Home > China, India, India-Pakistan Relations, Pax Americana, Politics > Kargil: Breast Beating In Pakistan

Kargil: Breast Beating In Pakistan


Kargil Misadventure: Pakistan’s superficial ‘analysis’ and breast-beating after each defeat hides a deeper problem.

India operated Hawker Hunter Mark 56 (designation for Hunter F.Mark 6) bought from Britain that was phasing out these aircraft.

India operated Hawker Hunter Mark 56 (designation for Hunter F.Mark 6) bought from Britain that was phasing out these aircraft.

In the India-Pakistan War of 1965, there was a real risk of China joining in with a third front against India. Thundering in the parliament, Pakistan’s foreign minister at that time, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto assured the Pakistani nation of China’s support.

In the event of war, Pakistan would not be alone. Pakistan would be helped by the most powerful nation in Asia. War between India and Pakistan involves the territorial integrity and security of the largest State in Asia. (Z.A. Bhutto, Foreign Minister, Pakistan, in the National Assembly; July 17, 1963).

Though China was neutral, India had its hands full. Pakistan as member of SEATO and CENTO, was brimming with the most advanced arms – supplied by the US. As a part of the Baghdad Pact, Britain was on Pakistan’s side.

When PAF Was In Better Shape

In the 1965 War situation, Pakistan was part of the CENTO and SEATO alliance, armed by the US with the US F-104 Starfighters, F-86 Sabres that were significantly superior to Indian Airforce (IAF).

The US attached, like in Vietnam, Laos, Norway, Cambodia what was then called a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to Pakistan. A few months before Pakistan commenced hostilities, the US head of MAAG was changed. In May 1965, General Robert Wiygul Burns became chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Pakistan. Over the next two years, in the face of increasing evidence of the US role in the 1965 war, the MAAG was withdrawn from Pakistan in July 1967. After neo-colonial wars in  Korea, Vietnam, Indo-China, the MAAG became infamous. Mostly renamed as United States Military Groups (USMILGP or MILGRP), MAAGs continue in some Latin American countries such as Peru, the Dominican Republic. Also MAAGs can be found in Africa for instance in Liberia.

Two years later, under a new name, US military advisers were back in Pakistan. Star pilots and trainers like Chuck Yeagaer were sent by the US to Pakistan – to help Pakistan prepare for a battle against Soviet weapons being used by India in 1971 War.

Hands Tied

Comprising of Vampires of WWII vintage, the French Mirage Mysteres, the Anglo-Hawker Hunters and Canberras or the Anglo-Gnats, the IAF went into the 1965 War at a disadvantage. By the 1971 War, the IAF had re-configured tactics, using numbers, altitude to overwhelm the Sabres with inferior Gnats – starting with the airfight at Boyra.

Compared to the nearly 10,000 Sabres that were manufactured world-wide, less than 450 Gnats were built; mostly bought by Indians. The Yugoslavs bought second-hand F-86s in preference to the Gnats. The RAF itself did not buy Gnat for any conflict role – but only for aerobatic, trainer usage.

Indian officers /soldiers atop captured Pakistani Patton tanks at Kemkaran. About 100 Patton tanks were left behind by the retreating Pakistan Army. These captured tanks were used to set up Patton Nagar war memorial.

Indian officers /soldiers atop captured Pakistani Patton tanks at Kemkaran. About 100 Patton tanks were left behind by the retreating Pakistan Army. These captured tanks were used to set up Patton Nagar war memorial.

Though believed, Pakistan’s more modern Patton tanks were not as superior to the Indian Centurions. At the end of 1965 War, India captured 97 Pakistani tanks – and set up a war memorial called Patton Nagar with these captured tanks.

India’s Diplomatic Position

India’s relationship with the Soviets had not yet reached the levels of the 1970s.

What and who stopped China from joining Pakistan in its assault on India? Stalin’s lukewarm response to Nehru’s overtures and the alleged CIA plot to kill Nehru in 1955, temporarily brought Nehru close to Eisenhower. After the 1965 War with Pakistan, India-Soviet alliance grew in strength.

Wailing & Breast-beating

The last one year has seen a lot of ‘analysis’ in Pakistan, about Pakistan’s misadventure in Kargil.

Pakistan’s superficial breast-beating after each defeat hides a deeper problem. Can a nation born out of blackmail – apart from hate, prejudice, have a foreign policy that makes sense.

ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: Former corps commander Lahore Lt-Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz on Saturday said problems in the armed forces are increasing as the army chiefs have been trying to cover up issues fearing it would defame the organisation.

He was speaking at the launch of his book Yeh Khamoshi Kahan Tak at Islamabad Club on Saturday.

Gen Aziz, who played a role in Pervez Musharraf’s coup and also held an important post in the army and ISI at the time of the Kargil war, said his aim to write the book was to guide the new generation.

It may be noted that Gen Aziz also worked as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for about two years after his retirement from the army in 2005.

Gen Aziz said while taking part in the coup he knew that he was violating the law.

While in service, he added, so many times he had to disagree with the decisions of his seniors and even resigned from the staff college.

He claimed that he was against the decision of following the instructions of United States but Musharraf insisted that only he could see the full picture of the situation. “Even today the policy of Musharraf is being followed,” said Gen Aziz.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ashraf Sarab of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), said when the Kargil adventure was started the Kashmiris were asked by the army to take to the streets because they (forces) had decided to enter the Indian held Kashmir.

“But after sacrificing a number of soldiers, the army went back,” he added.

“I talked to then Minister for Kashmir Affairs Majeed Malik but he said Kashmiris should not have started protests.”

It showed that the Kargil war was either a strategic mistake or launched on the directions of someone else, because after the war India and US came closer to each other, he observed.

Engineer Mumtaz from the research and development wing of the armed forces told Dawn that Gen Aziz was the key person during the Musharraf coup. Gen Musharraf used to get his input regarding every decision, he added.

via Army covering up issues, claims ex-general | Newspaper | DAWN.COM  .


  1. February 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I thought 1965 war was started by Gen Ayub under the miscalculation that he would also walk over Kashmir as China did in 1962. Of course Ayub had a wrong impression as in the interim, Nehru had strengthened the army quite significantly following the shameful China war defeat. In fact Nehru broke down significantly after 1962 war physically, morally and politically. In fact the political analysts even say that Nehru would have seen worst political nightmares had he not died a natural death in 1964. I think there is a lot of truth in it.

    India suffers as a result of worst of Nehru’s mistakes. Even worst is the dynasty rule in lieu of the 365 states he gave us has crippled the rest we see in everyday scandals. I have a feeling that last 65 years of loot post independence might have surpassed the loot by British in 300 years. The black money these Indian leaders have generated is incalculable. Even worst is its recovery. It is a dead money.

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