Terrorism Update
Show/Hide Search
    Click to Enlarge

A Window of Opportunity
Sudhir S. Bloeria*

During the first week of May 1999, Pakistan unleashed a storm of unprecedented magnitude in the little known Kargil area of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). Even though India has been inured to, and conditioned by, the last one decade of Pakistan-inspired proxy-war in the State, these belligerent incursions across the Line of Control (LoC) came as a rude shock, taking both the government and the security forces completely by surprise. It took India over two months to clear this transgression. Operations involved considerable concentration of troops with over one thousand soldiers killed and wounded and strenuous diplomatic effort and enormous costs. There have been differing accounts of the Pak forces’ occupation of Indian territory, but one observer has comprehensively summed them in these words:

The Pakistan army had established posts on seven prominent features dominating the National Highway – the lifeline connecting Kashmir valley to Ladakh. The closest feature was Tololing located barely two km from the highway and about four km from the Line of Control. Tololing is so close to the highway that a medium machine gun with a range of 1,800 meters is enough to stop vehicular movement. What the Rajputana Rifles troops discovered atop this dominating feature were well prepared bunkers with roofs made of corrugated galvanised iron (CGI) sheets as also long angle iron pickets to erect obstacles. The Pakistanis had separate bunkers for living and gun positions. Since these were located on the reverse slopes, artillery firing was not so effective. ‘It was good work, good planning. It would have taken them three to four months to build,’ said an officer".1

Since May 1999 there has also been criticism as well as analysis of the failure of the army and the intelligence agencies to detect the occupation of Indian territory by Pakistan, and the handling of the Kargil Operation, in all its manifestations, by the Government. Some defence analysts and strategic thinkers maintain that the Indian response to the challenge posed by Pakistan was, once again, muted and lacking in the sting that such an adventure should have attracted.

The Region

Whatever the other manifestations and fall out of these incidents have been, Kargil emerged as a prominent entity on the national scene and briefly captured and held world attention as well.

Kargil, with a geographical area of 14,036 square kilometres, is one of the two districts of the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir, the other being Leh. It has an estimated population of eighty-one thousand,2 and is subdivided into two tehsils, seven blocks, 65 panchayats and 129 villages. Kargil is the only town in the district.

The Kargil district was carved out in Ladakh in June 1979, and shares boundaries with Leh in the East, Himachal Pradesh in the South, and with Doda, Anantnag and Srinagar touching its western confines. Towards the North lie the Pakistan occupied territories of what are called the Northern Areas, including Skardu and Gilgit. The majority of the population is Shia Muslim, with very few Sunnis, as is the case in the Northern Areas as well. The Buddhists come next and are concentrated in the Zanskar tehsil. The district presents a composite tapestry of Balti, Ladakhi, Purki, Dardi, Zanskari and Shina cultures. Irrespective of their ethnic identities all these communities speak the Kargali language with ease.

Considering the cold desert conditions, mountainous terrain and difficulties of communication, infrastructure and civic services in Kargil district are relatively well developed. All but three of the 129 villages have been provided with drinking water and 79 villages are electrified; there are 478 kilometres of surfaced and 198 kilometres of un-surfaced roads, connecting 92 villages. 358 educational institutions are functioning in the district and there are 97 health institutions, including one district hospital and six primary health centres (PHCs).3 As in the rest of the Ladakh region, the terrain is mostly rocky and mountainous with heights ranging from eight thousand to eighteen thousand feet above mean sea level, mostly barren and devoid of any vegetation, with greenery existing only in Valleys and patches irrigated by fast flowing streams. The main population concentration, as also the cultivable area, is in the Suru Valley, which is drained by the Suru River. The district receives snowfall varying between two and five feet, with hardly any rainfall. Drass is said to be the second coldest inhabited place in the world, after Siberia in Russia.

Before 1947, Kargil was part of the erstwhile Ladakh Wazarat, which included areas of the present Leh and Kargil districts and the Skardu area. Gilgit in the North was a separate administrative unit. This entire Himalayan highland region was generally known as the Northern Areas, extending right up to the Karakoram Pass.4 The strategic importance of this region had been realised by the British over a century ago in the context of Russian expansionist ambitions towards the South of their empire. Lord Curzon called Gilgit one of the Northern gates of India. Describing its importance, E.F. Knight, who had travelled in the region in 1891, wrote, "Gilgit, the Northernmost outpost of the Indian Empire, covers all the passes over the Hindoo Koosh, from the Easternmost one, the Shimshal, to those at the head of the Yasin river, in the West…"5 Now, whatever position we take with regard to the debatable lands beyond the Hindoo Koosh, there can be no doubt as to what our course of action should be on the Southern slope. Our influence should at least extend up to that great mountain range which forms the natural frontier of India. It is necessary for the safeguarding of our Empire that we should at any rate hold our side of the mountain-gates; but unless we looked to it, Russia would soon have both sides under her control.6 Kashmir has been called the northern bastion of India. Gilgit can be described as her farther outpost. And hard by Gilgit it is that, in an undefined way, on the high Roof of the World – what more fitting a place! – The three greatest Empires of the Earth meet – Great Britain, Russia, and China."7 The Defence of India Plan prepared in the 1920s considered these areas to be of "vital importance".8

Most of the Northern Areas in this strategic region, consisting of a huge land mass of more than seventy thousand square kilometres of what was J&K territory, was illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947. The occupation followed a successful revolt against Maharaja Hari Singh by the Gilgit Scouts, supported by two British Officers, on October 31, 1947. Ever since, fully realising its strategic importance, Pakistan, has never loosened her grip on the region. Significantly, the entire recent operation by Pakistani forces in the Kargil sector was carried out from bases and training centres spread in Pakistan’s Northern Areas around Gilgit and Skardu, with the forward base at Olthingthang.

Successive Pakistani Governments, over the past five decades, have ruled this area with an iron hand leaving its inhabitants without political identity, civil rights or even constitutional status. Large populations of Afghan and Pakhtoon settlers have been inducted into the region to alter the demographic Shia character of the region.

In stark contrast, policy framers in India appear to have failed to realise the importance of the Northern Areas from a national security perspective and practically no efforts were made to regain Skardu and Gilgit during the 1947-48 conflict with Pakistan. In fact, even Leh and Kargil were saved from Pakistani occupation by skin of the teeth.9 This area continued to be neglected subsequently as well, which has resulted in major gaps in India’s knowledge of the Northern Areas. Indian intelligence was better informed on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), but had difficulty in collecting human intelligence in the Northern Areas. Unfortunately, till recently, not only successive Governments but also the intelligence community itself gave low priority to this area, even in terms of strengthening technical intelligence capabilities.10

The single-minded pursuit by Pakistan of its disruptive designs and the less than adequate Indian response has not been confined to the Kargil–Gilgit region alone, or to the period of, and immediately preceding, the Kargil War. The pattern has, unfortunately, been consistent in respect of the entire J&K area, right since 1947. To understand the full implications of Pakistan’s Kargil misadventure an over view of the contours of Indo-Pak conflicts since Independence is necessary.

Pakistan’s Involvement since 1947

Pakistan was born on August 14, 1947, a "moth eaten, truncated" country emerging out of political chaos, economic ruination, colossal transmigration, and dripping in the blood of communal violence. The Muslim League, which was responsible for the country’s creation, and its leadership headed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, also laid the foundations of the evils that have since afflicted that nation. Jinnah concentrated all effective power in the hands of the Governor General, a post he chose to occupy himself, thereby heralding the beginning of authoritarian rule, a legacy that persists. The country has been under a military dictatorship for more than half of its independent existence. Two other developments have simultaneously taken place with comparable consistency: an ever increasing dependence on foreign aid, both economic and political, and a continued devaluation and erosion of democratic norms and constitutional propriety. These trends have severely undermined Pakistan’s State structure. In spite of internal problems, financial difficulties and a fragile political edifice, however, Pakistan has been constantly, and consistently, focusing on gaining control of the J&K state through any means possible.

Unlike most of the rulers of the princely states in India, Maharaja Hari Singh of J&K found it difficult to decide on the issue of accession before the formal lapse of British paramountcy. Instead, he made the offer of a ‘standstill agreement’ to both India and Pakistan, on 12 August 1947. No agreement was signed with India prior to the State’s accession on 26 October 1947. However, a standstill agreement was executed with Pakistan. Postal and telegraph facilities in the state were placed under the control of the Pakistan Government, which also promised to continue the existing arrangement by which the state imported rice, wheat, cloth, ammunition, kerosene oil and petrol from West Punjab. However, Pakistan’s rulers had soon put into operation plans to force the Maharaja to accede to Pakistan. The strategy for achieving this was a multi-pronged approach based on armed invasion, subversion of the Muslim population––including military personnel––and economic blockade of the state.

