The News, July 02, 2009
Taj M Khattak
The writer is a retired vice-admiral and former vice-chief of the Naval Staff, Pakistan Navy.
'What have you done, my friend, Nawaz Sharif?' was how, as narrated in Bill Clinton's memoirs My Life, the Clinton-Nawaz discourse began soon after the photo-op at the steps of the White House on July 4, 1999. Nawaz Sharif had embarked on that fateful sojourn a little over ten years ago for a face-saving climb-down from Kargil. It triggered politico-military consequences for the country and within a span of another three months, Sharif was overthrown, and the country is still reeling from its effects. Musharraf's unceremonious exit after a rule of nearly nine years has made little or no difference at all.
During much of the eight week period preceding the July 4 meeting in Washington, we had looked helplessly at TV images of pinpoint artillery shoots and resultant instant pulverization of some of the nation's bravest sons on such mountainous salients in the war zone as Point 5140 (Dras), Point 5203 ( Batalik), Three Pimples (Dras) and Tiger Hill.
'Operation Badr', as it was called, was launched to coincide with thawing of snow and summer opening of India's National Highway 1A, which links Srinagar to Leh via Kargil. Regular army personnel of the Northern Light Infantry, supported by special forces, artillery, engineers and other combat support personnel, in the garb of mujahideen and under a well-executed cover plan, infiltrated through gaps into Indian territory to occupy mountain tops between the LoC and the highway at several points.
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Gang of Four Planned Kargil - South Asia Tribune, 2004