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The Kargil Conflict

by on 04/10/2009
The Kargil war was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999, in the Kargil district of Kashmir. The article below details the events that lead to this conflict and the events comprising it.


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1.The Military Dimension 1

As the intelligence assessments about the suspicious movements of the Indian military in the late 1998-early 1999 period, started looking more credible, the high command of the Pakistan Army asked FCNA to evolve a plan to deny the Indians any adventurism/incursions along the LOC,

given Pakistan’s historical experience on this count, especially on the lines of what happened in Siachin. The assumption that some grand strategic plan was formulated on Kargil at a GHQ conference is not borne out by the facts, but in the light of enhanced Indian moves along the LOC, many conferences were held as is the routine in professional armies where a continuous threat evaluation has to be made and responses formulated. Such conferences are a matter of routine at the GHQ and are attended by the required Army commanders. Naturally, like any other army, the details of these conferences are divulged on a need-to-know basis.

2. FCNA Operation

Having been alerted to intensified Indian moves in the Shaqma Sector, HQ 10 Corps, on instructions from the Military Operations Directorate (MO), directed FCNA to carry out a realistic assessment of the situation and to take defensive measures in order to forestall Indian designs and avoid being caught off-guard. FCNA planned a defensive action with integral troops. No extra troops were provided to the FCNA, till these were called for after massive Indian attacks on Pakistani posts. This fact alone is sufficient to debunk the claim of a so-called strategic offensive operation planned by Pakistan at Kargil. Any major offensive would, obviously, have entailed some sort of additional troops and logistic build up which, given the terrain and Indian surveillance, would hardly have gone unnoticed just as the Indian moves had alerted the Pakistani side.

The operation was undertaken at the end of March 1999, after confirmation of Indian designs. The area of operation did not allow any additional build up of forces because of the closure of the Burzil Pass. The Pass remains closed to vehicular traffic from mid-October to mid-July and for foot/animal transport, from mid December to April. However, due to less snowfall in 1998, the passes became available a month in advance, and so, by the third week of March 1999, foot movement across Burzil was possible. Interestingly, on the Indian side, the Zojila Pass opened even a month earlier, somewhere in late February/early March 1999 – and this provided a lead time to the Indians.

In March 1999, with the improvement in the weather, the Pakistani holding battalions along with two reserve battalions were employed to occupy the watershed on the Pakistani side of the LOC. India claims that the Pakistani operational preparations were already underway when Vajpayee visited Lahore in February 1998, but this would have been physically impossible. As stated above, no movement across Burzil Pass was possible prior to mid-March.2 By keeping two well-equipped Indian brigades at Mashkoh/Dras, India possessed the capability to occupy positions in the Shaqma sector, as has been mentioned earlier. The positioning of local troops on the Pakistani side of the LOC was undertaken towards the end of March to forestall such an Indian action. Also important to remember is the fact that, at the time, the NLI was not part of the regular Pakistan Army but was a paramilitary force – a status that changed after Kargil when the NLI became a regular outfit of the Pakistan Army. The use of the NLI clearly showed that the Kargil operation was seen by the Pakistani military planners simply as a tactical operation to pre-empt further Indian adventurism in the Dras-Kargil sector. Hence, the occupation, by the NLI, of the watershed along the LOC.

However, given the nature of the terrain, the possibility of some of the NLI troops crossing the LOC, albeit at shallow depths (500-1000 meters), cannot be ruled out. In interviews with the military personnel involved on the ground in Kargil at that time, it is clear that once the Indian attacks opened up along the LOC, beginning with an attack in Turtok on April 30, 1999,3 some of the junior commanders did in fact go further ahead on more dominating heights primarily as advance patrolling and reconnaissance parties to act as early warning, as well as to provide depth and flank protection to NLI’s vulnerable posts/complexes. But, in some cases, these advance partrols also acted as raiding parties to dislodge advance Indian posts. For instance there are the, now legendary, raids of NLI’s Captain Karnal Sher Khan of June 22, 1999 and July S, 1999.

