Essay on Victory Over Kargil – At What Cost ?



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They supported the formation of an all-India Muslim League in 1906 under the confirmed fundamentalists and instigators Aga khan, Salimullah of Dacca and Mohsin-ul-Malik of Chittagong, all Nawabs who supported the British plan of partition of Bengal. This was a deliberate step to reduce the rising power of Bengali intellectuals and it led to the violence and communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims.

The forced conversions and sacrilege committed by Muslim rulers, had already created a wide chasm. Their deliberate misbehavior and ill-treatment of the Hindu farmers and ‘Bhadralok’ Bengali Hindus were the main reasons between the divide and resentment. This was further aggravated by the Lahore session of the party in 1940 where the irreversible demand for Pakistan was made with Jinnah as their leader.

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The refusal of the Muslim League to join the constituent assembly in 1946 December was the nail in the coffin and ultimately Pakistan was created by the acceptance of Congress and Muslim League on June 3, 1947. The only agenda on which Pakistan was forced was hatred towards Hindus and India. This has been a continual thorn in the side of the country with a vast Muslim population deciding to stay back and a large number of their relatives opting for Pakistan. This has been of great help to the activities of the Pakistan intelligence service ISI as a large number of Muslims residing here are in their undercover services. This is why we have celebration in Muslim dominated localities when Pakistan wins a confrontation in sports with India. All this because of their sympathies with Pakistan. However a large number of Muslim in our country are patriotic and consider India as their motherland, but because of these Pakistani sympathizers are looked upon with suspicion.

This is the Indian dilemma that we have to face enemies from within as well as across the border. The help and information received from ISI agents within the country resulted in the occupation by Pakistanis on the Kargil heights. They had the advantage of being in a more advantageous position. It was on May 8, 1999 that an Army patrol moving towards Point Bajrang noticed some unusual movement and the following day a second patrol was sent to verify the extent of the intrusions.

May 26 saw the start of the biggest counter-insurgency operation of the decade. The operation was named Operation Vijay and its aim was to flush out the Pakistani infiltrator across the Lion of Control in Jammu & Kashmir region though infiltration by Pakistani mercenaries and regular army men across the Indian side of Line of Control, has been going on for the past so many decades in the Jammu & Kashmir sector, this particular Pakistani misadventure had subverted to near war, for the first time in nearly three decades. Their calculation went haywire due to the early melting of snow and the opening of Zojila when they saw an unexpectedly swift reaction the Indian Army. The vigorous effort inforced further by air strikes was far more than the Pakistani defense had bargained for.

As is well known, the government in Pakistan has been continually energized by keeping the Jammu & Kashmir problem alive. Their ‘Hate India’ campaign survives on this basic factor over the last 50 years. The genesis of their failure to grab this territory lies in the repeated intrusions, mostly unsuccessful. The series of continual reverses over the year have resulted in loss of face leaving them with the alternative of indirect attacks. Militancy and their camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir are a result of this. Even the militancy and terrorist attempts have failed to deliver the goods ever as their efforts over the last two decades to grab the Siachen Glacier. Raising the issue repeatedly in the United Nations forum, as a result of our initial blunder in going to the forum during the first attempt by them after independence, has also failed to elicit the desired response. If instead of going to the UN, India had used its military power to throw them out immediately, there would have been no PoK.

Even as we went in for Tashkent Pact and Simla agreement, both form positions of strength, agreeing to return huge territory captured during the war, we could have bargained for the return of our occupied territory but our magnanimous attitude has let us down. Lack of farsightedness and the crave for would recognition, of pace efforts of our Prime Minister, has resulted in this permanent and cancerous problem.

Repeatedly being vanquished in wars with India and the failure of internationalizing the Kashmir issue in their favour, motivated them into another escapade in Kargil. This was primarily to draw India to the negotiating table forcing the international community into mediation. The plans formulated have been pieced together and were conceived several months earlier. The brainchild of the present President and then Chief of Army Staff, Pervez Musharraf and his deputy Mohammad Aziz, they had kept Nawaz Sharif on the border line of planning, receiving his concurrence ‘in principle’.

To create a screen to cover up their activities they sent in the Mujahideens, terrorists and local hired hands of ISI to start off the aggression. The trained military personnel were sent off the aggression. The trained military personnel were sent in after them taking positions and setting up heavy armour. The ascendancy in capturing the heights of Kargil was paid for by Indian Army with 407 dead, 584 wounded six missing. These are the official figures.

Pakistan’s repeated lies defence of their misadventure was obvious from the change of stands by their Foreign Minister Saratj Aziz. He kept changing his version from ‘LoC is delineated but not demarcated”, “The Pakistan Army were in occupation of Kargil Heights since decades”, “The intrusion is by militants over which we have no control”. All this were blatanly ludicrous statements with no grain of truth, Pakistani soldiers and the slain carried Pakistani Army identification paper. The LoC is clearly marked out in common maps with both are countries. In fact, a captured map of the Pakistani Army clearly showed the alignment of the LoC, it was captured in the Dras sector.

That this crisis was because of a serious lapse in our intelligence and political negligence, has been an accepted fact. The Pakistanis are aware of our weaknesses and have exploited it to hilt which resulted in the initial success of the reactionary Pakistani enterprise, of capturing the heights, albeit surreptitiously. But the initial advantage secured was sustained for some time by their meticulous planning in ensuring supplies and support to the task force, at those heights. The mercenaries, Mujahideens and regular troops were not devoid of motivation be it fortune, martyrdom or fame. They exposed our lack of political leadership, imperfect military strategies and incompetence of our highly acclaimed intelligence setup.

If we have emerged victorious in Operation Vijay it is because of the extreme courage and heroism and sacrifice of our young soldiers and the competent officers leading them. They are the ones who gave us their lives for the country, when they lacked proper military support, making do with inferior hardware and even the absence of snow boots.

Why is it that the dedicated, the patriotic and the law abiding citizens of the country have to pay for the blunders and incompetence of our leaders. Right from the painful incidents of partition, to the series of blunders in Kashmir and our shows of magnanimity in Tashkent and Simla, the middle class has suffered, the common man has had to pay through his nose. All our military efforts have also seen strategic incompetence and lack of proper firepower.

It is not new as is evident from our 1962 War with China. Even at that time our leadership was slow to react and failed to take steps timely. Slogans of ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’ rent the air while Chinese troops were breathing down our necks. We did not put our superiorily in air power to use at all except to supply obsolete material. Carpet bombing of Chinese troops would have turned the result of the war on its head. Strategists who had advised use of Air Power were cornered and shooed away. 303 rifles were being used by our Jawans to combat superior machine guns. We have not learnt any lesson even as thousands of our brave soldiers laid down their lives. Even at China War, there was lack of snow boots and proper warm clothings.

The official record of 407 dead would definitely be lower or nil if we had done our homework properly. Do we need to be taught the age old adage ‘A stitch in time saves nine’.

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