The invasion of Kashmir by tribals was meticulously planned, carefully timed and competently executed. The main attack, Operation Gulmarg, was planned and launched by the Army Headquarters of Pakistan. The British Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army personally signed the orders within a few days of the creation of Pakistan. The main force consisted of tribals from the North West Frontier, who were organised into units of about 1000 each, called Lashkars, under the command of their respective Chiefs called Maliks; Pakistani Army personnel joined these tribals as stiffeners. Each Lashkar was provided with an army Major, a Captain and ten Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs). Major General Akbar Khan, who was given the code name Tariq,11 assisted by Brigadier Sher Khan, commanded the entire force. The operational plan envisaged six Lashkars to advance along the main road from Muzaffarabad to Srinagar via Domel, Uri and Baramulla. Two Lashkars each were to make subsidiary moves from Haji Pir Pass to Gulmarg and Tithwal to Handwara, Sopore and Bandipore, with the twin objectives of securing large chunks of territory as also to protect the flanks of the main column. The D-day for Operation Gulmarg was fixed as October 22, 1947.12

The main attack was launched, as planned, on the night of October 21/22, 1947, at Muzaffarabad. The raiders made a dash for Baramulla and Srinagar. A valiant and courageous rearguard action by Brigadier Rajinder Singh,13 Chief of Staff of the State Forces, and a handful of his men delayed the advance of the hostiles by four crucial days. This gave the Indian Army time to land its troops in Srinagar on the morning of October 27, after Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession. The Indian Army fought some spirited actions around Srinagar city, the most noteworthy being the battle of Budgam and Shalteng. These actions resulted in the complete rout of the hostiles, who were chased by the Indian Army to Uri and beyond.

During the summer of 1948, Pakistan tried to enlarge the area of conflict by opening two more fronts in Gurez and Ladakh. In a bold and wide sweep, its forces struck simultaneously at Drass and Kargil, and launched a drive towards Leh. Gilgit was by then already under Pakistani occupation and the Skardu garrison was effectively surrounded. The latter finally gave up on August 14, 1948, after a resistance lasting over six months. State Forces very thinly defended all three. Kargil was captured on May 19, while Drass was occupied a little later. By the second fortnight of May, the hostiles were practically knocking at the doors of Leh and had simultaneously reached Machoi near the mouth of Zojila.14 The entire Ladakh, Baltistan and Gilgit region had, thus, fallen into the raiders’ hands, with the exception of Leh to its East. The bid to capture Zojila and roll down from there into the Valley was made towards the last week of May, when 1 Patiala took up the defence of Zojila, together with a Company of 6 J&K Infantry already stationed there.15 There was no change in the position prevailing in the Valley during the latter part of 1948. With the Indian advance stalled at Uri and Tithwal, Muzaffarabad remained an elusive target. Indian successes in the Ladakh area, however, were more notable. In a significant operation, brilliantly planned and heroically executed, the Indian troops broke the Pakistani stranglehold over Zojila on November 1, 1948, with an almost super-human effort, conducting tank operations beyond 11,000 ft. and fighting in temperatures as low as minus 200C. This success was quickly exploited by moving further to recapture Drass on 16 November, and Kargil on 21 November, 1948. Another Indian column had proceeded from Leh and, brushing aside enemy resistance in Nimu and Khaltsi, joined with their own troops at Kargil on November 24. With this link up, the Leh and Kargil areas had been saved from falling into Pakistan’s hands. Skardu, the rest of Baltistan and the entire Gilgit region, however, could not be retrieved and remain under Pakistani occupation.

With India accepting the UN proposals for a cease-fire and Pakistan following suit, hostilities came to an end at midnight on December 31/January 1, 1949. India had lost over a third of the J&K State’s territory amounting to 78,114 square kilometres. This included the strategic region of Baltistan-Gilgit in the Northern highlands, Muzaffarabad district in the Jehlum Valley, Mirpur District of the Jammu division, and half of the Poonch Jagir – a tremendous loss by any standards.

During the entire period of conflict the Indian government always gave an impression that it was dealing with Pakistan at two different levels. At worst, Pakistan was an adversary in the limited context of J&K; in other matters, the dealings between the two countries continued at the normal pace. The transfer of substantial amounts of money to Pakistan, as well as the flow of defence material to that country continued – even while the two armies were engaged in open combat in one part of India. Not even once, during the entire period of operations, did the Government of India initiate any move by which Pakistan could feel threatened for her misadventure in J&K. On the contrary, it appears that efforts were made to reassure the adversary that the entire conflict would remain localised. Not even a threat was held to strike at the vulnerable areas of Pakistan outside J&K. Even within the State, i.e., within Indian territory, the Indian Air Force (IAF) was made to operate with its hands practically tied behind its back.

The second war with Pakistan, again caused because of her obsession with J&K, took place in 1965 when the military dictator Ayub Khan was at the helm of affairs. His adventurism was matched equally by his fiery and impulsive foreign minister Z.A. Bhutto. Both had convinced themselves of their military superiority, and the operation was to be, in a way, a repeat enactment of the 1947-48 bid. The guerrilla infiltration by Pakistanis into J&K, planned under the code name Operation Gibraltar, was noticed on August 5, 1965. Effective and vigorous counter action by the Indian Army followed and a large number of infiltrators were eliminated or arrested. The dismal end of Operation Gibraltar failed to deter Ayub Khan and Z.A. Bhutto, and in fact had an opposite effect. With General Moosa, the Pakistani Commander-in-Chief, they decided to launch a full-scale invasion along the cease fire line. In response, the Indians attacked and occupied the tactically important and heavily defended Haji Pir Pass on August 24. On the morning of September 1, 1965, the Pakistani forces launched a massive armoured thrust, backed by a large-scale infantry assault and heavy shelling in Chhamb in the Jammu sector. Pakistan had launched Operation Grand Slam as a last and desperate gamble.

India gave a befitting reply across the International Border, striking Pakistan in the Lahore-Sialkot sector on September 6. In the ensuing seventeen days, the Indian forces reached the outskirts of Lahore and of Sialkot City. The subsequent declaration of ceasefire, and the events that followed, however, were to prove that the ignoble performance of Pakistan’s military machine was more than counter balanced by its impressive performance in the field of foreign relations and diplomacy. Pakistan not only managed to retrieve her lost territory but also got back the strategic Haji Pir Pass.16

The 1971 war between India and Pakistan was occasioned by latter’s internal problems with her Eastern wing, and the all consuming desire of the ruling classes of Pakistan to perpetuate its stranglehold on that less fortunate territory. The ruling elite, with Bhutto as the leader of the largest political party in West Pakistan, were not prepared to allow Mujib-ur-Rehman, a Bengali, to form the government at the centre despite the clear victory of the Bengali dominated Awami League in the national elections. The story of Bhutto’s intransigence, the army’s brutal repression and the civil war in East Pakistan, which led to the creation of Bangladesh, is well known. The two-nation theory, founded in the genteel living rooms of Uttar Pradesh, was finally laid to rest in the paddy fields of Bangladesh. 17

During this conflict, major operations were conducted in J&K, particularly in the Jammu sector where the Pakistanis again took the initiative by attacking the Indian forces on December 3, and succeeded in occupying the areas right up to the Munnawar Tawi, including the village of Chhamb. In the Kargil sector, Indian troops succeeded in capturing some important enemy posts overlooking Kargil town,18 thus removing the threat to the Srinagar-Leh Highway, as also to the town itself, which was under direct observation from the posts on this feature.

After the fiasco of 1971, resulting in the loss of its eastern wing and the defeat of its armed forces, Pakistan’s prestige, with its economy and military capacity, touched rock bottom. Nevertheless, the abundance of petro-dollars in West Asia and Pakistan’s deft use of the Islamic card helped stabilise her economy within a few years. During this period, Pakistan’s flirtations with democracy proved short lived and the Army once again assumed control of the country in July 1977. General Zia ul Haq ruled his country with an iron fist during the following eleven years, till his death in an air crash. Out of his own acute religious beliefs, as also the domestic compulsions of containing the deteriorating internal situation, Zia actively encouraged the spread of fundamentalist and sectarian organisations within Pakistan and later outside the country as well. The Russian intervention in Afghanistan in December 1978 and the rise of Ayotullah Khomeni in Iran towards the beginning of 1979, once again, brought into emphasis Pakistan’s role as a ‘front line state’ and the most favoured ally in the eyes of the United States and her global interests. These factors further helped Pakistan consolidate her economy and build up military capabilities. The Inter Services Intelligence’s (ISI’s) considerable and active involvement in organising and sustaining anti-Soviet resistance by armed groups in Afghanistan provided Pakistan with enormous supplies of unaccounted arms and explosives, slush money and expertise in organising and spreading armed insurgency, experience that was applied with telling effect in the Indian Punjab.

The experience gained in organising and sustaining militancy in Punjab was synthesised with the lessons learnt in the two abortive attempts to annex J&K in 1947-48 and in 1965. A blue print of activities, as outlined in what has been revealed as Operation Topac, was prepared and set into motion by the beginning of 1988. It aimed at creating disturbances in the State by appealing to the Muslim sentiments of the population. The magnitude of activities acquired a new scale in order to enlarge the base of sympathisers. Pakistan provided arms, explosives and training to the militants to begin a new round of insurgency. The third – and by far the most sinister and cunning – attempt to annex and appropriate the State of J&K had commenced.19

Pakistan-inspired militancy erupted during the middle of 1988 and gathered momentum slowly, assuming full-blown proportions by the beginning of 1990. This low-cost proxy war thrust on India by Pakistan has inflicted untold miseries on the people of the State, and a tremendous strain on the resources of the nation and on the Indian Security Forces. From January 1990 to the end of September 1999, 43,305 incidents of terrorist violence had taken place in the State, resulting in the death of 11,307 civilians, 10,429 militants and 1962 security forces personnel.20 Forceful counter measures by the security forces, and the increasing alienation of the local population from the militants, brought the situation sufficiently under control to ensure the peaceful conduct of Parliamentary and State Assembly Elections in 1996. With the installation of a popular government, whatever little support the militants could muster amongst the local population shrank further to insignificance. This was a serious set back for Pakistan, and delivered an almost terminal blow to the apparatus of militancy that had so assiduously been built by the ISI. With the local elements amongst the militants decreasing progressively, Pakistan embarked on an alternative course, inducting foreign mercenaries in ever-increasing numbers. By 1997-98 the command and control of militancy had been taken over by these mercenaries, mostly belonging to Pakistan and Afghanistan, with a smattering of militants from countries including Sudan, Lebanon, Iran, and some of the Central Asian Republics. These mujahideen received their training and indoctrination in the fundamentalist seminaries – madarsas – of Pakistan. The experience of the Taliban experiment in Afghanistan was now being applied in J&K. This shift of emphasis from local to foreign elements, who were undoubtedly better trained, experienced, and more committed, did raise the levels of violence and the frequency of clashes with the security forces. But the primary objectives of disrupting the life of the people and discrediting the elected government were not realised. Even after sustained efforts of over a decade, Pakistan had not achieved anything beyond hurting and alienating the people of the State. It was against this backdrop that Pakistan appears to have focused her attention on Kargil.