However, part of the difference in claims between the Pakistan and Indian sides on whether the NLI personnel crossed the LOC, or stayed along the LOC, can also be attributed to inaccuracy of maps, difficult terrain and difference in grids between the Pakistani maps – on the basis of which the post-Simla demarcation of the LOC was done on the official Pakistani maps – and the Russian maps which were being used by the Indian army. For instance, the Russian maps show one Northing (in certain cases two Northings) intruding into the Pakistani side of the LOC.

The Indian assertion that the operation was essentially planned across the LOC makes no sense, because if that had been the intent then the Pakistani troops would have attempted to recapture the Marpola and Bimbet posts that were established on the Pakistani side of the LOC by Indian troops in their many incursions across the LOC in 1988. How could Pakistan allow these Indian posts to remain intact even as Pakistani troops bypassed these positions, went across the LOC and occupied vast, inhospitable areas? Had the Pakistan Army gone across the LOC, then recapture of these posts would have been a major priority for them before going further ahead.

India, as per its plan, moved its troops to occupy the watershed on their side of the LOC4 and initially came across those Mujahideen who were familiar with the terrain and had moved to occupy some of the heights across the LOC to interdict the Indian supply route along the Dras-Kargil road. However, because guerrilla forces are not stationary, the Indian’s found it difficult to cope with them and “dislodge” them.

But what really upset Indian planning along the watershed was the discovery of the forward defensive positions, which the NLI had taken along the LOC to counter any Indian offensive along the Line. Having intercepted some FCNA communication in the local languages, Pushto and Balti, and being unable to distinguish between these, the Indians thought that these were the dreaded “jehadis”5 whom the Indian military and media began referring to as the “ghusbaityas” or intruders.6 By the time the Indians discovered the involvement of the NLI, the Pakistani side thought it expedient to let the perceptual bias continue rather than refute it – a decision that would eventually prove to be very costly politically for the Pakistan military. Meanwhile, India was compelled to focus its attacks against these positions of the Pakistani NLI and, later, of the regular forces along the LOC.7

The FCNA, in planning the tactical operation to deny India any success in a contemplated offensive across the LOC, had made certain military calculations relating to such an operation.

  • The first was the assumption that India would have to induct additional forces and extra strategic reserves – a costly exercise.
  • There was also a calculation that a maximum of 4-5 brigades would be employed against the FCNA while approximately 2 strategic reserve divisions would be committed to redress the vulnerabilities opposite 12 Division and 23 Division areas. It was correctly assessed that this would reduce the possibility of India responding militarily, at the strategic level, in other areas.However, it appears that beyond the immediate, tactical-level assessment, there was no overall strategic assessment of the politico-military fallout or unintended consequences – primarily because the contemplated maneuver, at the FCNA level, was seen purely in defensive terms where the occupation of the watershed was to be the main line of defence.As stated above, in the wake of Indian moves and Pakistan’s decision to deny India the advantage of the offensive, unlike in the case of Siachin and other Indian ingresses across the LOC, the FCNA took defensive measures by positioning troops on the heights/ featuresPakistan felt the need to induct one to two brigades additional strength into the FCNA. overlooking/ dominating Indian approaches/ routes which, in fact, had been mostly unoccupied previously. Within this operational strategy, the concerned brigades took the following defensive measures in their areas of operation:8
  • 323 Brigade occupied some of the dominating features overlooking Turtok and Gora Lungpa by the third week of April 1999, in order to allow better observation of Indian activities and to provide flank protection to Pakistan’s vulnerable posts in the Chorbat La sector. The battalions also readjusted and reinforced existing posts/complexes, especially the vulnerable/threatened ones.
  • 62 Brigade conducted readjustment of battalion defences with special emphasis on the reinforcement of vulnerable posts and complexes of the Indus sector. There existed wide gaps between Brigades 323 and 62 over the Ladakh Range, which led the 62 Brigade to occupy vacant heights/ features covering Indian approaches/ routes through the Gragrabar and Gragrio Nullahs.
  • 80 Brigade also readjusted the defences in their area of operation and vulnerable posts/complexes were reinforced. The watersheds in Shaqma and Buniyal sectors were occupied to guard against likely Indian approaches/ routes since they were sensitive to defence of the Shaqma sector. In the Gultari sector, features overlooking Batakulain Nullah were occupied.As a result of the Indian counter attacks, which began after the Turtok encounter at the end of April 1999, numerous new posts were established and fighting patrols were pushed ahead for early warning and depth and flank protection. Apart from the NLI troops, individual local volunteers (Razakars) also joined the military’s efforts in various ways – from logistics to fighting. Towards late June, additional elements also got inducted into the FCNA area of operations to bolster the FCNA effort.

