Kargil: `Musharraf himself crossed LoC in 1999`
Islamabad/New Delhi: In an explosive revelation, Pakistan Army Colonel (retd) Ashfaq Hussain has exposed Pervez Musharraf and blamed him for the unwarranted aggression against India in 1999 and revealed that the former Army chief had himself crossed over the LoC.
Ashfaq Hussain in his book ‘Witness to Blunder’ said the Kargil misadventure was masterminded by Major General Javed Hassan, General Mehmood and General Aziz. They made Musharraf agree to the plans which later led to a limited conflict between India and Pakistan.
Hussain further claimed that Musharraf had himself crossed the LoC and spent a night on the Indian-controlled side. “On 28th March 1999 General Pervez Mushrraf crossed 11 kms beyond the LoC on a helicopter and was escorted by Colonel Amjad Shabbir at a location named Zakriya“Mustakar.”
Pakistan began its operation in Kargil on December 18, 1998 when Captain Nadeem, Captain Ali and Hawaldaar Lalak Jaan crossed LoC to carry out a recce.
“On 17th May 1999 Nawaz Sharif was given the Kargil briefing,” the book further said.
Another former Army officer, Lt Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz, who headed the analysis wing of the ISI during the Kargil conflict, recently revealed that the operation was masterminded by a group of four generals led by Musharraf.
Interestingly, Musharraf, in response to the allegations, has said that 1999 Kargil operation was a "big success militarily” and opined that if the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had not visited the US, the Pakistani Army would have "conquered" 300 square miles of India.
Rejecting the suggestion that he had willfully put a "tight lid" on details regarding the Kargil War operation, Musharraf told a Pakistani news channel that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was solely to blame for the defeat.
"Nawaz lost a political front which we had won militarily," he claimed.
The former dictator, who has been living in self-exile outside Pakistan since 2009, said the "prime consideration" for actions like the Kargil operation is security and secrecy.
"So the Army leadership decides who is to be informed and when. As the operation progressed and the proper time arrived, a briefing of the corps commanders was held," he said.
Musharraf justified Pakistani casualties in the conflict, claiming the country lost only 270 men against India’s 1,600 soldiers.
He said blaming the nation at this juncture of time, as Lt Gen (retd) Shahid has done, seems to be part of a conspiracy.
Musharraf has said he would return home some two and a half months before the forthcoming elections to boost the electoral chances of his party - All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).
However, Colonel Ashfaq Hussain, who was then part of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate, said, “How can Musharraf call it an excellent operation when there were no Indian troops on that location during winters? He crossed the LOC when Indian troops were not present at all. He assumed that Indians won’t come to know till June. The ones who were launched into the operation didn’t know the aims and objectives of the operation which is strange.” Hussain said.
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