HT Image
HT Image

The Kargil war- 1999

Unnerved by the defeats of 1971 war, the Pakistan army initiated operation Topac, by pushing terrorists into J&K and striking at civilian and military targets from the earliy 1990s. With almost a decade of terrorism failing to make an impact and the terrorists running out of steam against the Indian Army and para-military, Pakistan army chalked out another plan in its endeavour to annex...
By Prakash Pillai (HindustanTimes.com) | PTI
UPDATED ON JUL 24, 2003 06:24 PM IST

Unnerved by the defeats of 1971 war the Pakistani army initiated Operation Topac, by pushing terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir and striking at civilian and military targets from the early 1990s. With almost a decade of terrorism failing to make an impact and the terrorists running out of steam against the Indian Army and para-military, Pakistani army chalked out another plan in its endeavour to annex Jammu and Kashmir.

The operation at Kargil was planned meticulously by the top Pakistani army establishment in a bid to capture the deserted heights in Indian territory, left by Indian army during the inhospitable weather conditions and then taking control of the vital Srinagar-Leh highway. The Pak army thought that by capturing the strategic heights they will be in a position of strength and get the status of the Line of Control (LoC.) altered.

Pakistan army however, faltered in calculating the response of India which was hard with air strikes crippling the Pakistan army and terrorists holed up in the heights and cutting off their logistic support. Moreover, under international pressure the Pakistan army had to withdraw from the heights.

According to a top army source, the Kargil operation was planned months in advance and kept a top secret that was confined to a very few top army officers. The Pak Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Chief of General Staff (CGS), Director General Military Operations (DGMO), GOC 10 Corps and GOC Force Commander Northern Area (FCNA) who was made overall anchorage of operations in the Karl sector were the only ones aware about the actual operation.

Even the Corps Commanders were not kept in picture. It suggested that only an "in principle" concurrence without any specifics be obtained from the Pak Prime Minister. The Pak army thought that the operation would help in internationalising the Kashmir issue.

Pakistan army's objective was to exploit large gaps which existed in the defences in the sector both on Indian and Pakistani side of the Line of Control (LoC). They thought that Zoji La Pass, the only route connecting these region normally opens by end June, thus making the movement of reinforcements by surface from Srinagar impossible till then even if the incursions were to be detected. Pak also calculated that even if the intrusions were discovered in early May, the reaction of Indian Army would be slow and limited, thereby allowing it to consolidate the intrusions more effectively.

The Pak army thought that the intrusions, if effective, would enable Pak troops to secure number of dominating heights from where the Road Srinagar-Leh could be interdicted at number of places, which was the plan and would give Pak control over substantial piece of ground across LoC and enable her to negotiate from a position of strength and alter the status of LoC.

Apart from army regulars Pakistan turned to the mujahideens and decided to push them along with army into the Indian positions. Terrorists from Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Harkat-ul-Ansar and Afghan War veterans were also grouped with each battalion to give it a facade of jihad. After the intrusion 800 or more militants have been brought to Skardu Area for further reinforcements.
The logistics and cover for the entire operation was to be carried out by the Pakistan army with heavy artillery shelling.

The Pakistan army soldiers were ordered to undertake all operations in local tribal attire so as to depict them as the so called Mujahideens. The traditional 'oval' and 'round' identity discs worn by the soldiers all over the world in the battlefield, were also disallowed. However, despite these restrictions, a number of Pakistan Army soldiers carried their uniforms and identity documents with them, some of whom were captured by Indian forces.

However, much to the discomfort of Pakistan the Zoji La pass opened up early with the weathering clearing up and Indians got a wind of the Pakistani incursions and by early June 1999. There was heavy exchange of artillery fire between Indian and Pakistani forces. It was at this point of time that India realised the damage that has been caused as several vantage points along the heights were taken over by Pakistanis. After review of the situation India tuned to its Air Force to resort strikes that actually broke the backbone of the intruders.

Along with the Air Force the Army co-ordinated the attacks and the intruders were soon left gasping without logistics as the supply routes were cut by aerial bombings and the Army combed up the holed intruders from one point to the other. During the operations Indian Forces captured several Pakistani army personnel and documented their identity.

The greatest embarrassment for Pakistan came when India got a hand to two separate telephonic conversations between the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of General Staff, discussing the Kargil operations suggesting that the entire operation was masterminded at the highest level and conducted by Pakistan Army Regulars. Moreover, the recovery of large amount ammunition belonging to Pakistani army proved beyond doubt its involvement in the operation.

Initially, Pakistan refused accept the dead bodies of its soldiers but under pressure from home Pak had to accept the death of some of its army officers. The documentation by Indian Army proved beyond doubt the involvement of Northern Light Infantry (NLI) of Pakistan in the operation.

Moreover as points after points occupied by Pakistan army fell to Indian forces there was greater international pressure on Pakistan to stop incursions. The then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharrif rushed to the United States for assistance fearing a full fledged Indian invasion into Pakistan but he was told by the US administration to first withdraw all its forces from the region. Sharrif was forced to sign the withdrawal of forces that led to a great embarrassment to the Pakistani forces.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The Odisha government has directed that all passengers coming from these 11 states have to be screened at the point of arrival at airports and railway stations as per the protocol. (HT PHOTO).
The Odisha government has directed that all passengers coming from these 11 states have to be screened at the point of arrival at airports and railway stations as per the protocol. (HT PHOTO).