    Initially, the Indians launched counter attacks to dislodge the Pakistani troops from the watershed and heights. The FCNA had created a maximum of 15-16 forward posts, some of which may well have been across the LOC, but to a maximum depth of about a kilometre.9 Most Indian and American writings on Kargil refer to over 100 picquets/posts across the LOC that the Pakistanis established. Brian Cloughley, in his book, A History of the Pakistan Army refers to 130 picquets,10 and Indian authors on Kargil have cited his reference but used the term picquet interchangeably with the term post,11 despite the fact that Cloughley himself clearly sticks to the word picquet when talking of ingresses by the NLI across the LOC.

    Here, there is some confusion over what a post is and what a picquet is. While the former is a hub with self-sustaining logistics, the latter is simply a temporary position to protect movement of forces. Each post has a number of picquets and some forward reconnaissance groups may also establish picquets. Also, the Mujahideen normally construct “sangars” for shelter on the heights – which are parapets of stones as opposed to the traditional army’s cemented bunkers. By using the terms post and picquet interchangeably, the Indian analysts deliberately created an impression that the NLI had actually ingressed far further than what the reality actually was.

    The Indian army, in the initial counter attacks, used elements of reserve formations that is, 70 and 114 Brigades of 3rd Infantry Division with integral artillery resources. These initial attacks were repulsed. In reaction, Indians went in for a major raising of the level of military force with the induction of the Bofors and the Indian Air Force. Their panicked response included the massing up of defensive and offensive forces in the Dras-Kargil area (including elements of strategic strike formations and the bulk of their artillery).

    Interestingly, the heavy artillery India had inducted along the LOC in 1998 had never been `deinducted’ in the first place – as the Indian Defence Yearbook 2000 pointed out.12 Nevertheless, this raising of the military ante in Kargil created a major imbalance for India in terms of its overall position along the international border with Pakistan, which prevented India from opening an all-out war front.13 India also inducted air and aviation into the combat but could not get a decisive military result.14 At the same time, Pakistan’s intent of keeping the Kargil operation limited was reflected in the fact that Pakistan did not respond to the use of the IAF by calling in the PAF.

    With Operation Vijay being conceived around May 11, 1999,15 a reinforced Indian attack was launched in the third week of May 1999, initially centering on Tiger Hill and Tololing. Between May 13-26, 1999, the total strength of the IAF was raised from one squadron to four in IOK – deployed at 4 bases: Srinagar, Awantipur, Leh and Udamphur. The IAF launched air strikes on May 26, 1999, and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs began a massive diplomatic offensive to try and show Pakistan as the aggressor. Two IAF fighters were shot down across the LOC by Pakistan on May 27, 1999, and there were reports of a third fighter having being shot down by Indian fire itself in Shyok Valley.16 Overall, the efficacy of the IAF in Kargil was extremely limited at best.

