Eleven years after having led troops on the ground during the Kargil war, a retired army general has claimed India had actually lost the war in strategic terms as it failed to consolidate tactical gains.
Lt Gen (retd) Kishen Pal, who headed the Srinagar-based 15 Corps during the 1999 conflict, told television channel NDTV in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he had never been convinced that India had won.
“We did gain some tactical victories, we regained back the territories we lost, (but) we lost 587 precious lives,” he said.
“I consider this loss of war because whatever we gained from the war has not been consolidated, either politically or diplomatically, it has not been consolidated militarily,” he added.
The Armed Forces Tribunal recently indicted Pal for showing bias against his junior Brigadier Devinder Singh and falsifying accounts during the Kargil war.
Asked if the army was under pressure then to give quick results, Pal admitted it was so. “It was a big embarrassment to everybody. The then vice chief (Lt Gen Chandra) Shekhar told me that there is lot of pressure we have to clear this very fast,” he said.