Pak admits role in Kargil War; names soldiers on casualty list

Last Updated: Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 18:52

Islamabad: Eleven years after the Kargil
War, the Pakistan Army which has been denying its role in the
conflict has quietly included the names of 453 soldiers and
officers in the battle on its website.

Proof of the involvement of regular Pakistani soldiers
in the 1999 Kargil War over a string of strategic heights in
the Kargil sector of the Line of Control in 1999 has come from
an institution that spent years denying its role in the
hostilities with India the Pakistan Army.

The 453 Pakistani soldiers were shown killed in
Batalik-Kargil sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

The names of those who died in Kargil are tucked away
in a list of thousands of personnel killed while on duty that
has been posted in the "Shuhada`s Corner" (Martyrs Corner) of
the website.

The very first page of the long list of martyrs
includes the names of Capt Karnal Sher and Havildar Lalak Jan,
who were both killed on July 7, 1999 in Kargil and awarded
Pakistan`s highest military award, the Nishan-e-Haider.

Several others were posthumously given other gallantry
awards like the Tamgha-e-Jurat (Medal of Courage).

The army also reveals the codename given to the
operation to occupy strategic mountains and heights on the
Indian side of the LoC “Operation Koh-e-Paima" or Mountain
of Resolve. In some cases, the campaign is also referred to as
"Operation Kargil".

A majority of those who died in Kargil were soldiers
from the Northern Light Infantry, a formation that was made a
regular regiment of the Pakistan Army because of its
performance in the 1999 conflict.

It was earlier a paramilitary force formed by the
amalgamation of several militias from the Northern Areas or
Gilgit-Baltistan.

Several causes are cited for those who died in Kargil
"killed in action", "enemy action", "enemy firing", "enemy
artillery shelling" and even "road accident". The list gives
the name, rank, unit, and location and nature of death of each
casualty.

During the Kargil conflict and in subsequent years,
the Pakistan Army insisted that none of its regular soldiers
were involved in the hostilities. This stance continued despite the Indian Army
capturing several serving soldiers and the Pakistan Army never
issued an official list of its casualties.

The first official admission of the Pakistan Army`s
involvement in the conflict came from former army chief and
President Pervez Musharraf, who revealed in his 2006 memoir
"In The Line Of Fire" that regular soldiers had fought in
Kargil.

The Hindi version of Musharraf`s book said 357 troops
were killed and over 660 injured but political parties have
claimed that thousands of soldiers and insurgents died in the
conflict.

The opposition PML-N put the death toll at 3,000 and
nearly 200 Pakistani casualties were buried on the Indian
side.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 18:52

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