    Frustrated by their lack of military success despite the vertical expansion of the conflict, by June 10, 1999, the Indians brought the following additional forces into the Kargil area:17


  • 69 Mountain Brigade ex 6 Division in Kargil.
  • 56 and 192 Mountain Brigade ex 8 Mountain Division in Dras.
  • 70 Brigade ex 3 Infantry Division in Dras.
  • 79 Brigade ex 19 Division in Dras. Artillery
  • Approximately 24 Artillery Regiments were mustered which included 8x BOFORS Guns regiments.Para /Commando Battalions (bns)
  • Approximately 4-5 Para/Commando battalions were employed. PMF/ BSF Bns (4-S bns)
  • 3xBSF Battalions
  • 1xCRPF BattalionThe IAF also readjusted its operations under the code name Safeed Saghar launched on June 1, 1999. The changed format included high-level bombing by conventional aircraft. The initial use of MIGs did not give the desired results. So from June 5-10, 1999, the IAF used Jaguars and the Mirage-2000, but India still failed to clear the watershed posts or the forward early warning temporary posts and picquets. The IAF also began using high-altitude laser-guided bombs. The problems that beset the Indian military were reflected in the action taken to relieve the Commanders of the 15 and 16 Corps of their internal security duties as well as in the appointment of Lt. General Avtar Singh as the new Security Adviser and head of a unified command in IOK on June 19, 1999. This signified some high level assessment of an Intelligence failure on the part of the Indian Intelligence, including a lack of coordination.Meanwhile, unlike Pakistan, India was extremely active on the diplomatic front with Vajpayee’s National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra going to Paris to meet with the US National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, to deliver a letter for President Clinton, prior to the G-8 Summit scheduled for June 18-20, 1999. India managed to portray its lack of success in the military operations as restraint and adroitly played on Western fears of a nuclear war in South Asia. The central line being pushed was that it was Indian restraint that had prevented a nuclear conflict in South Asia. Indian External Affairs Minister, Jaswant Singh, visited China on June 14-15, following the visit of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to Beijing.In fact, one of the problems that worked to Pakistan’s disadvantage was that it got sucked incrementally into a larger military operation by India with the latter’s induction of reinforcements, the Bofor guns and use of the IAF. Pakistan had not anticipated this since its objective was simply to preempt suspected Indian military actions along the LOC. In any case, from the Pakistani perspective, no grand strategic Kargil plan was envisaged because it would have been difficult to employ large scale forces in Kargil, in a sustainable manner, for a number of reasons:
  • One, the FCNA did not have integral resources to launch a large-scale offensive operation. The FCNA is a defensive formation so it took defensive action to plug gaps and occupy vacant heights19 on the watershed by using holding units. No additional forward dumping was affected either.
  • Two, offensive operations in such areas require massive logistic support to the tune of six porters for a combat soldier. If the operation was launched by 1500 troops, as claimed by India, this would require up to 9000 persons for support. Concealing the activity/movement of such a large number of people in that area would be impossible.
  • Three, any large-scale induction into the FCNA cannot be concealed due to the Karakoram Highway (KKH) being the only highly visible supply artery. Had such a movement taken place, it would have certainly been picked up by normal intelligence gathering means, especially given India’s satellite and other hi-tech surveillance resources.
  • Four, India returned only two dead bodies of regular soldiers and six prisoners of war (POWs) to Pakistan, who were captured when a Pakistani patrol went astray across the LOC. This refutes their claims of having inflicted heavy casualties and captured a number of positions occupied by Pakistani soldiers on the Indian side of the LOC. If that were the case, the number of Pakistani casualties would have been far greater.
  • Five, in contrast, the Indians came across the LOC and suffered casualties. Pakistan returned 7-8 dead bodies of Indian soldiers, shot down a number of aircraft and helicopters, which were on the Pakistani side of the LOC. India itself admitted to the shooting down of two of their aircraft and one helicopter.The expansion of the conflict in vertical terms, militarily, and horizontally, in diplomatic terms, was partially the result of the initial panic on the Indian side. This panic was rather apparent, not only in the amassment of military hardware and troops but also in their haste to give military awards as a means of reviving the sagging morale of their soldiers. As a result they awarded their highest gallantry award posthumously to a soldier whose wife claimed that her husband was still alive and admitted in the hospital!20

    On suffering heavy casualties in the early stages of the conflict, the Indians changed the technique of attack and started containing the front while attacking from the flanks. They attacked only a limited number of as objectives in each sub-sector at any one time, thereby ensuring maximum concentration of infantry and artillery fire. For instance, according to India Today,21 the attack on Tololing Ridge where it meets the watershed -Pakistan’s ingress here was 1-2 km – was supported by 120 artillery guns which pounded the ridge for more than four hours, firing at least 10,000 shells (50,000 kg of TNT) before initiating the assault. Despite this, the Indians could not clear the whole ridge.

