New Delhi: The Kargil war has completed 22 years. In the summer of 1999, when the war broke out. Ahead of Kargil Vijay Diwas, former Army Chief VP Malik, who led the army and the country to victory in the Kargil War, spoke on the strength and determination of the Indian Army. He further shared his views on Pakistan’s continuing dirty strategy which may never change in the near future. In this war, the Indian Army had driven Pakistan soldiers out of their territory. But General VP Malik believes that even before declaring a ceasefire, the Indian government should have allowed its army to occupy Pakistani areas adjacent to the LoC.
Who started the Kargil War? Speaking on the chronological event of the Kargil War, VP Malik said, “The war was started by Pakistan. This idea occurred to him when both India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests. India conducted the test in May 1998 and Pakistan did it a few days later.
The prime ministers of both countries thought that as nuclear nations they would have peace and should pursue all differences through dialogue. Following this decision, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was invited to Lahore, where both the Prime Ministers signed the Lahore Declaration in late February 1999.
VP Malik said, “But the Pak army initiated infiltration from those areas where our soldiers were away from those posts. They took advantage of the winter months to infiltrate troops when the area received heavy snowfall.”
“Our intelligence agency was unaware of this attack. The initial impression was that they were all mujahideen but gradually we realized that they were all Pakistani soldiers.”
It took some time for the Indian Army to understand who the infiltrators were and who was supporting them. But, once the security forces established the facts, India was ready for war.
India’s Achievement in Kargil War Describing the indomitable courage and valor of the Indian Army in recapturing Kargil, VP Malik said, “The first peak was recaptured at Tololing, which was close to the road leading from Srinagar to Zojila to Kargil. .”
He further said, “Our soldiers, showing their bravery, kept on regaining those peaks. He was not only pressurized by Indian security forces but also international pressure was put on him. On the rest of the western borders, we put pressure on Pakistan in the Arabian Sea.
As the war intensified, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan went to China for help and then went to America. Ultimately the two prime ministers agreed to a ceasefire. But by that time we had captured most of our territory.”
Tololing – A turning point in the Kargil War Speaking on the important battles during the Kargil War, Malik said, “The Battle of Tololing really changed the history of the war. It gave me a lot of confidence as army chief. It made me realize that our boys are strong and they can do it.
He said some battles were fought in Batalik, Dras, Tiger Hill, 4875 which were some of the major battles. The first Tololing and the second Tiger Hill remained the main centers as the morale of the Pakistani army dropped after its capture.
Pakistan and India Speaking on Pakistan’s behavior now, VP Malik said, “As far as dirty tactics being used by Pakistan is concerned, they will go ahead with it as Mujahideen are being trained by Pakistan Army. “As far as the Pakistan Army is concerned, I cannot say that Pakistan can be trusted,” he said, adding that India should remain vigilant. And whenever needed they should do operations like Balakot or Uri. Along with defensive measures, we should also take some offensive measures.