Kargil: The Response to Pakistan’s Machinations

Pakistan’s repeated attempts to establish a foothold amongst the people of Kargil and subvert their loyalties to the nation have been thwarted by the local population right since 1947. In 1948, the raiders had occupied almost the entire Kargil area for few months, but they were not able to get any support or co-operation from the locals. The spontaneous welcome and enthusiasm that greeted the Indian liberating forces amply demonstrated the attitudes of the population. Pakistan made no further attempts in this area, even in 1965 when large-scale infiltration was engineered along almost the entire length of the ceasefire line in rest of the State. During the 1971 Operations, a couple of villages were part of the area where the Indian Army had made advances. The response of the people of these villages towards the Indian troops, as also the civil administration, was sufficient indication of their sense of relief on having become part of India again.21

A bulk of the population of Kargil is very religious, professing an orthodox Shia faith. They have nothing in common with or sympathies for, the rulers of Pakistan. On the contrary they have always mistrusted and disliked them. There is no commonality between the Kargalis and the people of Pakistan apart from religion. Even this tenuous link does not create much leeway because of the deep Shia-Sunni divide. In fact, the Kargil population is of the same stock as the people of Baltistan. The oppressive rule Pakistan has perpetuated in the entire Northern Areas since 1947, has alienated the Kargil population even further. For the interpretation of the tenets of their faith, the people of Kargil have traditionally looked up to the famous Islamic institutions and renowned theologists in Iraq.

Against this backdrop, Pakistan’s modus operandi for infiltration across the LoC in the Kargil area could not conform to the pattern that has been followed in other parts of the State. Tactics such as creation of cells comprising sympathisers among the local population, subversion of local youth, and use of fundamentalist front organisations to undermine the sentiment of the local population did not precede infiltration in Kargil. Instead, infiltration was effected without any support whatsoever from the locals. Indeed, clear evidence exists to shows that Pakistani troops entered the area and occupied positions in such a manner as to deliberately avoid any contact with the local population. Over the past decade the people of Kargil have shown no interest in Pakistani designs on Kashmir, and the stray attempts made by the militants to use the Kargil territory for infiltrating into Kashmir have also failed, with heavy loss of men and equipment to them. This has probably been the most important reason why Pakistan’s troops initiated and sustained intensive artillery attacks on Kargil town and the villages around it over the last few years, with considerable damage to life, limb and property in the area. The Pakistani shelling from across the LoC assumed serious proportions during 1998 and rose to a crescendo in the autumn of that year. According to an analyst, "Kargil town itself was devastated, and 17 civilians lost their lives. In a desperate attempt to ensure that the conflict did not escalate to the point where it would sabotage nascent efforts for a rapprochement with Pakistan, the Indian Army Chief, General V.P. Malik, is believed to have been instructed to ensure that his troops did not retaliate Pakistani fire with heavy caliber guns, including the 155-mm Bofors howitzers."22

Towards the latter half of 1998, Pakistani firing and shelling had seriously disrupted the life of the local population, especially between Drass and Kargil, and more so of the people of Kargil town.23 Certain stretches of the road between Drass and Kargil, where Pakistan observers could see the traffic on the road, were so systematically brought under enemy fire that almost the entire vehicular movement on these stretches used to take place in the dark, with all lights, including the tail lights of vehicles, switched off. Kargil town wore a deserted look, and few shops would open even during the day. Shopkeepers and people working in Government offices would move for safety to adjoining villages as soon as night fell and the local population’s resentment against Pakistan had reached an all-time high. The shelling from across the border continued, at considerable intensity, till the end of October, tapering off thereafter to a practical standstill during end-November 1998. It picked up again only as the crisis broke out in May 1999.

Operation Vijay

It is now evident that Pakistani Army regulars along with the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were responsible for crossing the LoC and occupying important heights as well as areas of tactical importance, right from the Mushkoh Valley to Chorbat La in Batalik and beyond and to Turtuk in the North. Though the exact timing of this ingress and occupation, and the preparation of defences in respect of each of the positions occupied, is yet to be reliably determined, it is safe to assume that this was done during autumn 1998 and spring 1999. Ironically, at the time of the Lahore-Bus-Diplomacy, and the meeting between the Indian Prime Minister and his Pakistani counterpart, in February 1999, considerable effort and resources of the Pakistan Army had already been expended towards creating trouble across the LoC in the Kargil sector. The confrontation between the Indian Army and Pakistani forces, which commenced in early May 1999, continued for two and a half months and even threatened a much wider conflagration at certain points, before the situation was defused in the second fortnight of July. During this period, the Indian Army, under Operation Vijay, used air power for the first time since 1971, although on a restricted scale and under considerable constraints. The salient features of the Kargil confrontation during this period comprise the following elements.

Trouble began on May 5 when two army patrols in the snow-clad Yaldor area in the Kargil region spotted a group of men, apparently from PoK. A larger patrol, which went to crosscheck, was ambushed and lost four soldiers.24 A week later, based on the reports of the number of patrols sent along the LoC in this sector and on the basis of aerial reconnaissance, the army realised that the ingress by Pakistanis was fairly large and widespread on the ridges and areas of tactical importance in Mushkoh valley and facing Drass, Kaksar, Kargil and Batalik. Tentative Indian attempts to clear some of the positions attracted heavy bombardment by Pakistani artillery. The army also realised that, apart from the extensive scale of the operation, the Pakistani soldiers were not there with the narrow intention of infiltration, but had established regular positions with attendant defences and fortifications in most of the locations. Clearly, the situation was extremely serious from the Indian point of view although the extent of the Pakistani intrusion had not yet been fully realised.

By the middle of May, the army was discovering fresh Pakistani-held positions on an alarmingly regular basis spanning the entire Kargil sector; from the Mushkoh valley in the West to Chorbat La in the East.25 Overseeing these operations, the 15 Corps Headquarters acknowledged that, by May 20, the Indian forces had lost 15 soldiers, with another 30 injured. 40 infiltrators had also been reported killed in the operations till that date. As the clashes between the two forces increased with the attendant intensity of shelling across the border, civilian life in the area was totally disrupted. Drass and eleven villages surrounding it were completely deserted. The Kargil town and villages around it registered a migration of more than 50 per cent of the population to safer areas, further south in the Suru Valley. The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, flew into Kargil on 18 May to reassure the local population, supervise relief work, and ensure an efficient functioning of the civil administration.26 On May 25, the country’s Cabinet Committee on Security met for the first time to review the prevailing situation.27 More than 50 Indian soldiers were, by then, dead.28

The situation in Kargil entered a new phase when the IAF was brought in, though on a limited scale in a ground support role, on May 26. MiG fighter-bombers and helicopter gunships struck twice on that day against enemy formations in the Drass sector. All the targets engaged by the IAF were well on the Indian side of the LoC. The air strikes continued into the next day. Two MiG aircraft were lost, with one MiG-27 M crashing after its pilot ejected following engine trouble; Pakistan captured Flt. Lt. Nachiketa.29 A MiG 21, on a location and rescue mission, was shot down and the pilot, Sq. Ldr. Ajay Ahuja, was captured and shot in cold blood. The IAF also lost one Mi-17 helicopter gunship and four crew the following day, after which attack helicopters were withdrawn from air operations and Mirage 2000s were pressed into service for aerial reconnaissance and special missions. The Mirages pounded the positions of the infiltrators with telling effect, especially in the Mushkoh valley, using laser-guided rockets and cluster bombs. The Mirages’ superior avionics helped evade the Stinger missiles that had threatened earlier operations. The use of the Airforce came at a critical moment in the operations, when the Army’s actions against the enemy were just picking momentum. The air strikes boosted the morale of Indian soldiers, with an opposite and desired impact on the enemy, even as they helped soften targets for eventual reoccupation by the infantry.

In addition to the deployment of the IAF, the Indian Navy was also put on high alert, and a certain repositioning of its ships undertaken, even though no occasion arose to use the fighting capabilities of India’s sea power. Towards the end of May, the Indian Navy’s Strike elements were moved from the Eastern to the Western seaboard, and during the first week of June most of the Eastern Fleet was also moved to the Arabian Sea. These steps were intended to avoid any surprises and convey the kind of strategic threat that the Indian Navy could pose to Pakistan. The moves caused substantial concern in Islamabad.30

By June 6, troops and logistic build-up by the Army had been sufficiently achieved to launch effective counter-strikes in Kargil and Drass sectors with the immediate aim of clearing the threat to the vital line of communication on the Srinagar-Leh highway. June 9 was a dark day in the ongoing conflict when the mutilated and tortured bodies of Lt. Saurav Kalia and five others were received from Pakistan. These six Indian soldiers had been missing since May 14 while on a patrol in the Kaksar sector. "It was clearly aimed at causing a national outrage and provoking India further. It was just the most recent example of Pakistan’s determination to prolong its Kargil offensive and escalate the war on Kashmir’s borders and focus international attention on the dispute."31

The Indian counter-offensive produced its first significant result in the capture of Tololing Peak in the Drass Sector on June 13. It was on the same day that Prime Minister Vajpayee visited Kargil. He and his entourage had a near escape from Pakistani shelling. On July 2, Naik Inayat Ali of Pakistan’s 5 Northern Light Infantry was captured in Batalik sector, providing concrete and irrefutable proof, if any proof was needed, of the Pakistan Army’s presence and involvement on the Indian side of the LOC. By the beginning of July, considerable headway had been made in Mushkoh valley and Drass Sectors. However, the progress in Kaksar and Batalik was comparatively less, even though the army had maintained constant pressure.

