Kargil: An Operational Update upto 18 August 1999

20 Aug, 1999    ·   250

Maj. Gen. Ashok Krishna (Retd) says that the Afghan Mujahideen have no special love for Kashmir; so the lure of money and adventure will fade away quickly in the face of heavy casualties




1. Pakistani aggressors still occupy the stray post in Mushkoh; they are being supported by  artillery fire.  Brazen attacks on Indian military and para military outposts are also on the rise in J&K.











1. Pakistan resorted to intense shelling of Kargil Town on 1 Aug.  Sporadic incidents of shelling continue in this sector as also in the rest of J&K.



2. Pakistani troops made another futile attempt on 10 August to capture an Indian post in  the Siachen glacier.  Initially six soldiers tried to attack the post at 5.40 pm.Two of them were killed and the rest ran back.  Later, at , 15 soldiers again attacked the post; three were killed forcing the remainder to withdraw.  The bodies of the Pakistani soldiers were seen lying on the glacier throughout the day on 11 August



3. Eight Pakistani soldiers were captured as prisoners of war on the Indian side of the LoC in the Batalik, Mushkoh and Dras sectors just prior to 10 August.



4. The process of identifying all-weather, permanent posts for maintaining vigil has been completed on the Indian sides.  Winter stocking is underway, mines are being cleared and the infrastructure required for the forward deployment is being built.






5. As anticipated, there has been a considerable rise in militant related  intrusions and  attacks:



(a) 1 August. Six foreign intruders were shot dead in Kupwara's



Nowgam sector by a patrol of 2/9 GR.  Four AK 47 rifles, 12 magazines, 6 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 25 detonators were recovered.  The BSF also discovered 10 powerful IEDs from a hideout near Srinagar .



(b) 3 August. Troops of the 12 Garhwal Rifles gunned down five foreign mercenaries 10 kms inside Indian territory in the Kupwara sector of North Kashmir .



(c) 5 August. 10 Pak soldiers were killed when Indian troops repulsed an attack  in the Akhnur sector.



(d) 6 August. A full-fledged attack by Pakistan to capture an Indian border outpost (BOP) along the international border in Ranbirsinghpura sector of Jammu was repulsed.  A big group of Pakistani raiders, including regulars and mercenaries, assisted by commandos, attacked Pittal-Pindi BOP from three directions after crossing the international border at 1.30 pm on 6 August.



(e) 7 August. In a pre dawn attack launched from five directions,



Harkat-ul-Ansar and Hizbul Mujahideen militants attacked a camp of the 4 Rashtriya Rifles in Natnusa village in Kupwara district.  Each militant group comprised 25 to 30 personnel.  Five army men and six ultras were killed and 10 soldiers wounded.  The militants fired 20 rockets and were armed with sophisticated weapons.



(f) 14 August. A group of militants attacked the 34 Rashtriya Rifles camp in Badgam district of central Kashmir with rockets and other phisticated weapons around on 14 August.  Two army men and two foreign militants were killed.   The attack on the Army camp is the sixth in a series of planned attacks and comes close on the heels of a major strike by militants against marine commandos at Aragam village in Baramulla district on 11 August in which two marine commandos, including an officer were killed.



(g)   16 August. Pakistani army regulars and militants attacked the Narainpur  post of the BSF in the Ramgarh sector, killing a jawan and injuring five others.



6. The total number of militants in J&K has now risen to about 1500.  Most of them have occupied high ridges on the Indian side of the LoC. 70 percent of the militants are Afghan Mujahideen and the rest are Punjabi Muslims. The very limited local assistance they get is at gun point. For this new generation of militants Jehad (holy war) against kafirs (infidels) is the final objective. Kashmiris are now as much the target of these militants as the Army and para military personnel. They are ruthless and fight to the last.








7. The Indian Air Force (IAF)  shot down a Pakistani naval anti-submarine and surveillance aircraft which intruded 10 km into Indian territory in the Kori Creek area in Gujarat Pakistan said all 16 personnel on board were killed.  The Defence Ministry said an IAF MiG-21 used an air-to-air missile to shoot down the French-origin Atlantique aircraft which can carry out surveillance over the sea, to detect and shoot down submarines, apart from ships.   The Indian MiG had taken off from the forward air base of Nalia close to Bhuj in Gujarat .  The MiG-21 opened fire only after the Atlantique failed to respond to its signal to land at an Indian airbase.  The Pakistani aircraft acted in a hostile manner by turning direction into our fighter.  At that stage the Atlantique was shot down by an air-to-air missile which hit the port engine  of the aircraft which caught fire.



8. This intrusion is part of Islamabad 's overall game plan to internationalise the Sir Creek issue.  Pakistan has been trying to determine the navigability of the tidal creeks in the Sir Creek area through aerial intrusions.  This is being done to identify the inlets through which a limited water-borne operation in this zone could be carried out.



9. The marshy area of the Rann of Kutch comprises several hundred small channels which merge into three large creeks - Sir Creek, Kori and Mianwari.  Any intrusion in this area can go undetected as the wasteland in the Rann is practically uninhabited.  Plans for a physical intrusion by Pakistan into the Sir Creek area is probably intended to bring its territorial dispute with India in this area into the international limelight.






10. Two assistant field officers  and two Indian agents of the Pakistan ISI were arrested in Assam on 9 August.They were identified as Md. Fasi Ullah Hussaini of Hyderabad, Sind, and Md. Javed Wakar of Karachi, and the Indian agents as Maulana Hafiz Akram Mullick of Kupwara, Kashmir, and Qari Salim Ahmed of Mehilki, in  Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Interrogations revealed that they had arrived in Dhaka by Pakistan International Airlines in the third week of July. After meeting ISI officials there, they sneaked into India via Karimganj.  They had been sent “ to train Muslim youth and launch a jehad to liberate Assam and establish an Islamic country comprising Assam and parts of North- Eastern India”. They planned to use ULFA and other outfits to create disturbances.






12. Once fundamentalists are armed and trained and imbued with the Jehad spirit they will try to carry out the tasks assigned, particularly in a situation where the Pak Army personnel in disguise are part of their groups. Hence, militant activity will continue to increase in J & K till terrorism is decisively defeated. The Afghan Mujahideen have no special love for Kashmir ; so the lure of money and adventure will fade away quickly in the face of heavy casualties. This is what the Indian Army and para military and police forces must achieve in the shortest possible time through coordinated action.