INDIA DEFENCE CONSULTANTS
AN-32 INCIDENT VIS-A-VIS INDIA–PAKISTAN AGREEMENT
An IDC Analysis
Delhi, 22 March 2002
19th February an AN 32 flown by Air Marshal Vinod K Bhatia, to inaugurate
the extended Kargil airfield, crossed the LOC for some 11 minutes and was
hit by an ANZA missile fired by the Pakistanis. The aircraft lost one
engine but successfully landed at Leh airfield on the other engine.
Marshal M S Sekhon (who has since resigned) carried out a Board of Inquiry
into this incident and media reports say that both former Air Chiefs S K
Kaul and Sareen have dubbed it a minor incident. On the other hand IDC
believes that an aircraft flying 12 Km away from its path, that too over
enemy territory, when both sides are in a mobilised state cannot be
brushed off as a minor matter.
Air Marshal V K Bhatia reportedly said that he was only the co-pilot and put the blame squarely on the Navigator and the Pilot a Wing Commander.
this regard it would be interesting to peruse the contents of the
Agreement signed between India and Pakistan on 6 April 1991, on the
subject of giving each other notice of Military Movements –– which
seems to have been debunked in this case. IDC has separately posted a
linked analysis on India’s Mobilisation.
Agreement Between Pakistan and India on Advance Notice of Military Exercises, Manoeuvres and Troop Movements ––
April 1991 (New Delhi)
Pakistan and India recognise the need to jointly formulate an agreement at
the Government level on giving advance notice on exercises, manoeuvres and
troop movements in order to prevent any crisis situation arising due to
misreading of the other side's intentions. Therefore, the Governments of
Pakistan and India jointly decide that:
Their Land, Naval and Air Forces will avoid holding major military
(a) Land Forces:
1. India-Pakistan International Concentrations of Corps level (comprising
two or more Divisions) and above.
2. Line of Control and the area between the Manawar Tawi and Ravi Rivers,
Division level and above.
(b) Naval Forces: Any exercise
involving six or more ships of destroyer/frigate size and
above, exercising in company and crossing into the other's Exclusive
Economics Zone (EFZ).
(c) Air Force: Regional Command level and above.
Both sides may not conduct exercises of Land Forces at Divisional
level and above within five kilometres (kms) of the areas specified at
Paragraph 1. a. 1 and 2.
Both sides will provide notice regarding exercises of Land Forces
(b) All exercise/concentrations at Corps level within a distance of
seventy-five km in
specified at Paragraph 1. a.1. and
(c) All exercises above
Corps level irrespective of the distance.
Both sides will give fifteen days prior notice when formations with
defensive roles are
The schedule of major exercises with troops will be transmitted in
writing to the other
through diplomatic channels in advance as follows:
(a) Air exercises at
Regional Command level and above: Fifteen days.
(b) Divisional level
exercise, and major Naval exercise, and major Naval exercises involving
six or more ships of destroyer/frigate size and above, exercising in
company and crossing into the other's EEZ: Thirty days.
(c) Corps level
exercise: Sixty days.
Army level exercises: Ninety days provided that the above
provisions relate to the commencement of moves of formations and units
from their permanent locations for the proposed exercises:
Information on the following aspects of major exercises will be
(a) Type and level of
(b) General area of the
exercise on land, air and sea. In respect of air and sea
(c) Planned duration of
(d) Number and type of
(e) Any shifting of forces from
other Commands/Corps/Strategic formations envisaged. The move of strategic
formations, particularly armoured divisions, mechanised divisions, air
assault divisions/reserve infantry formations and artillery divisions/air
defence artillery divisions. Provided that in respect of major Air and
Naval exercise, only the information at Paragraphs a. to c. need to
In case some change in exercise area/grouping of participating formation
from the previously notified composition is necessitated, the country
carrying out the exercise will intimate the details of changes so as to
reach the other country at least thirty days in advance in respect of
Corps level exercises and above, and fifteen days in advance in respect of
divisional level exercises and Naval exercises. In respect of Air
exercises, if minor changes to the previously notified details are
necessitated, an advance notice of seven days will be provided.
Any induction/concentration of additional troops of a division size force
and above, within one hundred and fifty kms of areas specified at
Paragraph 1. a.1. and 2, for internal security duties and/or in aid of
civil power will be notified to the other side at least two days before
the start of their movements, whenever possible. In case of immediate
Each country will be entitled to obtain timely clarification from the
country undertaking military manoeuvres/exercises concerning the assembly
of formations, the extent, direction of the exercise and the duration.
The Naval ships and submarines belonging to the other country are not to
close less than three Nautical Miles (NMs) from each other so as to avoid
any accident while operating in international waters.
Combat aircraft including fighter, bomber reconnaissance, jet military
trainer and armed helicopter aircraft will not fly within ten kms of each
other's airspace, including the Air Defence Identification Zones (ADIZ),
except when such aircraft are operating from Jammu, Pathankot, Amritsar
and Suratgarh air bases on the Indian side, as well as Pasrur, Lahore,
Vehari and Rahim Yar Khan air bases on the Pakistan side, in which case
they will maintain a distance of five kms from each other's airspace.
Unarmed transport and logistics aircraft including unarmed helicopters and
Air Observation Post (AOP) aircraft will be permitted to operate up to
1,000 metres from each other's airspace
Aircraft of either country will refrain from buzzing surface units and
platforms of the other country in international waters.
This Agreement supersedes will previous understandings in so far as the
above points are concerned.
This Agreement is subject to ratification. It shall come into force with
effect from the date on which the Instruments of Ratification are
Done at New Delhi on this sixth day of April, 1991.
Republic of Pakistan
may draw one’s own conclusions from the AN-32 incident and the above
the media reported that Pakistan had carried out
large scale Exercises ‘Taimur’ in POK around 20 March for two
days with Infantry and Armour.
These may be pressure and morale boosting tactics, as the Indian media also reported that Indian troops were selectively demobilising. The Indian MEA spokeswoman stated Pakistan did not inform India about these exercises and this indicates that the so called Confidence Building Measures (CBM) have broken down and the World worries about the India–Pakistan situation being at a Flash point.