2002 02:13

I agree with Raj Malhotra. The spin of brajesh is to allow Atalji a couple of Chavvas and Chekkas.

The only reliable person in this 'War of Thousand threats' episode was Pramod Mahajan. He clearly told , Straw and Blair that 'India's mobilization is 100% defensive'. Late it turned out exactly as he had said.

Only Atalji can waste 7 to 8 months with 7000 crs spent to show a (with)draw.

I say kudos to the leadership for saving the economy just like in the slogan 'Spend more and Save more' :)

Tim
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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Tim » 17 Dec 2002 02:35

Ramana,

Since Advani traveled to visit Musharraf on January 8, if I read this report correctly, I'm not sure that the speech was timed based on the reports from "well-wishers". There was also the little matter of Indian verbal nuclear threats by Fernandes and Padmanabhan about this time, which might have acted as a stimulant to action.

I have heard reports that India didn't cancel its military options until very late in the May-June window that the article speaks of.

Tim

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby Rangudu » 17 Dec 2002 02:42

Folks I found this interesting webpage on recent clashes at the LoC. Doea anyone know about this organization - "Kashmir Desk, Centre for South Asian Studies, Geneva"?

India-Pakistan: Recent Military Encounters on the Line of Control (LoC)

India-Pakistan: Recent Military Encounters on the Line of Control (LoC)

On August 23, 2002, Pakistan military spokesperson, Major-General Qureshi, announced that Pakistani troops had beaten back an Indian air-supported military offensive in the Gultari area. The Gultari area, facing Drass and Kargil, is on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC). The Pakistan's army spokesman claimed dozens of Indian military casualties in the process.

It was not immediately clear what encounter along the LoC Major-General Qureshi was referring to and what the real situation was. Nonetheless, an in-depth enquiry reveals different facets of the situation, where military activities blend together with diplomacy at a time when the United States is engaged in the region in an unprecedented fashion.

Major-General Qureshi's statement came as US Deputy-Secretary of State Richard Armitage was in New Delhi, attending a fresh round of talks on military de-escalation between India and Pakistan. The Pakistani allegation was clearly meant to incriminate India for its "aggressive" posturing and "unilateral" violation of the LoC. It should be noted that both countries are aware violation of the LoC is an option inconsistent with the UN Security Council Resolutions and the Shimla Agreement that are binding on both of them. Moreover, post-1971, the Line of Control is not only a cease-fire-line but a Line of (Actual) Control, a temporary status which should ultimately lead, according to most analysts, to the conversion of the LoC into a formal international border between the two estranged neighbours.

It should also be remembered that in May-June 1999, in one more instance of its violation of all previous treaties and agreements, the Pakistan Army and Pakistani-backed guerrillas infiltrated the Kargil-Drass sector on the Indian side of the LoC. The covert-operation's aim was to cut off these areas from Indian military and civilian control: the Kargil-Drass sector secures access to the Srinagar-Leh highway for military and civilian supplies. The take-over of this sector was meant at cutting off the entire Ladakh region from, and securing Pakistani troops' access to, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir's capital. During the previous winter, Pakistan's Army had taken positions way beyond the demarcated Line of Control into the Indian side of Kashmir, provoking India, in spring, to repulse the intruders. The operation resulted in the threat of a full-fledged war between the two countries. Washington's muscular diplomacy averted the course of action. Partly due to the capitulation of Pakistan's civilian government and partly to deflect attention from the failure of Pakistan Army's plans, the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Pervez Musharraf deposed Prime Minister Shariff in October 1999, in the third military coup out of four military rules since Pakistan's inception in 1947.

Since May 2002, the situation in the Kargil sector has been described by local military and civilian observers as 'volatile' again. Earlier this summer, Indian troops reoccupied Point 5070 (named, like others, after its altitude in meters) in the Drass Sector. Point 5070 dominates the strategically vital Mushkoh Nullah Stream, East of Drass sub-sector (the scene of the bloodiest fighting during the 99' Kargil war). To date, fighting continues over Point 5303 in the Marpo La area, West of Drass. The conflict lead, on August 19, to intense artillery exchanges up and down the LoC in the Kargil sector. On the other hand, the Indian Union Defence Ministry has so far resisted high level pressures for assault on Point 5353. Point 5353 (the highest feature in the Drass sector) is still occupied by Pakistani forces as a result of the Kargil offensive. Pakistan Army assaults from this point have hampered the retaking of this mountain area by Indian forces in order to restore their position prior to the June 1999 Kargil war.

On July 29, at 13:15, eight Indian Mirage 2000 aircraft sorties were carried out against Pakistan-held positions at Loonda Post, on the Indian side of the LoC, in the Marchil sector. A thousand pound precision-guided bombs were used to obliterate four bunkers occupied by Pakistan, while 155 millimetre Bofors Howitzers were used to hit troops who had dug into trenches prepared by Indian troops earlier. It is reported that at least 28 Pakistani soldiers were killed in this fighting. India may try to regain Point 5353 and precursor clashes, occurring almost on a day to day basis, may be what Major-General Qureshi was referring to in his 23 August statement. Furthermore, Major-General Qureshi was probably hopeful that his dramatic announcement would send a signal to the international community that the continuing clashes along the LoC could spiral out of control.

To his credit, Richard Armitage did not endorse Major-General Qureshi's claim even though he observed that, for the moment, Pakistan was not systematically providing militarily support to guerrillas infiltrating into Indian Kashmir. Hopefully, US intelligence, with the vast range of tools at its disposal, would be in a position to carefully analyse the situation and provide US policy-makers with an objective and accurate assessment of actual developments on the ground. Firm action is urgently needed by the USA and other countries with leverage on Pakistan so that the 140 million citizens of Pakistan can be spared the trauma of yet another war which their country can ill afford.

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Re: IA/IAF: Op Parakram and Kargil-II

Postby ramana » 17 Dec 2002 05:25



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