Kargil Conflict News Updates - June 1999

Pakistan Army put on Red Alert to counter Indian offensive

16 June 1999, ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army has put its defensive formations along the international borders in place with full preparations, as fourth war between Pakistan and India seems around the corner. The decision to take effective necessary steps to move its defensive formations was taken by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Army Chief, General Pervez Musharraf.  General Musharraf met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif early Tuesday morning to apprise him of the threat, state of operational preparedness and high morale of the troops to give fittest response to the Indian forces poised to launch offensive any time at any vulnerable place, if any.  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held deliberations with Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz, Army Chief General Musharraf, along with chief of an elite intelligence network, and Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed and discussed with them both the military and political situations.  The step to alert defensive formations was taken as a result of Indian design which came clear on Tuesday when Indian Army fully activated its defensive formations. In military terms, when an army fully activates its defensive formations, it simply means that it has two motives: First, to take strong defensive measures in all the vulnerable areas; and two, to order its strike corps for an offensive in an area which it thinks is suitable for the strike. As the heavy artillery fire continued all along the Line of Control (LOC) with Pakistani troops returning the Indian fire to halt any advance in any area, Indian army seems to have put its pre-strike pressure on Pakistan as a blackmail tactics. "If the war starts, it is likely that it will spill over to a horrifying end and neither of the two countries could afford it," said a senior military officer.  In particular, Indian armoured corps looks ready to open its strike in the desert areas where Pakistan's defensive formations and strike corps are fully ready for a head-on armoured fight.

Pak Army martyred officers laid to rest

17 June 1999  QUETTA: Two Army officers, including a major, who embraced martyrdom while fighting against the Indian forces at the Line of Control (LoC), were laid to rest at Hazara graveyard here on Thursday. The bodies of Major Muhammad Ali Hyderi and Captain Zulfiqar Ali were airlifted to Quetta from Rawalpindi on Thursday morning.  People belonging to different shades of life attended the last rites of the martyrs. Their funeral was offered at the Army Stadium which was also attended by Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali and Corps Lt. Gen. Tariq Pervaiz Khan along with the members of the provincial cabinet and relatives of the deceased. They were buried at the Marriabad Hazara graveyard with full military honours. The chief minister also laid floral wreath at the graves. Wreaths were also laid on behalf of Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Tariq Pervaiz Khan, Colonel Commandant of Baloch Regiment, Director General Artillery, Garrison Commander, Commanding Officer 30 Baloch Regiment and Commandant Chitral Scouts.  Meanwhile, in separate condolence messages Balochistan Governor Miangul Aurangzeb and Chief Minister Jan Muhammad Jamali prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and give courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss with equanimity.  

Heavy losses inflicted to Indian Army

21 June 1999 RAWALPINDI: Pakistan's artillery units, responding to unprovoked and indiscriminate shelling by Indian troops during, the last 24 hours, successfully targeted the enemy's logistic installations and military convoys in the Drass, Kargil and Batalik sectors. A spokesman for the Inter Services Public Relations stated here on Monday evening that, according to credible information, 13 Indian soldiers were killed and many wounded. The spokesman added that as a result of the highly effective counter-bombardment, the enemy 's fuel storage depot and several vehicles were also destroyed and their debris could be seen burning from miles away. Giving details, the spokesman said the Indian army had again targeted innocent civilians, this time in the localities of Dudnial, Kot Katerah and adjoining areas. One person was killed and seven others, including two women, were injured in the shelling. Responding to a question regarding Indian troop movement close to the international border, the spokesman said: " All types of movements, whether along the Line of Control or the international border, are being closely monitored."

Not a single Pak Army post lost lost on Control Line

23 June 1999  ISLAMABAD: "There is not a single Pakistan army position on the LoC that has been lost," Pakistan armed forces spokesman Brigadier Rashid Qureshi told BBC.  He said: "India has lost its credibility due to issuing ever-changing statements and its frequent claims of achievements in Kargil sector." Rashid said: "We have heard so much and so many claims by the Indians over the last month and a half that we have come to a stage where not much of what they say is believed here."  In response to a question, he said: "There was an attack by the Indian army on the LoC on one of the Pakistani positions. That attack was beaten back. Yes, we did suffer some casualties and in the process one of our patrols, which had moved out at night, is missing since." Qureshi said: "First they (Indians) said that Pakistan army had murdered an (Indian) air force officer in cold blood and then handed over the body back; and then they started about six bodies, which had been lying out in the open, after they had been killed for four weeks and they were handed back, and they said that two of the bodies had been mutilated. So, frankly, everyone here in Pakistan takes whatever the Indians say, with a pinch of salt. They have lost all credibility here."  To another question about the taped conversation of two senior Pakistan army officials being displayed by India, Rashid said: "Not at all, because no one believes this. You know, to doctor a tape is not very difficult, and I am sure we could do it if we wanted. This is again part of propaganda ploy that now has reached to such ridiculous proportions that we find it very difficult to believe, and I wonder if you heard or read what that transcript says and these are things that nobody would discuss on a civil line."  About the Indian allegation of organizing the intrusion by Pakistan army he said: "That is absolutely untrue and we have been saying this for a long time now and, I guess, as time passes, the world will come to know the truth. So, this is absolutely something that the Indians have brewed up and they say that the Pakistan army is responsible." He said: "First they termed them as Mujahideen, then Taliban, Islamic militants and finally Pakistan army. So, frankly, I hope they have lost all credibility." 