American efforts to defuse the tension between India and Pakistan, and disengage the two armies, had started on June 15, with President Clinton urging Prime Minister Sharief to withdraw his country’s forces from Indian territory. During the next three weeks intense diplomatic activity followed, including a visit by General Zinni to Islamabad. American pressure, widespread condemnation from the world community including China, and the Indian forces gradual but unmistakable advances forced Nawaz Sharief and the Pakistan Army to back off. On July 11, Pakistani elements began retreating and the Indian territory was reportedly fully vacated on July 16, 1999. Two days before this, the Indian Prime Minister declared Operation Vijay a success.

In any military conflict it is almost impossible to exactly find out the resources used by the contending parties, and only rough estimates are possible. One report, quoting Lt.Gen. Krishan Pal, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, mentioned that, in all, nine battalions, including two teams of 9 Para, were deployed in Drass and Mushkoh sub-sector, six battalions in Batalik, while one battalion was used in Kaksar.32 Pakistani manpower in this sector appeared to be in the range of eleven battalions, including Pakistan Army regulars, Northern Light Infantry Units, SSG troops and mercenaries.

The Indian Army also reportedly deployed 300 artillery pieces, including 100 Bofors guns. The IAF logged 550 strike missions, 150 reconnaissance missions and 500 escort missions. Besides, 2,185 chopper sorties were also conducted. The cost of the conflict in monetary terms, for India, has been projected at Rs. 11.1 billion. In terms of manpower, the most precious national resource, 407 soldiers were killed, 584 injured and 6 missing. Pakistani casualties were estimated to be at 696 killed.33 In the final analysis, identifying the most important assets, a war-veteran of this area wrote, "Kargil proved that both young officers and the Bofors were a winning factor".34

The Assessment

Expert comments on and analyses of the Kargil operations have ranged between high praise for the Indian forces and stinging criticism of the failure of commanders and units in not being able to track enemy ingress sufficiently in advance and take immediate counter measures. The higher direction of operations, both at the military as well as the political level, also came under criticism. It would be useful to go through some representative samples of the post-operations assessment made by experts in the field. According to a former Vice-Chief of the Army Staff:

Local commanders also ought to have been maintaining contact with the local village communities who have excellent information on any unusual movements in the area. I am totally mystified and perplexed as a military professional, how something of this kind could have happened. Frankly it is incredible – I am unclear whether there were helicopter patrols in winter, which we used to have in our time. If there were such patrols they should have certainly spotted something – I cannot believe a thousand to two thousand infiltrators could not be detected by routine physical patrolling.35

In a similar vein, Prem Shanker Jha, pointed out that the Indian Intelligence "has at least one and possibly two operatives in Switzerland [;] it failed to get even an inkling of Pakistan’s purchase of 40,000 pairs of snowboots, ultra-light rucksacks, down-filled parkas and snow goggles last summer. Similarly, if it has an operative in Baltistan, that operative must have been fast asleep. For, the Pakistanis were improving roads and strengthening bridges to the LoC and building supply camps at its base all last summer." He also pointed out a serious gap in Indian armament, thus: "It is not only that Pakistani soldiers were far better equipped. It is that 80% of all our deaths occurred in Pakistani artillery fire we couldn’t suppress[,] as the army lacked a counter battery, or weapon-locating radar (WLR, which Pakistan has had for 15 years)."36 K.Shankar Vajpai has opined that we cannot afford to handle security with our habitual slackness.37 Another view on the enemy forces indicates:

Pakistan relied primarily on troops from the Northern Light Infantry… because soldiers of this regiment are mostly young local men from the mountainous regions of Skardu, PoK, Baltistan, Gilgit and the North West Frontier Province. They are fully acclimatized to military activities at high altitudes. They were ordered to shed their uniform, put on salwar kameez, grow beards and wear skullcaps. Regular Pakistani army officers and soldiers carried out most of the military operations. Pakistan had also deployed squadrons of its helicopters and artillery to give cover to the military offensive. The Forces Commander, Northern Areas (FCNA) and the higher command of the 10th Corps of the Pakistan Army provided command and control and back-up for the military operation. We are dealing with a Pakistan army, which is a force indoctrinated in religious dogma and extremism without commitment to normal military norms.38

There may be important lessons for us in these observations. Commenting on Pakistan’s strategy, Lt. Gen. V. R. Raghvan (Retd), former Director General of Military Operations, stated: "In this conflict Pakistan has chosen a ground or theatre of operations where India’s military might cannot be brought to bear. It is not possible for India to use its strike Corps, tank divisions or air force to full advantage in these mountainous heights. The second factor to be borne in mind is that Pakistan’s gambit of using a small element of its regular force with huge ballast of irregulars has succeeded in drawing a minimum of three Indian Divisions into a small pocket of Drass to Batalik."39

The Pakistani perspective on this conflict is also interesting:

The finest institution in this land, the bedrock of our existence, is now directly under attack because an initiative was not fully thought out as to possible consequences. More than a hundred officers and men of this magnificent army have paid a terrible price in blood for this negligence. On the other hand, though belated, we have begun to recognise the sacrifice and valour of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI). This was a must. No single unit of our Army has inflicted such damage on men, morale and equipment of the Indians in their history as the NLI has done, a handful holding at bay for weeks a force at least sixty to seventy times their strength. They deserve battle honours collectively and recognition of their valour individually. Though in sacrificing their life and limb they took a tremendous toll of the enemy in many times their own dead and wounded, because of mishandling the Indians have turned their military disaster on the ground into a victory in the media.40

Former Pakistan Army Chief General Aslam Beg has said that those who thought Kargil a misadventure "are cowards, the mujahideen have acted in a calculated way. Now it will be difficult for the international community and India to push Kashmir under the carpet".41

The Indian army, in addition to the lack of resources in the initial stages as well as the extremely difficult task of dislodging a determined adversary from well defended mountain heights, had to reckon with other disadvantages. Ideally the army would have adopted the "encircle and squeeze" tactic to evict intruders. "But it [had] strong orders not to cross the LOC into POK which mean[t] that it [could not] really cut off the Pakistan army’s supplies to the intruders at many of the key ridges. Also given the inhospitable terrain, which is almost like Siachin, the Indian army was initially ill prepared to take up such a large scale intrusion. Almost half of its front line troops were without what is known as "Glacier Clothing" to withstand extreme weather in the high reaches and fresh supplies took time in coming. Equipment malfunctioning and accuracy of fire was affected."42 K. Subrahmanyam, the noted defence analyst, commented thus, on the higher direction of the national security issues:

Kargil proves that national security cannot be handled as a part time vocation. It requires full time attention of a National Security Advisor and a fully and adequately manned National Security Council Secretariat and well-coordinated procedures to ensure that there are no lapses in intelligence assessment, policy formulation and purposeful direction in matters relating to country’s security. That calls for a total revamping of our national security set up, which has to be undertaken after the elections.43

He also showered high praises on the leadership qualities of young officers who led from the front and who took casualties disproportionate to average ratios, in terms of officers to jawans, in normal infantry battles, a view that was widely echoed.44

An Overview

Going by the deliberate nature of the defensive positions that the Pakistani troops had prepared in a number of places that they had held on the Indian side of the LoC, it is abundantly clear that the decision to cross the LoC and occupy territory on the Indian side was not taken in a hurry, but was a deliberate and calculated move. An enterprise of such proportions, which is likely to have long-term and serious implications on Indo-Pak relations, could only have been put into operation with the authority of the highest levels in Pakistan, both military as well as civililan, as Nawaz Sharief was not a push-over Prime Minister. The apparently calculated strategy appeared to be aimed at flogging dying militancy in Kashmir as also to put J&K back on the international agenda.

The Kargil operation was meticulously planned by the Pakistan Army and effectively executed. Its timing appears to have been motivated by Pakistan’s acquisition of an overt nuclear status. It is no accident that the trans-border movement and occupation of territory by militants sent across by Pakistan, duly backed by troops without the involvement and support of the local population, had taken place for the first time after 1965. This view is supported by Maj.Gen.(Retd) Afsir Karim:

The likelihood of a conventional war between India and Pakistan had gradually receded over the years due to India’s growing in military superiority in conventional warfare and Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan. The newly acquired nuclear capability of India and Pakistan has, however, changed the situation. Pakistan now feels confident enough to violate the LOC in strength without fearing serious reprisals or enlargement of the conflict. Pakistan is now secure that India cannot enlarge the conflict and attack Pakistan’s heartland as it did in 1965.45

Irrespective of the motives and resources put behind the endeavours in the Kargil sector by Pakistan, the fact that Indian troops in that area were completely taken by surprise is a matter that cannot be overlooked. Obviously, something has been seriously amiss both at the strategic as well as the tactical level. The planning, briefings and preparations for operations of such nature and magnitude take months and a number of individuals and agencies do get involved at various stages. Also, troops would have had to be moved, equipped and trained for operations at such heights, and in difficult terrain. Equipment and supplies would have been moved and stocked at bases at Astore, Skardu and forward locations. That all this was done without any of the Indian intelligence agencies – Research and Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence – learning of it is a telling comment on the monumental failure on this count. These three premier agencies, apart from a few other minor players in the field, do have fairly significant resources and assets across the border. Each one of them must now have initiated appropriate corrective measures, but Kargil should also provide the impetus for co-ordinated functioning and better interaction between these agencies; something that has been lacking in the past.