    Notwithstanding the expansion by India of the military dynamics of the conflict, at the time of the forced withdrawal by Pakistan – following Prime Minister Sharifs dash to Washington on July 4, 1999 – according to Pakistani military sources, India had managed to retake only 10-11% of the area. This has also been confirmed by Indian sources, some of whom cite Col. Brian Cloughley’s book A History of the Pakistan Army.22 Also, according to Pakistani military sources, at that time the Indian formations had also begun to fatigue.23

    For Pakistan, militarily, the tactical aspects of the operation were successful – similar to a number of tactical actions undertaken by India along and across the LOC since 1972 in the form of ingresses – although the Pakistani ingresses were not comparable to Indian ingresses, in terms of greater depth across the LOC. Unfortunately, once India had amassed its forces along the LOC and because of political miscalculations, or lack of calculations by Pakistan, the whole Kargil episode was turned into a politico-diplomatic victory for India.

    3. The Political Dimension

    Post-Kargil, Pakistan’s political elite tried to distance itself from knowledge of the Kargil action. But the reality on the ground was different. As is the pattern in Pakistan, the political leadership is periodically briefed on operational military matters. It was no different in the case of Kargil. Once the Indian intentions and capability to undertake offensive operation were identified, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was briefed on the impending threat and what could be Pakistan’s response.

    He received a number of briefings relating to developments along the LOC in 1999, beginning with a briefing in Skardu on January 29, and one in Kel on February 5, which specifically related to the interdiction taking place in that sector from the Indian side of the LOC. The ISI gave him a briefing on March 12, 1999, while the Military Operations (MO) Directorate at GHQ gave him briefings on May 17, 1999, June 2, 1999, and June 22, 1999.24 On July 2, 1999, there was a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) where a briefing was given on Kargil by the Chiefs of the army, navy and air force. A further meeting was scheduled for July 5, 1999.25 So it is clear that, as Prime Minister, ‘ Nawaz Sharif was very much in the decision-making loop regarding Kargil. However, on the afternoon of July 3, 1999, Sharif and Clinton spoke on the phone and only two other people were present at the time – cabinet member Chaudhry Nisar and Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif.26 It is after this exchange between Clinton and Sharif that Sharif made his dash to Washington.

    From discussions with some of the military leadership at the time, it is also clear that India was prepared to negotiate with Pakistan around mid-June, 1999. There had been a process of back-channel diplomacy going on between Niaz Naik (former Pakistani foreign secretary) and R. K. Mishra (ex-Congress Party member of parliament) on trying to find ways to diffuse the conflict.27 Apparently, it was reported on June 27, 1999, that an understanding had been reached on the final settlement of the Kargil conflict, which was to be signed in New Delhi by the prime ministers of the two countries.28 That is why at the time of the Pakistani prime minister’s visit to China on June 27, 1999, apparently, the Indian side had suggested that Sharif make an “impromptu” stop in New Delhi on his wav back from Beijing. This is probably why Sharif suddenly cut short his visit to China – and why Sartaj Aziz had actually made a trip to New Delhi earlier on June 12, 1999. But once he did this, the Indian offer was suddenly cancelled, which left Sharif cooling his heels in Hongkong. So, somewhere between these developments, an external factor came into play, which further impacted the Kargil dynamics.