Odisha orders 7-day home isolation for people coming from 11 states, Chandigarh

By Debabrata Mohanty
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:37 PM IST
  • The 11 states are Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The union territory is Chandigarh.
Close
The Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Road Transport & Highways said rooftop solar offers an excellent value proposition to MSMEs by significantly bringing down cost of electricity consumption, which on an average, is up to one-fifth of their operations cost.(PTI)
The Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Road Transport & Highways said rooftop solar offers an excellent value proposition to MSMEs by significantly bringing down cost of electricity consumption, which on an average, is up to one-fifth of their operations cost.(PTI)

Gadkari urges MSMEs to avail concessional finance and install rooftop solar

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:25 PM IST
The minister observed that a large amount (average 8 and higher per unit) is being paid by the MSMEs for power consumption, which contributes to up to one-fifth of the overall production costs.
Close
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel.(File photo)
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel.(File photo)

C'garh govt will bear cost of Covid-19 vaccination, says chief minister

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:15 PM IST
"If the Union government refuses (to provide free vaccine to all), then we would facilitate Covid vaccination of people in the state at our own expenses," CM Baghel said.
Close
Toys from Ladakh featured in India Toy Fair
Toys from Ladakh featured in India Toy Fair

PM Modi to inaugurate 1st digital toy fair on February 27: All you need to know

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:20 PM IST
India's toy market stands at around $1.5 billion, but it is dominated by imported toys.
Close
Trade Union leaders of steel plant and CITU supporters during a protest against steel plant privatization on NH 16, in Visakhapatnam on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Trade Union leaders of steel plant and CITU supporters during a protest against steel plant privatization on NH 16, in Visakhapatnam on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Workers block NH-16, call for bandh to protest privatisation of Vizag Steel

PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:14 PM IST
  • Ignoring the continuous protests by the workers of the plant, the Centre has begun the exercise of disinvestment in the steel plant.
Close
The ministry said 10,405 sessions were held till 6 pm, and that all states and union territories conducted Covid-19 vaccinations during the day.(HT Photo)
The ministry said 10,405 sessions were held till 6 pm, and that all states and union territories conducted Covid-19 vaccinations during the day.(HT Photo)

Health ministry says over 1.37 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses administered

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:54 PM IST
As per the provisional report till Friday 6 pm, a total of 1,37,56,940 vaccine doses have been given through 2,89,320 sessions
Close
Governments say getting vaccinated and having proper documentation will smoothen the way to travel.(REUTERS)
Governments say getting vaccinated and having proper documentation will smoothen the way to travel.(REUTERS)

In past 3 months, Feb registers highest number of travellers in India: Report

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:30 PM IST
  • According to the report, bookings surged in Goa for both February 15 and February 22 by over 20%.
Close
India, the largest drug producer in the world, is currently manufacturing two Covid-19 vaccines- Covishield and Covaxin.(PTI)
India, the largest drug producer in the world, is currently manufacturing two Covid-19 vaccines- Covishield and Covaxin.(PTI)

'Together in fight against pandemic': PM Modi thanks WHO chief on Covax delivery

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:41 PM IST
"Thank you @DrTedros. We are all together in the fight against this pandemic. India is committed to sharing resources, experiences, and knowledge for global good," the Prime Minister said in a tweet.
Close
Nasscom said it has always advocated for responsible use of technology to ensure a conscious build of trust and transparency within the ecosystem.(AP | Representational image)
Nasscom said it has always advocated for responsible use of technology to ensure a conscious build of trust and transparency within the ecosystem.(AP | Representational image)

New rules for social media, OTT require right implementation: Nasscom

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:09 PM IST
Nasscom noted that technology is becoming all pervasive and it is important that there is responsible use and building of technology for all stakeholders government, industry, start-ups and citizens.
Close
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask buys fruit in a market, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask buys fruit in a market, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani/File Photo(REUTERS)

News updates from HT: Maharashtra records 8000 new cases of Covid-19

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:05 PM IST
  • Here are today’s top news, analysis, and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Congress leader KC Venugopal(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Congress leader KC Venugopal(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Congress prepared for upcoming state elections, says KC Venugopal

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Nilavro Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:05 PM IST
"Congress is totally prepared for elections. We will appeal to the people for change, for good governance. Alliance for Assam has been finalised. In Kerala and West Bengal, the alliance also almost finalised. In Tamil Nadu, talks underway on alliance," he said as quoted by news agency ANI.
Close
Planes are seen parked at Mumbai airport, Many flights has been cancelled during the outbreak of the new Coronavirus, COVID-19 in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, March 21, 2020.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Planes are seen parked at Mumbai airport, Many flights has been cancelled during the outbreak of the new Coronavirus, COVID-19 in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, March 21, 2020.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

India extends ban on international flights till March 31

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:39 PM IST
"Dedicated cargo flights and flights under the bilateral air bubble pacts with select countries will continue to operate," the DGCA said.
Close
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leaders hold a plough as they participate in a roadshow, in Surat on Friday. (ANI Photo)
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leaders hold a plough as they participate in a roadshow, in Surat on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Everyone talking about miracle in Surat: Kejriwal on AAP's Gujarat performance

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 08:38 PM IST
In the local body elections held in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party turned out to be the major opposition in some civic bodies.
Close
The resumption of Mumbai locals was thought to be a reason behind the sudden spike, but the increase in the number of cases has been statewide.(REUTERS)
The resumption of Mumbai locals was thought to be a reason behind the sudden spike, but the increase in the number of cases has been statewide.(REUTERS)

Maharashtra records over 8,000 fresh Covid-19 cases again, 1,035 cases in Mumbai

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:31 PM IST
Though the number of fresh infections reported on Friday recorded a slight dip from Thursday's numbers, the overall Covid-19 situation remains severe in the state.
Close
A BMC medical staffer collects the swab sample of a resident at Dharavi on Tuesday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
A BMC medical staffer collects the swab sample of a resident at Dharavi on Tuesday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Dharavi reports 16 coronavirus cases, highest spike in four months

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 08:22 PM IST
The caseload in the densely populated area, known as Asia's largest slum, thus reached 4,066.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP