‘Vajpayee knew of Pak build up in Kargil in 1998’



‘Vajpayee knew of Pak build up in Kargil in 1998’ New Delhi: Almost a year before the 1999 conflict with Pakistan, Intelligence Bureau (IB) had informed the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee about the logistical build up by the neighbouring country along the LoC in the Kargil region, an army think tank has claimed.

"On June 2, 1998, the IB dispatched a note to the Prime Minister with details about Pakistani logistics-building efforts along the LoC in the area opposite Kargil," says a study by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).

"It predicted that, having acquired a nuclear umbrella, Pakistan was likely to push mercenaries into Kargil. The note was personally signed by the then-IB chief in protocol terms, a sign that its contents were extraordinarily sensitive and warranted follow-up action," it added.

The study titled 'Perils of Prediction, Indian Intelligence and the Kargil Crisis', said Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had also warned in its October 1998 assessment that Pakistan Army might launch "a limited swift offensive with possible support of alliance partners (reference to mercenaries)".

The study suggests that RAW's report seen against its otherwise sanguine estimate of the risk of war appeared "incongruous" and immediately prompted verbal queries from the Army.

It added that in its next six-monthly threat assessment, RAW omitted any reference to a "limited offensive" and depicted the Pakistani threat as consisting only of mercenaries.

The study suggests that Indian intelligence agencies accurately assessed Pakistani intentions prior to the Kargil crisis but "went wrong in predicting the specific form in which these would be enacted."

The study by CLAWS suggests that between them, RAW, IB and Army intelligence had produced 43 reports during June 1998-May 1999, which were later found to have a bearing on Pakistani intentions at Kargil.

PTI