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.