Former Pakistan Army Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. (retired) Shahid Aziz's recent revelation of naming four top army officers as being solely responsible for the 1999 Kargil War, is the first time that someone this senior in the military hierarchy of that time has spoken in such detail and with such frankness about the fiasco.
Lt. Gen. Aziz's naming of then army chief General Pervez Musharraf, former chief of general staff Lt. Gen. Mohammad Aziz, FCNA (Force Command Northern Areas) commander Lt. Gen. Javed Hassan and 10 Corps commander Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmad, as being the only planners of the operation, which he terms as a "misadventure", should have never been considered or allowed to happen.
It maybe recalled that the war was prompted by the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers into Indian territory in the summer of 1999. The infiltration temprarily managed to cut off Indian supply lines, took New Delhi by surprise.
Lt. Gen.Aziz, who has come out with his views on the war 14 years after it took place, maintains that the majority of corps commanders and principal staff officers were kept in the dark about the operation.
The Dawn quoted him, as saying: "Even the then Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia came to know about it later."
Lt. Gen. Aziz was then serving as the Director-General of the Analysis Wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
According to the Dawn, Lt. Gen. Aziz claims that General Musharraf worked on a policy of "need to know" throughout his tenure as army chief and later as president. In other words, Gen. Musharraf would issue orders to only those who were required to implement orders instead of first consulting corps commanders and other military officers.
In the the aftermath of the operation, tensions rose between Gen. Musharraf and then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, which culminated in the October coup when the military removed the elected government and took over.
According to Lt. Gen. Aziz, Gen. Musharraf never saw Kargil as a major operation, and therefore only the FCNA and perhaps a section of 10-Corps was involved.
He, however, maintains that the 1999 conflict was a major intelligence failure for India.
From the point of view of the Pakistan Army, he says that it was a a miscalculated move, its objectives were not clear and its ramifications were not properly evaluated.
Now, living in his picturesque farmhouse in Pind Begwal at the foothills of Murree, about 30km from the capital, Lt. Gen. Aziz says he is penning his thoughts and views in a book that will hit the shelves soon. (ANI)