Kargil War was a complete intelligence failure at national level: Retired Brigadier MPS Bajwa

During his hour-long lecture, Bajwa said there was complete intelligence failure at the national level and the Indian Army was not provided any information about the movement of Pakistani troops.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: July 20, 2017 10:47 am
Kargil war, Lecture on Kargil war, India Pakistan, India Pakistan Kargil war, India Pakistan war, indian express news Brigadier (Retd) MPS Bajwa addresses a lecture at CRRID in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Sahil Walia

BRIGADIER MPS Bajwa (Retd), a Kargil War hero, on Wednesday delivered the 3rd Maj-Gen KS Bajwa Memorial – Regiment of Artillery War Experiences Talk at CRRID in Sector 19. The lecture is organised every month by the Centre of Indian Military History, a think tank based in Chandigarh. Bajwa, who commanded the 192 Mountain Brigade during the Kargil War and was decorated for inspiring leadership and gallantry during the Battle for Tiger Hill, gave a detailed presentation about the Kargil War.

During his hour-long lecture, Bajwa said there was complete intelligence failure at the national level and the Indian Army was not provided any information about the movement of Pakistani troops. “Yes, it was a complete intelligence failure at the national level. The aircraft which was meant to remain stationed in Kargil and gather information,was deputed at some other place to perform other tasks. It was the Bakerwals who gave us the information that people were sitting on the top,” he said.

Saying that capturing Tiger Hill with the one battalion was a big challenge, Bajwa said it then became an international issue after then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced at a public meeting in Haryana that Tiger Hill had been captured and Pakistan immediately reacted sharply and ordered it should be taken back again. “But, I had already pushed 50 men to counter the attack from Pakistan from the western side.” Bajwa said Pakistan’s strategy in Kargil counted on the Zoji La Pass linking Ladakh with Kashmir being snow-bound till June, thereby preventing Indian reinforcements.

“The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), through a superhuman effort, opened the pass in early May, paving the way for fresh troops and supplies being inducted and facilitated the ultimate victory,” he said and credited the junior leadership for proving its worth in Kargil and helping to defeat the enemy. Bajwa said Pakistan’s Northern Light Infantry (NLI), comprising locals who had spent their entire life in the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan and superb at mountain warfare, played an important role from the Pakistan side.

Claiming that the Pak Army had a tremendous advantage in counter-bombardment being equipped with the latest US gun-locating radars, Bajwa said the Indian Army had poor facilities for evacuating casualties from high mountain tops. About the lessons learnt from the Kargil War, Bajwa listed eight points.

He said the lessons learnt were failure in intelligence, operation preparedness, surprise and deception, air support, innovative use of artillery, utilisation of resources within the battle and junior leadership. A think tank official said at the end of the year, they would organise a two-day conference on India’s contribution to World War I.

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  1. Rex Field
    Jul 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm
    Every time I see my country (USA) associated with Pakistan I am miserably unsettled. I am thankful that the people of India still treat Americans with any respect and courtesies. I, for one, feel great sorrow and shame every time I read the United States provided a weapon that was used by Pakistan to kill an Indian soldier. Disgusting and shameful. I fear we have a grave debt owed to India, God forgive us.
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      A. K. Panchal
      Jul 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm
      In my opinion, it is unfair and unjustified to talk or discuss about war, once it is over. Whatever happened at that time has happened already and it cannot be reversed!! I personally feel it is not fair on the part of such a senior respected and responsible officer to talk about failure or incompetency of our system (ofcourse at Govt. Level). Certain issues of military operations are considered to be of utmost secret and of high confidentiality. Anybody occupying such high position during his or her tenure, should contain certain secrets to himself or herself and avoid talking or discussing such issues, publicly. Views expressed are purely mine and they are expressed without any prejudice, whatsoever. I do not know how far other readers will agree with me on it.
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        Shahnawaz Hussain
        Jul 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm
        You are too naive. He was giving a lecture. Read the article carefully before enlightening people with stupid comments. "BRIGADIER MPS Bajwa (Retd), a Kargil War hero, on Wednesday delivered the 3rd Maj-Gen KS Bajwa Memorial – Regiment of Artillery War Experiences Talk at CRRID in Sector 19. The lecture is organised every month by the Centre of Indian Military History, a think tank based in Chandigarh". This is called analysis. We should learn from our mistakes in the past to be stronger and more alert in future.
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          ordinaryindian
          Jul 24, 2017 at 7:06 am
          Shahnawaz Hussain: your viewpoint is right, but it is not justified for you to make derogatory comment on AK Panchal. He has offered his viewpoint, and did so in a polite and professional way. You have also conveyed a valid viewpoint, but did it by being abusive. I think it is a wrong show of force. You have the right to hit back if the commentator would have foul mouthed the country, but he has not done so.
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        Murthy
        Jul 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm
        I am not surprised by what retired Brigadier Bajwa has said. Complacency, I see at many levels in India. It is different from being "cool, calm, and collected". In 'complacency' alertness is given up. We cannot afford to do that given the TWO mischievous neighbours we have to the West, North and North East. Internal politics and factionalism are most severe in our country, perhaps, even distracting the Army and the Intelligence Community. Even in 1962, our Army and Intel discovered very late the Chinese adopting "Forward Policy" coming into areas to the South of McMahon line. Rather late we tried to do the same. Media focused on our 'forward policy' but not that of the Chinese.
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