A Pakistani General Reveals Details of the Kargil Fiasco
Kargil Adventure was Four Men Show: General
Khaleeq Kiani, Dawn, January 29, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The men who witnessed the Kargil fiasco continue to spill the beans. Lt Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz, a former chief of general staff of Pakistan Army who has till now kept his peace about what he witnessed in the summer of ’99, says the ‘misadventure’ was a four-man show the details of which were hidden from the rest of the military commanders initially.
This is the first time someone this senior in the military hierarchy of the time has spoken in such detail and with such frankness about the fiasco that was Kargil.
According to him, initially the Kargil operation was known only to Gen Pervez Musharraf, chief of general staff Lt Gen Mohammad Aziz, FCNA (Force Command Northern Areas) commander Lt Gen Javed Hassan and 10-Corps commander Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmad.
The majority of corps commanders and principal staff officers were kept in the dark, says Gen Aziz. “Even the-then director general military operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Tauqir Zia came to know about it later,” says Gen Aziz who at the time was serving as director general of the analysis wing of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
He said that Gen Musharraf worked on a policy of “need to know” throughout his tenure as COAS and later president — in other words, Musharraf would issue orders to only those who were required to implement orders instead of first consulting corps commanders and other military officers.
The Kargil operation began in the summer of 1999 when Pakistani soldiers infiltrated into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
The infiltration, which managed to cut off Indian supply lines, took New Delhi by surprise.
Initially, Islamabad claimed that the infiltrators were mujahideen but it could not maintain this façade for long. The Indian response coupled with international pressure forced the Pakistan military to withdraw.
However, the aftermath of the operation served to heighten tensions between Gen Musharraf and then prime minister Nawaz Sharif which culminated in the October coup when the military removed the elected government and took over.
‘Operation was never planned’
“The Pakistan Army did not plan the operation because Gen Musharraf never saw Kargil as a major operation. Only the FCNA was involved in it and perhaps a section of 10-Corps,” says Aziz, adding that it was a major intelligence failure for India. More details of the operation are expected in Gen Aziz’s book which is hitting the bookshelves next week.
“It was a miscalculated move,” he says when asked about the operation, adding that “its objectives were not clear and its ramifications were not properly evaluated”.
Putting our children in line of fire by Lt. Gen. (r) Shahid Aziz - The Nation