ICRC to witness return of Indian dead bodies

23 June 1999  ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will invite representatives of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) in case of return of bodies of Indian soldiers in future, Director-General ISPR Brig Rashid Qureshi said on Wednesday.  He told a news briefing in Rawalpindi that the decision had been taken after India's wild accusations of mutilation of its soldiers' bodies returned by Pakistan.  "We did not expect that Indian leaders will level unfounded and malicious allegations," he said. Pakistani troops, he said, had recovered the bodies of six Indian soldiers, left behind by their colleagues.

Indian attack repulsed in Bajwat sector of Sialkot

23 June 1999  SIALKOT: The Pakistan Army and Chenab Rangers repulsed an attack of Indian security forces on Bajwat sector on Wednesday. Two residents of Dera Kala and Bhoor were seriously injured by the Indian firing and were admitted to the CMH Sialkot, while 10 beds in all hospitals of Sialkot and Narowal districts had been reserved for victims of Indian firing. The Indian security forces also fired mortars while an India-made bomb was defused in Patoli village, Bajwat sector.  Firing continued between the Indian security forces and the Chenab Rangers on Harpal, Salian, Salim, Akhnore, Umranwali, Thathi Mahindarwal, Sujeet Garh, Suragpur, Chaprar, Umbrial, Chaprar, Zafarwal, Shakargarh and other sectors while 95 per cent villages had been vacated.  Kingra More, Merajkey and Bajwat roads are still closed to all kinds of traffic. AP adds: India's heavy artillery guns stare across the barbed wire fence at Pakistan. From their towers, the Pakistani heavy weapons stare back. For the first time in nearly 30 years, the border between the uneasy neighbours is taking on signs of another possible war. There are reports that India has deployed 35,000 fresh troops on their side of the border. Residents on both sides have been fleeing border villages.  The Pakistan Rangers, guarding the border at Sialkot -- more than 160 km southwest of the fighting at Tiger Hill -- said they repulsed the Indian attacks last week. The fighting sent a wave of villagers to Lahore. At the Sialkot border, there were signs of a Pakistani buildup, with residents reporting truckloads of fresh troops arriving.  Meanwhile, the fighting has caused large displacements of residents on both sides of the border. As many as 70 villages along the Pakistani side have been evacuated as residents fled with their belongings. 

Indian Army suffering badly in Kargil

29 June 1999  WASHINGTON D.C.: A report in Washington says that India has suffered so badly in Kargil at the hands of Pakistani military forces that the only way out for it is to attack Pakistan on a large scale. The spectacle of hundreds of body bags of Indian soldiers coming down from the mountains in Kargil was creating an intense public pressure on the Government in New Delhi to react.  "New Delhi will be compelled to attack Pakistan if Islamabad failed to withdraw its forces from the Indian side of the Line of Control. This was the sum and substance of an alarming letter that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee wrote to President Clinton," The Washington Post reports.  The contents of this letter were conveyed to Clinton in Geneva. According to the newspaper, as he was delivering a speech to the International Labour Organisation, his National Security Adviser Sandy Berger "slipped out to receive the alarming letter." The letter stoked rising American fears that India, having lost more than 100 troops, would "storm across" the ceasefire line that divides Kashmir or open a second front elsewhere on its border with Pakistan. Such an escalation could effectively scuttle the Administration's dwindling hopes of a "constructive new relationship" between South Asia's two new nuclear powers.  The Vajpayee letter seems to have had an immediate impact as the Administration's foreign policy engine was thrown into high hear.

Two IAF fighter jets violate Control Line

29 June 1999  ISLAMABAD: On the 46th day of present hostilities between Pakistan and India on the Line of Control (LoC), two Indian aircraft on Monday violated Pakistan's airspace in Kargil-Drass sector, however, the aircraft returned to Indian held Kashmir without dropping any bombs.  Pakistan has warned that any violation of its airspace will get a swift response. Pakistan had on an earlier occasion shot down two intruding Indian MiG fighter aircraft in the last week of May. Pakistan, said a spokesman of Inter-Services Public Relations, reserved the right to take appropriate defensive measures if such violations were repeated. It was also announced that both the intruding aircraft left the area without dropping bombs. Two Indian fighters - MiG-21 and MiG-27 - were shot down on 27 May 1999 when these aircrafts intruded into Pakistani airspace, while the third crashed on its way back. The intruding aircraft were shot down by Anza-II SAMs of the Pakistan Army Air Defence Command. Meanwhile, Pakistan army has destroyed a petrol depot of Indian army in Kargil-Drass sector. The depot was destroyed as a result of retaliatory fire of Pakistan army.

Pak positions on LoC create vulnerability for Indian Army
30 June 1999  ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's military positions on a few peaks on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control have created a permanent vulnerability for India on Drass- Kargil road which is not acceptable to the Indian Army. Pakistan Army had received intelligence reports eight months ago that the Indian Army was planning to attack the peaks on Pakistani side of LoC as they wanted to secure their supply line to their troops on Siachen, said Director General Inter Services Public Relations Brig. Rashid Qureshi at a briefing here Tuesday. He said Pakistan Army took positions on these peaks on this side of LOC and now could see every vehicle which moved on Drass-Kargil road. Pakistan was determined to defend every inch of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, said Brig. Qureshi.  Pakistan is willing to take UN Observers to these positions but they were not allowed to move ahead by the Indian artillery fire, he said. If India captures these peaks, Drass-Kargil road will be free from Pakistani fire, he said. It were Indians who had been firing on everything they saw across the LOC, he added. Indians, he said, had to store their food and ammunition for their troops at Siachen for six months by September this year because in winter all communication was blocked.