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Journo decodes Pak's Kargil misadventure

ANI | Updated: Jul 06, 2018 20:39 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 6 (ANI): In the Kargil incursion, the Pakistan Army played the jihad card in its attempt to pin down India on Kashmir, despite warnings from its civilian government that it would be a loss of face internationally. Subsequently, the events that unfolded, however, proved that it had to retreat red-faced.
The overconfident Pakistan Army, led by Pervez Musharraf, which had crossed the LoC in its Operation Koh Paima (Op KP) without taking the civilian government into confidence, faced a huge setback when Washington told them to withdraw its troops.
In a recently-published book 'From Kargil To The Coup: Events That Shook Pakistan', journalist Nasim Zehra has documented events in the making of Pakistan's Kargil misadventure in 1999 which brought the two nuclear power nations close to war. The extracts from the book were published by the Dawn.
According to the book: "The most vocal critic, however, was the secretary of defence. The retired general spoke for about 20 minutes, warning that Op KP would either end in all-out war or a total military disaster for Pakistan. ... Implying that the army command had launched Op KP without clearance from the government, the defence secretary emphasised that the army was not an independent body and had to take orders from the government. He was also critical of placing jihad as the central element in Pakistan's defence structure. He wondered, "Why have we after 52 years realised the importance of jihad?""
In one of the internal meetings with the civilian government and the Army, a noted diplomat Riaz Mohammad Khan categorically told the gathering that "If it is brought to the UN, our position will be undermined".
The ISI was sceptical about the operation from the beginning as they termed it a "blunder of Himalayan proportions". Many years later, without mincing words in his assessment the then head of the ISI's analysis wing Maj Gen Shahid Aziz said, "An unsound military plan based on invalid assumptions, launched with little preparation and in total disregard to the regional and international environment, was bound to fail. That may well have been the reason for its secrecy. It was a total disaster."
Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz had reservations from the beginning. Since it was incongruent with the spirit of the Lahore summit which had been held in the same year and he was certain that the "the US would not support the operation".
But Prime Minister overlooked all reservations since he was lured with the idea that his name would go down the history in 'liberation of Kashmir'.
The defence secretary, a retired general, was most vocal expressing his concerns of escalation and the "Indians would not take it lying down." (ANI)

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