Apart from the complete failure of the intelligence gathering mechanism, two other modes of collecting such information, viz. aerial surveillance and field patrolling were certainly not pressed into service to the desired extent. For these lapses and shortcomings, responsibility has to be shared by officers from the Unit Commander-level, upwards. There could be some justification in not being able to detect the movement of Pakistani troops in certain pockets on such a wide front, during the months of February or March, when movement on foot is extremely difficult. There is no valid reason for the infantry failing to get an inkling of the enemy’s activities, which took place before the onset of winter, in 1998. Something as basic as routine patrolling to cover the front and inter-post contact patrolling had been either overlooked or not conducted with seriousness and requisite professionalism. Inappropriate and avoidable public controversy between the GOC, Leh Division, and the Commander of the Kargil Brigade also damaged the Army’s image.

It is also surprising that even a fortnight after the Pakistani ingress was noticed on May 5, 1999, the army was not able to comprehend the serious nature of the infiltration and its motives. At this stage it appeared that the army knew nothing about the scale and character of the intrusion and even less about the structure of the war that was to follow. Furthermore, the GOC 15 Corps claimed that, ‘the situation was local and would be defeated locally.’ These observations were made at the Unified Headquarters meeting in Srinagar, on May 19, 1999, chaired by the State’s Chief Minister. In fact, the CM’s appreciation of the situation was nearer the truth. He opined that the ‘recent infiltration was not a short-term plan but a sinister design of Pakistan aimed to isolate certain areas and cut off Kargil-Leh from the Valley, as was being done in Rajouri-Poonch area,’ and that ‘these were not mere militants but supported by some Pakistani regulars too’.46

The infiltration appears to have taken place in two phases. The first, and the deliberate one, must have commenced sometime during the summer of 1998 and culminated in preparation of regular defences, stocking and arrangements for occupation of these new posts during the long and harsh winter. In the next phase, the intruders either took possession of some of the Indian positions vacated during the winter, before these could be re-occupied by Indian troops, as per established routine, or moved forward and laterally from the prepared defences to enlarge the arc of infiltration.

It, however, does go to the credit of the army that after the details of infiltration became available and the seriousness of the incursions became evident, it reacted swiftly and decisively, not taking any further chances. According to reliable sources, almost five additional brigades were moved into the area of conflict, along with elements of specially trained commandos. Enough artillery, comprising field guns, howitzers, multi-barrel rocket launchers, etc., were positioned and used with telling effect. The logistics and administrative back up for such large-scale movement and maintenance thereafter were managed competently.

During the entire period of the conflict the media was given unprecedented access to the field of operations, in addition to regular briefings held at New Delhi down to local formation headquarters. The electronic media, with its extensive coverage, brought the war virtually to peoples’ homes. The movement of such a large body of troops into Kargil necessitated the shifting of a number of units, which were engaged in the counter insurgency operations, from the Valley. Although some additional battalions of the Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force were inducted, these were fewer in number an their impact poorer. Thus, Pakistan’s moves in Kargil did seriously jeopardise the efficacy of the security forces’ drive against militants, giving the ultras the necessary time to regroup and rework their strategy. The increased activity and effectiveness of the militants’ strikes in the Valley and some parts of the Jammu division can, in no small measure, be attributed to this aspect.

The presence of men from certain militant organisations operating along with Pakistani troops in Kargil has introduced a new element into the ten-year-old militancy in the State. The Indian state will now have to contend with Islamic fundamentalism and the Afghan factor. It is well known that the Islamization of the Pakistan Army was assiduously undertaken by General Zia-ul-Haq, and that officers recruited during his time are now occupying middle-level positions, motivated and guided by some of the top generals. The Pakistan Army’s involvement in Afghanistan has been quite substantial and has continued over a long period. This has further strengthened its links with fundamentalist forces. According to some analysts, there is a speculation that the Pakistan Army may be creating an entity within itself, composed of Afghans, which may come in handy for use in J&K or other areas. This would enable Pakistan to harass India, and, at the same time, claim that it is not involved.47 Masood Khalili, who represents the exiled Afghan Government in New Delhi, feels that the same combination of Pakistan’s forces, under its Inter Services Intelligence’s control and Arab mercenaries operating with the inspiration of Osama bin Laden, are fighting in both Kargil and Kapisa.48 Indian defence planners will have to take into account factors such as the Afghan links of the Pakistani Army and also the fact that it is imbued with religious fundamentalism. Having tested the waters in Kargil, such a misadventure by Pakistan cannot be ruled out in other isolated valleys like Gurez-Tilel, Machhil and Tangdar.

In the ten years of terrorist activities in Kashmir, Pakistan had never attempted such a venture, and this strategic shift demands a re-examination of India’s approach towards Pakistan. An incoherent policy must make way for a cogent policy.49 Such a re-examination does appear to be under consideration and the Government of India had instituted an inquiry into the events that led to Pakistan’s incursions into Kargi. If these developments result in a comprehensive reassessment and reappraisal of the entire gamut of India’s policies towards Pakistan the crisis in Kargil could well prove to be a window of opportunity.

The Options

India has had to deal with Pakistan as a difficult neighbour and a source of constant trouble, mostly an irritant, but at times downright dangerous. It would be a useful exercise to take a broad overview of developments, particularly over the last ten years and the more recent Kargil conflict, to analyse and understand the broad contours of policy formulations and the pursuit of India’s national objectives in relation to Pakistan. The Indian response to the Kargil intrusion must be understood in the overall perspective of ongoing militancy in J&K, as well as the continuing stand-off in the icy-heights of Siachen. According to a former Chief of the Indian Army:

As part of its prolonged jihad against India, peace is perceived as a temporary phase, to last only until preparations for the next round can be made. We must heed this strategic lesson of the last fifty years, and plan our long term national security – Pakistan’s hostility will stay with us for a long time and the nation must be prepared to sleep next to its weapons for the foreseeable future.50

Any country dealing with an inimical neighbour has a number of options, which can be resorted to, singly or in combination. These include diplomatic, economic and military measures. A panoramic appraisal of India’s dealings with Pakistan during the last fifty years indicates that India has depended upon diplomatic initiatives and accepted norms of international behaviour far too much and far too long. Commencing with India’s recourse to the United Nations in January 1948, down to the involvement of the US President in June 1999, it has been a long and tortuous journey down the diplomatic alley. Indian diplomatic endeavours and negotiations in relation to Pakistan have primarily resulted in perpetuating the status quo, with the end result weighed in favour of Pakistan. The fact is, diplomacy can be used as an effective tool to safeguard national interests only if it is backed by credible military strength. Besides, a clear signal needs to be sent to the adversary that military means would be used, where necessary. There is, thus, an urgent need for a fundamental shift in India’s application of diplomacy as a tool for securing vital national interests.

The military option must, of course, be kept open. At the same time, India can continue to explore ways and means to achieve its goals of stalling, blunting and neutralising Pakistani machinations in diplomatic encounters at different international gatherings, UN fora and multilateral groupings. This is in addition to a strategy of diplomatic containment and isolation of Pakistan through closer ties with Iran, the Central Asian Republics and Russia, as these countries are adversely affected by Islamic terrorism.

The Kargil episode also unmistakably points towards the growing dangers of Pakistan’s Afghan connection and its dangerous implications for India’s security. In a way, Kargil has been an extension of the policy pursued in Afghanistan by Pakistan’s rulers over the last two decades. Pakistan has not only been able to put its creation, the Taliban, in a pre-eminent position of power in that state, but is also on the threshold of acquiring the much needed strategic depth that it lacked so far. Pakistan is also indulging in wishful thinking, hoping that it may have finally solved one of its abiding problems – the Durand Line dividing the two countries which no Afghan ruler or government has ever accepted for over a century. Even during his most difficult period, Najibullah did not accept Pakistan’s demand for the recognition of the Durand Line. India has always maintained extremely cordial relations with all the governments and rulers in Afghanistan, with the exception of the Taliban. Kargil must act as a catalyst and prompt India to make all efforts to become a major player in Afghanistan’s affairs and, to that extent, revamp its Pakistan policy and make it an integral part of its Afghanistan policy. Such a focus can help wean Afghanistan away from Pakistan and deal a blow to the main centre of Islamic fundamentalism, drug trafficking and international terrorism that this region has become. The anti-Taliban forces and elements could be taken as allies in this endeavour. There are also reports that the Khalq and Parcham factions of yesteryear have not been entirely obliterated, even amongst the Taliban.

Apart from managing to divert a good number of Indian units and formations to the Kargil sector, Pakistan’s exertions there have imposed a very high economic cost on India. India cannot afford to let the troop deployment in this area cause depletion in its strike and reserve forces, beyond a short period. The raising of more units is, consequently, inevitable, with attendant logistics, cost and efforts required for occupation, maintenance and fighting at such heights and in extreme climatic conditions. The cost of suitably clothing and outfitting a single soldier is estimated at Rs.200,000. Added to this would be the cost of the establishment of a requisite number of border posts, hardware in terms of guns, vehicles and equipment. These troops will also require special devices like night vision gadgets, battlefield radar, satellite surveillance, etc to operate in that area. According to one estimate, the total cost would be in the range of Rs.24 billion annually. Against this, the additional expenditure by Pakistan in this field would be practically negligible. This asymmetrical situation must change and India needs to engage Islamabad in an arms race by raising its defence expenditure from 2.3 per cent to 4 per cent of GDP. This will force Pakistan either to spend nearly 70 per cent of its budget on defence, or reach an accommodation with India. The Soviet Union’s example shows that while nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles may secure the country from external aggression, they cannot prevent internal discontent.51

General Parvez Musharraf, Pakistan’s military ruler, announced in mid-December 1999, that Pakistan’s defence expenditure would be reduced by Rs. 700 billion. This may have been a statement made for the benefit of the international community, specifically international lending agencies, which have been blowing a whistle on Pakistan. Purely in terms of national economic indicators, India is in a much better position than ever before to enhance its defence budget. After a decade of nearly 6 per cent growth, India is strong enough to take on Pakistan both on the battlefield and in the market place. After years of persistent economic troubles, and now in the throes of a serious balance of payments crisis, Pakistan will have to pay an unaffordable price to wage a larger war.52 Instead of continuously reacting to Pakistan, therefore, forcing an increase in the allocation of her scarce financial resources to its security apparatus would be far more effective.

To any informed observer and analyst, Pakistan is at best an enigma. A nation created on the basis of religion has already been divided by a nationalist movement in its Eastern part. None of the four provinces in West Pakistan supported its creation almost till the mid-1940s. The official language of Pakistan, Urdu, is not the spoken dialect of any of its provinces. Right from the beginning, Punjab has ruled over the other provinces. Not only the religious minorities but Muslims professing a faith different from the orthodox Sunnis are treated as second class citizens and feel unsafe. A significant number of lives have been lost, some even while offering prayers in mosques, in the clashes between the protagonists of militant elements of the Shia and Sunni sects. Baluchs, Sindhis, Muhajirs and even the Saraiki segment of Punjab are all restive against Punjabi domination; the list is endless and so are the centrifugal tendencies inherent in Pakistan. If this country has been consistently trying to create problems for India by manipulating a small section of the latter’s population, it is time that it was paid back in the same coin.

In addition, and even more importantly, India should be prepared to use the military option and send clear signals to this effect. According to Lt.Gen. Satish Nambiar (Retd), India should buy time, make up the deficiencies in equipment, spares, etc., fine-tune plans and prepare to launch the offensive at a time and place of its choosing. India has reacted to Pakistani moves for far too long. Things now have to be done in such a manner as to make Pakistan react to our moves. Whether this entails crossing the LOC or the international border is an option that should remain open.53 The GOC of 15 Corps has also spoken in a similar vein emphasising that Pakistan is not going to stop its anti-Indian activities. It wants to carry on with the low-cost war, which has already become a great burden on India. Unless India raises the costs for Pakistan, in whatever way it chooses, it will be very difficult to put an end to this low-cost war. The covert war is lucrative for Pakistan, both militarily and strategically.54

India has depended excessively on the sympathy of the international community by presenting itself as a victim and hoping for some kind of reward, which has not come its way. In fact, at each important turn of events effecting India’s national security, India emerged as the net loser. Every nation has to take measures to secure its own interests. The more a nation asserts itself, the more it is respected in the contemporary world. India should be prepared to act decisively, retaliate comprehensively and make any adventure on the part of the adversary prohibitively expensive. K. Subrahmanyam has succinctly outlined this approach: "What India has to focus on is how to deal with this militarised polity with nuclear weapons, sponsoring cross-border terrorism, being obsessed with Islamic extremism and harbouring a visceral hatred for India. Till now India has largely been on the defensive with Pakistan taking the offensive on the Kashmir issue. A time has come when India has to take the initiative."55

The Strategy

In essence, India should realise the limitations of diplomacy and international support to its cause and vital national interests in light of the experience of the past fifty years. India needs to give a fresh look to the ties and linkages with Afghanistan and the friendly elements there, aiding, supporting and bolstering them. It must be remembered that the security of the Indian landmass is best ensured on the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush and that Afghanistan is necessarily a very valued ally there. India should make Pakistan spend so much on her defence effort that the economy gets a shattering blow, in a befitting response to the latest cost escalation forced due to Kargil operations, as also the militancy for last ten years in the Valley. India should wrest the initiative from Pakistan in all security-related matters in the future. "So far the lesser state is in the driver’s seat."56 Lastly, India should follow an active policy along the LoC and plan and prepare to strike at a point of her choosing, which would yield maximum results.

The Kargil conflict gave India an opportunity that it was unprepared to turn to its advantage. India should be ready in the next round to secure optimum results. Pakistan will certainly create another opportunity. At this stage, India can make deep penetration strikes to register its military superiority as well as national resolve and drive home an unmistakable lesson in language that is understood, that the cost of tampering with its security would be prohibitively high. Other attendant measures on diplomatic initiatives and costs can be taken in tandem with this decision.

In forecasting aggressive postulations the Indian planners will be faced with the choice of concentrating the main thrust of the military forces on the international border, the POK or the Northern Areas. In so far as the international border is concerned, efforts and resources utilised can give us the benefit of hitting at Pakistan’s war machine and making a serious dent. But the long-term benefits may not be very tangible, as international pressures would make India withdraw from the territory that might fall in its hands, as has happened in the past. Pakistan’s nuclear capability is also a relevant factor. It might well be the first to mount a nuclear strike and argue before the world that, as a much smaller country, it had to do so for its own sheer survival. Irrespective of the retaliatory measures that India might take, the damage to India’s armour and personnel would be very considerable.

In PoK, any Indian advance would have the advantage of bringing the territory under India’s control. But this is an area where the Pakistan Army would react very strongly – this has been the pattern right from the beginning. Pakistan occupied the Haji Pir Pass at the first possible opportunity during the winter of 1947-48. In the offensives in the Tithwal sector, in June 1948, the only position occupied by the Indians across the Kishanganga river was Ring Contour, which was taken back by Pakistani troops in a determined counter-attack. Similarly, during the Indian forces’ bid to recapture Muzaffarabad in the summer of the same year, an important feature, Pandu, was captured, facilitating further advance. Pakistani troops made strenuous efforts in recapturing that hill position, thereby stalling India’s advance towards Muzaffarabad. Pakistan has always considered PoK as vital for its security. In April 1948, Lt.Gen.Gracey, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, explained Pakistan’s interest in this area:

An easy victory of the Indian Army, particularly in the Muzaffarabad area, is almost certain to arouse the anger of tribesmen against Pakistan for its failure to render them more direct assistance and might well cause them to turn against Pakistan… If Pakistan is not to face another problem of about 750,000 people uprooted from their homes; if India is not to be allowed to sit on the doorsteps of Pakistan to the rear and on the flank, at liberty to enter at her will and pleasure; if civilian and military morale is not to be affected to a dangerous extent; and if subversive political forces are not to be let loose within Pakistan itself, it is imperative that the Indian Army is not allowed to advance beyond the general line Uri-Punch-Nowshera.57

By employing different means, including military, diplomatic and personal influences at that time, the British establishment in India ensured that the Indian advance was checked precisely along this line. Since then, the importance of PoK has considerably increased from Pakistan’s point of view. The Mangla Complex has to be protected, and this region is proximate to its nuclear establishments and the capital Islamabad. The mountainous terrain and difficult communication in PoK would make a significant Indian advance there a difficult proposition. The population composition and its negative attitude towards India would also be a factor that has to be taken into consideration.

The third possible sector where an Indian advance could be considered is the Northern Areas. It is the nomenclature given to the huge land mass – more than seventy thousand square kilometres of the State’s territory – illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947. It comprises the Himalayan tableland of Baltistan, Gilgit and areas further North. The people of the Northern Areas are directly ruled by the Centre from Islamabad – a regime that has been harsher and more degrading to human dignity, life and property than the Pakistan’s control over PoK. Successive governments, over the past five decades, have followed a policy that left its inhabitants with no political identity, civil rights or even constitutional status. They are denied the right to vote, have no legislature and do not have access to justice in the form of appeals to the High Court or the Supreme Court.

The Northern Areas have been divided into five districts, namely Gilgit, Skardu, Diamer, Ghizer and Ghanche; the sixth unit being Hunja-Nager. The administration is practically headed by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Kashmir Affairs in Islamabad, with the help of six officers, all non-natives and deputed from outside. These apart, other officers include the Commissioner, the Inspector General of Police, the Deputy Commissioner, the Judicial Commissioner and the Chief Engineer, Public Works Department. The Northern Areas are being ruled under the provisions of Frontier Crimes Regulations, left behind by the British, who considered the locals as half savage and half criminal. With a population of 1.5 million, literacy is dismally low at 14 per cent for males and 3.5 per cent for females. There is one school for 4,000 children and one doctor for 6,000 people; protected drinking water outside important towns is a dream and more than two-thirds the population has no access to electricity.

Deprivation of the rights of the people, a deteriorating economy and subjugation, coupled with active efforts of the government to alter the demographic pattern by settling increasing numbers of persons from the North West Frontier and Afghanistan, have made the local population restive. Shias and Ismailis form the bulk of the population of the Northern Areas. With the rise of Sunni fundamentalism and the Talibanisation of Pakistan, they have been subjected to increased discrimination based on sectarianism. Lately, there have been signs of social tension manifested periodically in various forms, especially since the summer of 1996.