    4. The External Dimension

    There was little support for Pakistan in relation to the Kargil conflict from the key external actors – partly due to the fact that there had been no advance diplomatic preparation for the fallout. Pakistan’s ally China called for de-escalation of the tensions along the LOC and Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz’s visit to Beijing got only a statement of general support for Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.29 When Prime Minister Sharif visited China (June 28, 1999), all he got was support for Pakistan “in its efforts to de-escalate the situation along the Line of Control” and the Chinese urged both India and Pakistan to find a peaceful settlement to the Kashmir dispute.30 By not being specific in terms of Kargil, the Chinese leadership made it clear to Pakistan that it was not prepared to condone the Kargil action, even though it was prepared to reiterate general support for its longstanding ally Pakistan. This detached approach of China on Kargil did contribute to influencing world opinion into thinking that Pakistan was indeed culpable, as the Indians had claimed.

    The June 18-20, 1999, G-8 Cologne Summit also, without naming Pakistan, termed “any military action to change the status quo (along the LOC) as irresponsible. We therefore call for the immediate end of these actions, restoration of the Line of Control and for the parties to work for an immediate cessation of the fighting, full respect in the future for the Line of Control and the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan in the spirit of the Lahore Declaration. “31 However, the G8 statement, by not naming Pakistan, offered the latter some face-saving.

    The US role in the Kargil conflict has yet not come out fully, but it was playing an active behind-the-scene role at the political level. General Zinni, the then commander-in-chief of CENTCOM, visited Pakistan on June 23, 1999, accompanied by G. Lanpher, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia32 – who then went on to visit New Delhi. It appears that Zinni may have given some understanding to the Pakistani side that the US was prepared to intervene between Pakistan and India because, after the Zinni visit, General Musharraf (COAS) referred to the possibility of a Nawaz- Clinton meeting on Kashmir.33 Rationally, it would appear that the US, or General Zinni, must have given some assurance that the US would be able to press India into starting a dialogue with Pakistan as a quid pro quo for Pakistani “withdrawal” in Kargil. At the time, General Musharraf also insisted that there would be no “unilateral withdrawal”.34

    But it is equally clear that the real US intent was not to play a neutral mediator in this conflict. Many military commanders, in interviews, insisted that it was the US that prevented India from coming to the negotiating table with Pakistan at the time of the Sharif visit to China. Even earlier, around June 9, 1999, Kissinger visited lndia35 apparently carrying a message from the US government not to negotiate with Pakistan.

    Why would the US adopt this approach? Because it had warned Pakistan not to take any action along the LOC and felt that Pakistan was playing a game of brinkmanship against US wishes.36 Also, by now the US-India strategic relationship was also evolving, after the initial problems following the Indian nuclear tests of 1998.

    However, another factor that prevented a Sharif-Vajpayee meeting in June 1999, could have been the presence of the hardliners within the BJP, led by Advani – the same group that later is widely believed to have sabotaged the Agra talks.

    Whatever the case, the external political factors played a critical role in the unfolding of the Kargil conflict.

