Kargil 末 From Surprise to Victory

Book Release by Gen. V P Malik

An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 26 April 2006

Kargil 1999 末 a controversial war limited to one sector, with Pakistan threatening to use other means, implying a nuclear attack if the war escalated.

The fighting was captured by the TV and media after the Army which tried to control media men as in past wars could not and did not know what embedding was. That is Indian democracy at work but it helped mobilise the nation. TV crews flew to Ladakh and drove in taxis to the front and Barkha Dutt became famous for her amazing reporting. All this and details of each regiment's achievements were well documented especially in a huge volume by Lt Gen Bammi, and those that failed to lead their men were even court- martialed.

Gen V P Malik of the Sikh Light Infantry of the illustrious 14th Course whose father was in the Indian Army, has now written a book and we all look forward to its release on 27th April in the India Habitat Centre with Delhi's Who's Who on the dais.

As Chief of Army Staff, Malik led the Army to victory in difficult political times, which the BJP wanted in a hurry. The initial response to the Pakistani incursion was slow as the Army Chief was away and the response system failed 末 the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee missed their Chairman Gen V P Malik and officiating chairman Admiral Sushil Kumar could not persuade the Air Chief who was senior in service but one day junior to him in appointment. He was firm that use of air power was not allowed within 8 km of the border. They forgot that in war as in love all is permissible.

Note the Mukhti Bahaini actions in 1971. Initially the Air Force response was tardy to start with but the heroic deeds of the Army, especially junior officers made the nation proud. The late but challenging response by the Air Force to use Mirages and laser guided bombs ingeniously and not to cross the border, were the highlights of the air action which was commented upon favourably in discussions in Pakistan recently.

The Indian Navy combined Fleets under now Vice Admiral Sureesh Mehta who is slated to be the next Chief of Naval Staff, were set to blockade and cripple Pakistan's oil route, was the classic naval maneuver. Finally Clinton on Thanksgiving Day in DC told Nawaz Sharif to give up or face the music of a blockade. The war ended. Now we can read the story from the horses mouth as the official records will not be released till 2049.

Now the story on how the Army slept on Intelligence provided by IB Chief Doval is going to be out. He claims IB Director Shyamal Dutta signed the UO note himself, indicating the importance of the information 末 which is unusual as Indian Intelligence like most other intelligence agencies do not name any sources or the writer and claim it was a joint effort, so that no personal blame accrues. The US system of reporting in computer friendly data mining from Embassies jointly by the political, intelligence, economic and cultural heads is well known and replicated by most countries. The computer picks up the reports for collation. This is now done by Crawler engines even in websites and newspaper offices and by Google. This will not be easy in India as the agencies are compartmentalised and have benefits too.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Indian Army Ignored Pakistani Troop Movements In 1999

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: The Indian Army ignored information about the movement of Pakistani troops in Kargil in 1999, claimed former India痴 Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Ajit Kumar Doval in an interview with a weekly newsmagazine Tehelka.

Doval, who headed the IB in 20045, rejected the widespread belief that Indian ignorance was 妬ntelligence failure, saying there had been definite intelligence but the Army did not act upon it. He also called the hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandahar in December 1999 a 渡ational intelligence failure and added that swapping Maulana Masood Azhar for the passengers was a 杜istake.

典here was definite intelligence about Kargil and communication was sent to the people concerned. The only defence given by certain agencies was that it was marked to a person and perhaps it didn稚 reach the person sitting on the other side of the table.

The former spy chief said that Pakistan痴 intentions had become known on June 2, 1998. 的ntelligence agencies were alerted nine months earlier and physical intelligence should have been collected by people patrolling that area, he said. The army patrolled that area on paper only, he added. 撤atrols had been going there for years, but not to the places showing in the logbooks 末 movement was shown but actual patrolling was not conducted.

The Army would have found something 末 cigarette butts, a blade or anything presuming they were patrolling the area, said Doval. Then IB director Shyamal Dutta had personally signed the communication on Kargil, he said. 典his was unusual because IB directors don稚 sign such documents normally, 砥nless it is something extremely important, he added.

Lamenting that there was 渡o response to Dutta痴 note, Doval said, 典he user agency must provide the feedback if the agency provided the information.

About the Indian Airlines hijack, he said the intelligence agencies should have been more alert. 的t was a national intelligence failure. We should have known that the planning was being done in Nepal. They came from Bangladesh, we should have known, said Doval, who went to Kandahar to negotiate the passengers release.

Brief Review of Gen Malik痴 Book

Kargil 末 From Surprise to Victory

By General V. P. Malik

A first-person account of the 1999 Kargil war: its genesis, planning,

conduct and impact from the man at the helm of affairs.

Even as the Indian Prime Minister and his Pakistani counterpart hugged each other after signing the Lahore declaration in February 1999, Pakistan army personnel, in the garb of jehadi militants, infiltrated into Indian territory at Kargil (located high in the Himalayas in the state of Jammu and Kashmir) and triggered off a limited conventional war between the world痴 newest nuclear-weapon states. The Pakistani Army achieved a tactical surprise, but failed at the strategic level. The outbreak of war at Kargil also revealed that the Pakistani political leadership was out of sync with the thinking and planning of the country痴 military top brass.

The author analyses the reasoning behind the Pakistani Army痴 moves and tactics and also focuses on the individuals responsible.

This incisive volume uncovers several new details and attempts to answer all crucial questions such as: What was the extent of intelligence and surveillance failure on the Indian side and why? What was the rationale for India痴 grand strategy of restraint despite being a victim of aggression? What was India痴 military strategy and how was the war managed? How were the battles in various sectors planned and executed (including tales of exemplary dedication and gallantry) to recapture the strategically important high-altitude mountaintops? What was the international response to the aggression due to the nuclear factor and the role played by USA and China? What was the impact of the war on Pakistan and India? What are the lessons to be learnt from Kargil on the military, political, and diplomatic fronts?

The author rounds off the book with a survey of Indo鳳ak security relations in the post-Kargil era. In this context, he takes stock of the 叢eace dialogue and its sustainability, given the fact that Pakistan痴 military rulers have yet to shun terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

The book is about history, setbacks and achievements, acts of valour, camaraderie and dedication with which the armed forces worked as a team. It describes events mostly at politico-military level and attempts to bring out essential lessons. It is rigorously researched, with all references.

General V.P. Malik was the Chief of the Army Staff (India) from 1 October 1997 to 30 September 2000. Concurrently, he was Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, from 1 January 1999 to 30 September 2000. In both these posts, he played a vital role in planning, coordinating and overseeing the military operations that enabled India to evict the Pakistani intruders in Kargil and thus turn the tables on Pakistan.

A graduate from the Defence Services Staff College and Madras University, General Malik is an alumnus of the National Defence College, New Delhi. He has been a member of India痴 National Security Advisory Board, and addressed many prestigious civil and military institutions in India and abroad. Currently, he heads the Institute of Security Studies in Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

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