Contrary to Pakistan’s sustained interest in the Northern Areas and the realisation of its strategic importance, the Indian interest in this region has always been peripheral. During the 1947-48 operations, little attention was paid and military resources were not made available to wrest the region back from Pakistani occupation. Even during the subsequent decades, Indian intelligence agencies have not tried hard enough to create assets there. This, in spite of the fact that the local population has not been very favourably disposed towards the rulers in Islamabad.

Thus, in comparison to the international border and PoK, the political situation and the ground conditions in the Northern Areas are far more conducive to a determined military push, as and when required. The Pakistani misadventure in Kargil has given an opportunity to India to increase its military presence in the Ladakh region, to which Pakistan cannot make any objection. Force levels has already been raised to a Corps Headquarters, with three Infantry Divisions. Land communications on the Indian side are much better. According to Lt.Gen. Moti Dhar, former Vice Chief of the Army Staff, ‘Pakistan has very poor and stretched lines of communication in this area. We always used to consider Kargil an excellent theatre of offensive operations for India because of its superior communications infrastructure. The fact that we have a highway there should be seen as an asset than a cause for concern.’

The infrastructure created and installations developed here could be used to increase the build up to the desired level and use the present deployment as a springboard for future operations. Of course, considering the terrain and the difficulties of living and fighting at high altitudes and bleak mountain tops, the troops staying there and those who would be required to undertake operations there would have to be specially trained and suitably acclimatised. The usefulness of stepping up the enrolment of the local population in the forces can hardly be over- emphasised. The fighting qualities of the Ladakh Scouts and local troops, right since 1947, and more recently during Kargil operations, have been amply proved.

In the Ladakh area, Suru and Nubra Valleys could be developed as bases and launching pads for offensive operations into the Northern Areas. Another alternative from the Valley side can be the Gurez-Burzil Pass-Deosai plateau axis. In fact, Gen. Thimaya had planned Operation Snipe in the summer of 1948 to recapture Skardu along this line, pushing ahead from Gurez. For this purpose, he had asked for a brigade to be maintained by air for one week. Since that was not made available Gen. Thimaya’s plan was not executed.58 Moreover, the willingness of Pakistan’s generals to commit resources for the defence of the Northern Areas, by shifting forces from the hinterland, is also in serious doubt.59

Pakistan’s much vaunted nuclear capabilities would pose minimum danger to the Indian troops operating across the Northern Areas, as compared to those operating in the other two sectors. Moreover, due to the terrain, the damage to the Indian forces would be so little that Pakistan would have to think twice before launching a nuclear first strike as the Indian response would inflict much greater and unacceptable destruction.

Apart from physical preparations, the Indian Army will also be required to change its tactics and mindset for achieving success. For too long, Indian response to Pakistani unorthodox tactics and unconventional use of forces has been in the form of traditional and predictable set-piece moves. Even during the last eleven years of militancy in J&K, the Army's efforts to meet Pakistani terrorism have not indicated adequate appreciation of non-traditional and unorthodox tactics on the part of the troops. Beyond doubt, Kargil has proved the bravery, leadership qualities and fighting spirit of Indian soldiers and young officers. An appropriate change of mindset and due support from higher commanders would be a pre-requisite for making bold forays into Indian territory being illegally held by Pakistan since 1947. India’s ultimate aim should be to not only teach a lesson to the constant acts of aggression by Pakistan but also to push its borders Northwards to the natural frontiers of India.


Who has been the winner in this conflict and where do we go from here? India can consider the outcome in Kargil only in a limited sense and of pyrrhic nature. The adversary was not defeated, and no territory was gained. India was only able to get its territory vacated, that too, not all of it, at the point of the bayonet, and at an enormous cost in terms of men, material and money. For Pakistan, it has been much less costly and affordable to even induce it to undertake similar adventures in the future, unless the cost of any such rash actions are raised beyond acceptable limits to the perpetrator. The pattern established from 1947 onwards and refined during the last decade will continue to be followed. The events at Kargil should make India reassess its dealings with Pakistan. This can only happen if unambiguous signals are sent––that the nation’s patience has reached a threshold.

The proxy war launched by the ISI in the State of Jammu and Kashmir since 1988 culminated in the Kargil conflict.

Pakistan’s adventure in Kargil has been condemned by the world at large. The USA exerted pressure on Pakistan to withdraw its forces from Indian territory, which it subsequently did. Despite these, Pakistan has not shown any let up in its efforts to continue to create problems in J&K.

The taking over of the reigns of power in Pakistan by the military once again may or may not be attributable to its involvement in Kargil. But, the future course of action is likely to be pursued even more resolutely by Pakistani agencies involved in fomenting trouble on the Indian side. This has been amply proved and the process goes on.

In spite of its small size, weaker economic base, internal dichotomy and smaller armed forces, Pakistan has initiated three wars against India, followed by a decade-old militancy in J&K leading to the Kargil conflict, and has come out as a net gainer. This has been achieved through a combination of artful use of guerrilla tactics and conventional warfare, a highly skilled pursuit of foreign policy, coupled with diplomatic finesse.

Pakistan came to realise very early that it pays to be aggressive and belligerent. It is pursuant to this realisation that it has succeeded in only retaining its illegitimate gains of 1947-48 and repeating the policy of adventurism in 1965, and, then, again in the current round. In the proxy war launched by the ISI in the State in 1988, the operating principle was to mislead the youth, subvert the civilian population and keep the Indian forces bleeding, so that political and public opinion in India would buckle under constant losses and accept the futility of the holding on to the State. A failure to achieve its primary aim seems to have spurred Pakistan into going ahead with the Kargil misadventure; the onslaught on India’s security continues unabated. As has been once again confirmed recently by Indian military authorities, the incidence and viciousness of militancy in India has increased after the army took over in Pakistan.60

What should be of particular concern to Indian policy makers is that there has been a paradigm shift in Pakistan’s hostility towards India. In the beginning, the anti-India tirade was more or less confined to the ruling elite, but over the decades, an increasing segment of the population is getting sucked into this phenomenon. Presently, large sections of its civil society, political and religious organisations, the military, the intelligence and scientific community are irrational, and motivated by a burning desire to teach India a lesson. These irrational elements advocate what they call the doctrine of permanent jehad against India, till India breaks into "a million pieces" (to quote Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the Amir of Jamait-e-Islami Pakistan).61 The underlying philosophy of Pakistan’s current phase of onslaught on India’s security interests was amply summed up by Mushahid Hussain on 18 May, 1991, when he said, "Pakistan has apparently adopted in regard to Kashmir an Afghan model, essentially a protracted war which has made Kashmir into a bleeding wound for India, raising the political, military and psychological costs of its occupation".62

In contrast, India’s responses have been passive, reactive and defensive. India has not only lost much of its territory but also failed, more than once, to take advantage of its military strength in forcing a lasting solution to the problem during the conflict in 1947-48, and repeated the same attitude in 1965 by returning the Haji Pir Pass. Even being the decisive victor in the 1971 war, India’s magnanimity was boundless and unilateral. As in the military field, India’s position at the United Nations, and with the world community, has continuously been defensive and reactive. If India wanted to teach a lesson to Pakistan and pay it back in the same coin, a window of opportunity had certainly been created by the Kargil episode to launch a massive and coordinated campaign against terrorists. India failed to wrest the initiative and militants are striking once again in J&K, with considerable regularity and effectiveness. According to KPS Gill, "The terrorist handlers in Pakistan must be congratulating themselves on the success of their current strategy as the death toll in Jammu and Kashmir mounts, and as the terrorists deliver blow after blow against the morale of the security forces".63 According to analysts, there has been persistent worsening of the ratio of security force to militant casualties. This ratio has declined from 1:5.79 in 1997, through 1:4.54 in 1998 and further to 1:3.20 in 1999. Worse, with the thinning out of the security forces, in the wake of Kargil and subsequent escalation in Pak-backed terrorist activity, this ratio fell to 1:2 in June 1999.64 The time has come to call Pakistan’s bluff. Indian riposte should be quick, effective and decisive.

In all the problems that have been created for India by Pakistan, the Pakistan Army has been a common denominator. It has also been a constant factor in the power equations in Pakistan, even when civilians were governing the country. The army’s influence over the government and the people of Pakistan has been has been all-pervasive. Under General Parvez Musharraf, the Government of Pakistan and the army are going to be even more inimical to India’s security interests. The army is more fervently committed to jehad against India than any other section in Pakistan. India should do well to remember that the power there has now fallen to the architect of the Kargil conflict. The crying need for India is to take urgent and effective steps to control Pakistan’s mischief making capacity. This has been brought out by an editorial in the Times of India, in these words:

A society which does not feel a sense of threat after the loss of over twenty thousand lives over ten years of terrorism directed by a neighbouring state, after having fought a limited war involving more than 450 fatalities, and after being continuously engaged in a proxy-war, is bound to be subjected to further acts of terrorism and aggression. Its complacency and casualness actually ask for it.65

As a society, government and nation, India has not only not taken any firm action against Pakistan, whenever it was forced to take arms against it, India has not shown any willingness to fight to the finish or take the fight into the enemy’s camp; India has constantly displayed a lack of ruthlessness. The age-old and ancient Indian psyche of fighting the war along certain time honoured principles and rules has done incalculable harm down the ages, and continues to afflict it even today. This must change. Chanakya, the great Indian strategist, had once said that except in matters of the security of the State, means are as important as ends. As a nation India never desired or worked towards the destruction of Pakistan; but to keep it intact at its own peril would certainly not be a sensible preposition. Preservation of Pakistan’s integrity and its survival as an independent nation in friendship with India is certainly a desirable objective to work for, but not at the cost of India’s own security, integrity and its very existence. India should, therefore, be prepared to take bold initiatives, decisive action and conclusive exertions in the next round, an opportunity that may present itself quite soon.

