VK Singh praises `courageous` Pervez Musharraf for crossing LoC

Pakistan military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf received praise for coming into Indian territory in Kargil in 1999 from former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, who said it showed "courage" of military commander.

New Delhi: Former Pakistan military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf on Friday received praise for coming deep into Indian territory in Kargil in 1999 from former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, who said it showed the "courage" of a military commander.
Singh, who headed the Indian Army from 2010 to 2012, said there were "mistakes" on the Indian side that allowed Pakistani troops to cross over into Indian territory and let Musharraf go back safely.

"As far as General Musharraf is concerned, I would like to put it in two ways. One, as a military commander, I would commend Gen Musharraf for coming 11 km (inside Indian territory) to stay with his troops for a night. It is the courage of a military commander that he came so far knowing that there was danger," Singh told reporters here.

"Second, what was happening on our side you all know and facts are before you. Why did we allow him to go? Why did we allow them to enter? I would only say that there were some mistakes, which need to be rectified," he said.

Singh was commenting on the revelation by a senior retired officer of Pakistan Army that Musharraf had stayed for a night inside Indian territory with his troops before the three-month conflict erupted in Kargil in 1999.

The former Army Chief said the revelation was just a confirmation that Pakistan had started the Kargil war.

"What happened in 1999, we including the Indian Army know that Pakistan Army had started the Kargil war. There is nothing new in it," Singh said.

He said Pakistan had been telling lies and "now only its officials are confirming our stand."

Musharraf had crossed the Line of Control in a helicopter and spent a night at a location 11 km inside Indian territory, weeks before hostilities erupted between Indian and Pakistani troops in the Kargil sector in 1999.

Col (retd) Ashfaq Hussain, who was a senior officer in the Pakistan Army`s media arm, said Musharraf flew across the LoC on March 28, 1999 and travelled 11 km into the Indian side.

He was accompanied by Brig Masood Aslam, then commander of 80 Brigade, spent the night at a spot called Zikria Mustaqar, where Pakistani troops commanded by Col Amjad Shabbir were present.

Singh also said that Pakistani Army had to retreat during the war because they did not have the backing of the political decision making.

"War is not fought by the military only, it has to have a backing of political decision making. The moment there was no backing of political decision making, they had to withdraw," the former General said.