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

Almost a year before the 1999 Kargil conflict, IB had informed Vajpayee about the logistical build up by Pak, an army think tank has claimed.

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

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

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.