Pakistan’s 1999 Kargil ‘adventure’ was India’s intelligence failure and Pakistan’s miscalculated move, a top former Pakistan army commander has said.
Islamabad, Jan 29/Nationalturk- The former Pakistan army general Lt Gen (Retd) Shahid Aziz has said country’s 1999 Kargil ‘adventure’ was India’s intelligence failure and Pakistan’s miscalculated move.
“Initially the Kargil operation was known only to General Parvez Musharraf, then Pakistan Army Chief, chief of general staff Lt Gen Mohammad Aziz, Commander of Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA) Lt Gen Javed Hassan and 10-Corps commander Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmad,” Shahid Aziz told Pakistan newspaper, The Dawn.
At the time of Kargil war in 1999, Lt Gen Shahid Aziz was serving as director general of the analysis wing of country’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Details of Kargil operation were hidden from most of army commanders
Stating that the details of Kargil adventure were hidden from the rest of the military commanders initially, he said majority of corps commanders and principal staff officers were kept in the dark. “Even the-then director general military operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Tauqir Zia came to know about it later”.
Shahid said General Musharraf used to issue orders to only those who were required to implement orders instead of first consulting corps commanders and other military officers.
The Kargil operation began in the summer of 1999 when Pakistani soldiers infiltrated into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control. The infiltration, which managed to cut off Indian supply lines, took India by surprise.
Musharraf never saw Kargil as a major operation
Lt Gen (Retd) Shahid Aziz said Pakistan Army did not plan the Kargil operation because Gen Musharraf never saw Kargil as a major operation. “Only the FCNA was involved in it and perhaps a section of 10-Corps”.
He, however, termed it (Kargil operation) as a major intelligence failure for India. India failed to detect movement of Indian soldiers in Kargil for some time.
“For Pakistan, it was a miscalculated move. Its objectives were not clear and its ramifications were not properly evaluated,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif was not completely in dark
Asked whether former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in know of the situation, Lt Gen (Retd) Shahid Aziz said he was personally not aware of what information had been shared with then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
He, however, recalls a general telling him that Nawaz Sharif asked “when are you giving us Kashmir?” during an informal discussion. “This suggests that Sharif was not completely in the dark,” he said.
He said he first discovered that something was up when he came across wireless communication intercepts from which he could tell that something was making the Indian forces panic. “I should have been told about the proposed operation in advance so that I could have provided my analysis in advance.”
Shahid said it seems that Pakistani military leadership was informed about such a critical operation only after it began and by that time information was trickling down to the media.
He said during a brief few days later, Lt Gen Tauqir Zia did explain the ‘objectives’ of the operation — it had cut off India’s supply lines to Siachen because of the closure of Zojila Pass on Srinagar-Drass-Kargil-Leh road.
This, said Gen Zia, would block India from supplying its troops in Siachen and subsequently, India would evacuate Siachen. That this did not happen is now history.
“This was because the planners miscalculated the Indian response and overall repercussions,” added retired army official.
This is the first time that a senior Pakistan military official, who was serving when Kargil war took place, has spoken in such detail about the operation.
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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk Pakistan News