The Kargil controversy refuses to die down. Gen Malik responds to criticism

In January 2013, I had written a piece on NDTV website on Pakistan Gen Shahid Aziz’s  revalation about Kargil war and Gen Musharraf’s perfidy. Gen VP Malik, India’s Army Chief in 1999, has responded to that piece AND another article in Outlook subsequently that criticised him. Here’s the full email sent by Gen Malik to me. For reference I have pasted my earlier NDTV article. Read on.

Dear Nitin,

1. Two days ago, I came across an article written by you on a website. This was probably written  in the wake of Shahid Aziz’s disclosures on Kargil war. You had spoken to me when that news was covered by NDTV.
2. What I said to you was that after Kargil war, we found a Pakistani regular officer’s diary which indicated that (a) his (Pakistani) recce party had entered Indian territory around mid February, and (b) that Pervez Musharraf had visited his infiltration party at some location. One could not be certain if that location was on our or Pakistani side of the LoC. I want to emphasize that this information became available after and NOT before the war. It seems to me that you have given latter impression in your article.
3. There was another article written by someone for OUTLOOK magazine after Shahid Aziz’s writing. This journalist interviewed Shyamal Dutta, IB Chief  during Kargil war. Dutta criticises me roundly and mentions that he wrote a letter to the PM and others with a copy to DGMO in June 1998, reporting increased Mujahideen activities across the LoC . What he conveniently overlooks is that the decision to launch Kargil war was taken by Pervez Musharraf, after he took over as Pakistan Army Chief on October 6, 1998. He was not Army Chief or a nation level decision maker in June 1998….Dutta’s letter, written four months before Musharraf became Pak Army Chief thus had no relation with Kargil war intelligence. The Kargil Review Committee Report had taken all these aspects into consideration before coming to ‘intelligence failure’ conclusion.
4. Incidentally, we now have documentary evidence that no Pakistani or Indian Mujahideen participated in Kargil war.
Ved Malik  




Kargil, LoC and Gen Musharraf


Former Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf, unwanted in his own country and shunned by his own fraternity there, is fighting a desperate battle for survival. Under attack from some of his own Army colleagues for having kept large parts of the Pakistani establishment in the dark over the Kargil operation of 1999, General Musharraf through his aides and confidantes, is making new revelations about the 1999 India-Pakistan conflict.
On a TV programme aired on Geo TV on Thursday night, a former Pakistani colonel revealed that Musharraf had crossed the Line of Control in March 1999, a couple of months ahead of the actual Kargil conflict, which lasted two months.   Colonel (retd) Ashfaq Hussain alleged that General Musharraf entered 11 km inside Indian border to survey the area.
In his book ‘Witness to Blunder’, Colonel Hussain has written that Musharraf  himself crossed the LoC in a helicopter on March 28, 1999 and spent a night on  the Indian-controlled side.  
General VP Malik, who was the Indian army chief during the Kargil war, told NDTV: ” The Indian Army had reports that the first Pakistani patrols had crossed over into Indian side of the LoC some time in February even as Prime Ministers Atal Behari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif were discussing the peace process and Vajpayee had taken the bus ride to Lahore.  Gen Musharraf, who had already planned the incursions into Kargil thought it fit to visit the forward areas immediately thereafter to assure the troops that the operation was going ahead as planned. It is therefore possible that Musharraf went there in March 1999 but whether he crossed the LoC or not, I cannot say.”
In his book, Colonel Husain says the Kargil ‘misadventure’  was masterminded by Major General Javed Hassan, General Mehmood and General Aziz. They made then president Musharraf agree to the plans, which later lead to a limited conflict between India and Pakistan.
However, General Musharraf, in an interview to Pakistan’s Geo TV,  said the Kargil conflict was a huge success militarily. He claimed that the Pakistani Army would have “conquered” 300 square miles of India, if  then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had not visited the US and succumbed to pressure from  then US President Bill Clinton to withdraw Pakistani troops from Indian territory.
Clearly nearly 14 years after the conflict, Kargil continues to make headlines.