Kargil has caused India a lot of anguish; it has also stirred its soul. Kargil can now become a defining moment, a watershed and a new beginning, spreading a beacon to the new avenues and opportunities that lie before this nation. The sacrifices of those who died for the nation and the mourning of those left behind cannot be allowed to go in vain.

  • Dr. Sudhir S. Bloeria is an IAS Officer of the J&K cadre. He served as SDM Kargil between 1974-76 and Development Commissioner, Ladakh during 1978-1981, and is presently Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Government of J&K. He is the author of the book The Battles of Zojila––1948, New Delhi, Har Anand, 1996 and Pakistan’s Insurgency vs. India’s Security: Tackling Militancy in Kashmir, New Delhi: Manas, 2000.

  1. KUMAR, Dinesh, The Times of India, July 16, 1999.

  2. This is the estimated population in 1991 as no Census was conducted in J&K State due to disturbed conditions. The population figures of this area during 1981 Census were 61,990.

  3. JAMMU AND KASHMIR,Government of, Information Department, District Profiles, Srinagar, 1998, pp. 381-82.

  4. In fact, the territories of the Princely State of J&K extended to areas beyond Gilgit and included principalities like Chitral, Hunza, Nagar, Chilas, etc.–– including some areas even North of the Karakoram Pass.

  5. KNIGHT, E.F., Where Three Empires Meet, London: Longmans Green & Co., 1919, p. 290, p. 289 and p. vii.

  6. Ibid., p. 289.

  7. Ibid., p. vii.

  8. Defence of India Policy Plans, New Delhi: Orient Longman, 1963, p.23.

  9. BLOERIA, S. S. Battles of Zojila – 1948, New Delhi: Har Anand, 1996, p. 174.

  10. RAMAN, B. Frontline, July 30, 1999.

  11. Tariq is the name of a legendary military commander who led Arab forces into Spain in the Seventh century. On landing on the coast of Spain he had burnt his boats to spur his troops to fight for victory. As is evident in his book, Raiders in Kashmir, General Akbar Khan (he was, in fact, a Brigadier then) relished his code name.

  12. PRASAD, S.N. and DHARAM Pal, ed., History of Operations in Jammu and Kashmir (1947-48), New Delhi: Government of India, Ministry of Defence, 1987, pp 17-19.

  13. Brigadier Rajinder Singh was posthumously awarded the first Maha Vir Chakra of independent India.

  14. In the native language "Zojila" means "Path of Blizzards," a befitting name for the Pass, as would be sufficiently evident after studying its topography. Also, the Zojila is known by other names such as Seojila, Baltal Kotal, Dras Pass, Zogila and Swaje La, etc. In the great Himalayan mountain range starting from Mount Everest in the East to Nanga Parbat in the West, Zojila is the lowest depression at 11,578 ft. above mean sea level. All other passes are over 14,000 ft. For the major part of the year, all these Passes, including Zojila, remain closed due to snow and avalanche.

  15. 1 Patiala, under the spirited command of Lt. Col. Sukhdev Singh, Vr.C., MVC, fought a series of successful actions against the enemy, earning six MVCs and 12 Vr.Cs. during its six months-stay at Zojila.

  16. Haji Pir Pass is an important military feature and its occupation also implies the availability of an alternative land route between Jammu and the Kashmir Valley, via Poonch.

  17. ALI, Tariq, "A General Paralysis," Sunday, Vol. 11, no. 4, August 14-20, 1983.

  18. The most important of these heights was a mountaintop known as 13,620––the figure being the height in feet of the feature. This ensured the security of Kargil town as well as the Leh-Srinagar road in that sector. This height, in fact, was so near to Kargil town that it was jokingly said that any Pakistani sitting with binoculars at that post could become a referee in the badminton match being played in the officers’ mess of the Brigade Headquarters at Kargil.

  19. BLOERIA, S.S., Pakistan’s Insurgency vs. India’s Security, New Delhi: Manas, 2000, pp 93-94.

  20. Data provided by J&K Police.

  21. I was SDM, Kargil, in 1974 and had interacted with these people on a number of occasions. My observations are based on sustained contact with them.

  22. SWAMI, Praveen, "The Kargil War: Preliminary Explorations", Faultlines: Writings in Conflict & Resolution (New Delhi), Vol. 2, 1999, p.31.

  23. I was on a visit to Leh and Kargil during September 1998, and was witness to the damage caused as I travelled by road from Srinagar.

  24. VINAYAK, Romesh, in India Today (New Delhi), May 11, 1999, p. 31. According to SWAMI, Praveen, Frontline, July 30, 1999, p. 7, local grazers established the first physical contact with Pakistani troops and regulars in the Kargil sector on Jubbar heights on May 3.

  25. n-20, p-4.

  26. In fact, J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah made a number of visits to Kargil during the two-and a-half months of the conflict. His frequent on-the -spot study of the situation helped restore confidence amongst the local population and exerted a salutary pressure on the civil administration so that it carried out its functions fairly well under exceptionally trying circumstances.

  27. n-20, p-6. According to SWAMI, Praveen, this meeting took place a day after Farooq Abdullah visited New Delhi to beg the Prime Minister to take the Kargil issue seriously. "It says not a little about the chaotic management and poor strategic appraisal that characterised this period".

  28. Ibid., p.14.

  29. On June 3, 1999, Pakistanis returned the Indian pilot ‘as a gesture of goodwill’.

  30. The United Service Institution (USI) Director, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Satish Nambiar, cited in KALYANARAMAN, S., Beyond Kargil: Compilation of a panel discussion, USI Journal (New Delhi), Vol. 129, No. 537, July-September 1999, p.333.

  31. JOSHI, Manoj and CHANGAPPA, Raj, in India Today, June 21, 1999, p.21.

  32. KUMAR Dinesh, Times of India, July 19, 1999.

  33. DASGUPTA, Swapan, in India Today, July 26,1999, p.32.

  34. Personal Communication from SINGH, Brig. Sukhdev (Retd),Vr.C., M.C, who commanded 1 Patiala during the historic battles for Zojila in 1948, October 15, 1999.

  35. Lt.Gen. Moti Dhar (Retd), quoted in Frontline, August 27, 1999, pp.22-23. Gen. Dhar also commanded a brigade in Ladakh area and had been the Brigade Major of the Kargil Brigade.

  36. Outlook (New Delhi), August 9, 1999, p.34.

  37. Times of India, June 12, 1999.

  38. DIXIT, J. N., in Indian Express, July 22, 1999.

  39. n-27, p.336

  40. SEHGAL, Ikram, The Nation, 31 July, 1999, as reported in Times of India, August 1,1999.

  41. Narula, Sunil, in Outlook, June, 21,1999, p.99.

  42. Joshi and Changapa, op. cit., p.26.

  43. Times of India, July 26, 1999.

  44. KUMAR, op. cit.

  45. Times of India, June 4, 1999.

  46. Swami, Praveen, in Frontline, September 10, 1999, pp. 33-34. The quotes have been supported by photocopies of the minutes of the UHQ meeting.

  47. n-27, p.347.

  48. Cf. VED, Mahendra, Times of India, August 31, 1999.

  49. BARUAH, Amit, in Frontline, June 5-18, 1999, p.15.

  50. Gen. Shankar Roy-Chowdhury (Retd.), former Chief of the Army Staff, in Times of India, June 20, 1999.

  51. MALIK,.Mohan J., in Hindustan Times, September 21, 1999.

  52. BARU, Sanjay, in Times of India, July 14,1999. It has been estimated that during 1995-98 India’s GDP rose 7 per cent after inflation while Pakistan’s rose at 3 per cent.

  53. n-27, pp.334-335.

  54. PAL, Lt. Gen. Krishan, quoted in Frontline, August 27 , 1999, p.36.

  55. Times of India, November 1, 1999.

  56. KARNAD, Bharat, "A New Strategy for the LoC & Low-intensity Warfare in Kashmir", Faultlines, Vol. 2, 1999, p.118.

  57. MADAN, Lt. Gen. Vijay, "Jammu and Kashmir Operations, 1947-48: The other version", USI Journal, July-September, 1992, p.315.

  58. n-10, pp-349 and 367.

  59. n-53, p-124.

  60. Daily Excelsior (Jammu), January 4, 2000, quoting Maj. Gen. H.S. Kanwar, Chief of Staff, Headquaqrters, 16 Corps. While briefing the newsmen he said ever since the Army take over, Pakistan has further intensified its proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. Today, the entire equation has changed and Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI is even more responsive to the Army. This change over at the top had a direct bearing and has given a major boost to the insurgency in the State.

  61. Raman, B., Institute for Topical Studies, Chenai, 18 August 1999.

  62. Quoted by NOORANI, A.G., in Statesman, September 21, 1999. Mushahid Hussain has been a leading media person of Pakistan, an ideologue of Pakistan Muslim League and was Nawaz Sharief’s Information Minister in his last government.

  63. Daily Excelsior, November 23, 1999.

  64. n 20, p.42.

  65. Times of India, January 3, 2000.






Copyright © 2001 SATP. All rights reserved.