    1. This section is based on analysis of information received from briefings at GHQ and interviews with the officers involved in the Kargiloperation as well as evaluation of some of the published Indian works on Kargil. Including, The kargil review Committee Report and Musharaf’s War. 2. Burzil pass, which is 13,770 feet high, is approximately 100 km away from the area of operations and served by a jeepable track, while on the Indian side, the Zojila Pass, which is 11,578 feet high 50 kms away from the area of operations and has a matelled road, allowed India early and quicker movement of troops. 3. A similar Indian attack was launched in the Batalik sector on May 5, 1999, and in the Dras sector on May 7, 1999. 4. India also wanted to take over some contentious points like Pt 5353. 5. A similar Indian attack was launched in the Batalik sector on May 5, 1999, and in the Dras sector on May 7, 1999.
    6. India also wanted to take over some contentious points like Pt 1353.
    7. Jehadi – traditionally a Muslim fighter for just causes, from social ssues to military war. This word has been distorted to refer to any nilitary fighter who happens to be a Muslim, regardless of the aim of us fight.
    8. Indians use the word “intruder” for any non-Kashmiri fighter ighting against Indian forces in IOK.
    9. When the Indians upped the military ante, around May 14, 1999, Pakistan felt the need to induct one to two brigades additional strength into the FCNA.
    10. As informed in the FCNA briefing on January 12, 2003, at Gilgit, op.cit. and subsequently reconfirmed through interviews with the relevant military personnel.
    11. FCNA briefing, Gilgit, January 12, 2003. Ibid.
    12. Brain Cloughley, A History of the Pakistan Army, Second Edition, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000.
    13. See, for instance, Maj. Gen. Rajendra Nath, op. cit.
    14. See p. 78 of the Indian Defence Yearbook 2000. According to the Yearbook, the Bofor guns and the multi-barrel rocket launchers blasted Tiger Hill with nearly 30,000 rounds.
    15. Since the Indians had taken troops required for strike forces to launch their offensive along the LOC, this resulted in an imbalance as they could not have generated the combat potential required for an offensive against Pakistan along the international border. For a good account of the massive use of Indian forces in Kargil, read General V. P. Malik (the then Indian COAS), “Lessons from Kargil” in the Indian Defence Review, Vol. 16 (S) 20. This lack of a serious conventional threat from India also belies the speculation about Pakistan readying its nuclear forces.
    16. According to the Indian Defence Yearbook 2000, the IAF used laser-guided bombs. For the first time, India used its UAVs “adding a new hi-technology dimension to combat in the sub-continent.” The Yearbook also notes that India had a major military advantage because, unlike Pakistan, India had been regularly modernising its equipment and arsenal.
    17. General V.P. Malik in the Foreword to Musharrafs War, op.cit.
    18. Pakistan Intelligence sources.
    19. Ibid.
    20. These heights were not those vacated by India in the winters but were those that had never been occupied by either side before.
    21. The Indians also showed TV coverage of their soldiers offering Janaza (funeral) prayers for dead Pakistani soldiers – as a propaganda ploy aimed at the Pakistani public. But unfortunately they forgot that Muslims do not go into sajda (prostration) during these prayers!
    22. July 5, 1999.
    23. See, for example, Mai Gen Rajandra Nath’s article, in Musharrafs War, op.cit.
    24. FCNA briefing of J anuary 12, 2003, op cit The source for this assumption of fatigue seems to be Indian military transmissions.
    25. On his return from Washington, Sharif visited Skardu on July 16, 1999, where he was also given a briefing on the latest developments relating to Kargil.
    26. As confirmed by Mr Mushahid Hussain at the Kargil Seminar held at the ISSI on Januarv 13, 2003.
    27. This was confirmed by certain people close to the participants of this event, at the ISSI seminar cited Ibid.
    28. See “Secret Pak Mission to Delhi”, in The Asian Age, June 28, 1999.
    There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding this back-door diplomacy which continues to date. Partly this is the result of claims by many in the know – including Mr. Naik himself, that somehow India had been persuaded to move towards resolution of the Kashmir issue and a formula had been agreed to by both Pakistan and India. However, there is little to substantiate this – especially within the context of India actually agreeing to cede some territory of Occupied Kashmir to Pakistan. In September an Indian newspaper report clearly stated that India had denied any secret deal with Pakistan on Kashmir. See “India denies secret deal with Pakistan on J&K”, in The Hindu, September 16, 1999. However, it seems highly probable that the two sides may have agreed on a methodology of bringing the Kargil conflict to an end.
    29. Nasim Zehra, “Was there a deal that Delhi went back on?”, in The News, June 27, 1999.
    30. “China assures support for Pakistan security”, The Nation, June 12 , 1999.
    31. “Prime Minister cuts short China visit”, The News, June 29, 1999.
    32. See
    33. The News, June 24, 1999.
    30. The News, (Islamabad) June 27, 1999.
    34. Ibid.
    35. “Kissinger calls on Vajpayee, Advani, discusses Kargil”, Hindustan Tmes, (New Delhi) June 9, 1999.
    36. For example, in mid-June President Clinton, in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, asked him to immediately pull out his forces from the “Indian territory” in Kashmir. In fact, Clinton made this a precondition for ending the fighting between the two countries. See, “Clinton asks Sharif to vacate Kargil sector” in Daily Excelsior, (Jammu) June 15, 1999.

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