Former army chief V.P. Malik, who led the army during the 1999 Kargil war, has said casualties in the conflict could have been reduced had the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) “not come in the way” of acquiring weapon-locating radars.
“We had one or two incidents particularly on the weapon locating radar. If the DRDO had not come in the way we would have got them before the Kargil war and that would have definitely reduced our casualties,” he told CNN-IBN.
Asked whether DRDO was “slight boastful” in claims over developing weapons, Malik said: “Well, that has been our (armed forces’) experience over the development of weapons and equipment the DRDO has delivered or not delivered.”
On whether A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, during his stint as the director-general of the DRDO, overestimated the country’s capacity and ability, Malik just said: “I do not want to go more into that.”
Clear air on N-test
Amid claims by some scientists that Pokhran-II in 1998 was not a complete success, Malik said the armed forces were “affected” by doubts over its efficacy and need to be “reassured” by the nuclear establishment on the exact yield of the atomic tests.
Malik also said the statement by Kalam rubbishing the claims of his colleague and defence scientist Dr K. Santhanam, was “unconvincing”.
Santhanam said the tests were a fizzle, which were rejected by Kalam, who said Pokhran-II was a complete success.
“They (armed forces) need to be reassured about the weapon system they use and about the planning of what kind of the yield they have when they hit the target,” Malik said.
The former army chief dubbed as shocking the recent comments of Santhanam, questioning the yield of the thermonuclear device tested on May 11, 1998.
“Yes, it affects the armed forces. Particularly, because, when they plan the task given to them then they have to know what kind of yield that each nuclear weapon has,” said Malik, stressing that it was important to remove the doubts.