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The Lt General K S Brar Chat

Lt Gen K S Brar (Mon Dec 16 20:40:58 1996 IST):

Gagandeep>> Your first observation, regarding the plan being a bad one, is really not correct. As you know, the Golden Temple at Amritsar is in a very heavily built up area and is stocked with months of rations as thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine every day. There was also adequate water due to large number of wells besides the Sarovar. The question of laying a seige and starving out the inmates did not arise. In fact, had we tried to do so, we ourselves would have been under seige within 48 hours with thousands of angry Sikhs converging onto Amritsar from all directions once the news reached them. We tried to avoid the operation totally by requesting the inmates to surrender so that there would be no bloodshed, but it seems that they were determined not to do so. As you know, the charisma of Sant Bindranwale was such that the people had almost begun to accept him as the 11th Guru and were prepared to sacrifice their lives at his call. Your question about KPS Gill's success in Operation Black Thunder can be answered in one sentence - There was no Bindranwale, they had no leadership worth its name, there was no Gen Shabeg Singh, nor were there any fortifications. The inmates knew that forces had entered the shrine earlier, and therefore they would do so again. The easiest course open to them was to give up without a fight. I am not trying to belittle Mr Gill, he is a fine policeman, but we must realise that the circumstances were totally different, and it is not fair to compare the two operations.

Aarti Arunachallam (Mon Dec 16 20:41:48 1996 IST):

Wht talk of Bangladeshi ingratitude, Balraman, what about Indian ingratitude. Do you think the govt has done enough for all those who won the war for India?

Aarti Arunachallam (Mon Dec 16 20:42:26 1996 IST):

Anyway, General, suppose there is an India-Pakistan standoff, and a conventional war results, do you think we could still win? Or have the Pakistanis vastly improved?

smith (Mon Dec 16 20:46:51 1996 IST):

Sir, what we hear is that Indian Army is fighting a proxy war in Kashmir against the terrorists inccuring heavy loss of life. What are your views about this, Is this the factor for the low morale of the Indian Army right now??

Lt Gen K S Brar (Mon Dec 16 20:47:17 1996 IST):

Shauket>> India has no intention or desire to go to war with Pakistan. In fact, we would like to see a stable Pakistan, friendly to us, as our Western neighbour, rather than a decimated Pakistan. It is unfortunate that ever since Independence, Pakistan has been obsessed with the idea that it must wrest Kashmir from India and it is not prepared to accept the fact that Kashmir is an integral part of this country. Pakistan has launched wars against India on a number of previous occasions, and should have by now realised that it is impossible for it to achieve its unrealistic dream. In a nutshell, therefore, rest assured that if Pakistan makes the mistake of being adventurous enough to start another war, it will be to its peril. India has improved relations with China and therefore the force levels that can be assembled for a war against Pakistan are much more today than they were earlier. As regards global implicaitons, we have seen that outside powers are not inclined to involve themselves in conflicts between two countries as long as their particular interests are not involved. The United Nations and major countries would try and get both India and Pakistan to stop the war as soon as possible, but i do not think they could do anything beyond that.

Lt Gen K S Brar (Mon Dec 16 20:50:29 1996 IST):

Balraman>> I don't think it is correct to say that all Bangladeshis are ungrateful to India. No doubt, there is a section of their population who ahve been instigated by Pakistan to be antagonistic towards India, to meet Pakistan's selfish interests. At the same time, after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, it is true that some of the successor governments were not particularly friendly for whatever reason, but as of now, with Sheikh Hasina in power, and her having shown her desire for friendship with India during her recent visit, I am sure most of the unsolved problems such as the river water dispute would be solved and the two countries would get closer together.

Lisa Mc Mullen (Mon Dec 16 20:50:48 1996 IST):

Do you agree that in the 20th Century the world faces its greatest threat of extinction from UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Whatever your viewpint kindly state your reasons

Lt. Gen. K S Brar (Mon Dec 16 20:53:19 1996 IST):

Shauket: In response to your question, I would like to assure you that the morale of the Indian army is sky-high. Our troops have very few demands. The leadership provided to them is excellent and there is very close interactiom between the officer and the soldier unlike armies of many other countries. As regards brain power being on the diminish, I think it is just the opposite. In fact, the entry educational qualifications for a soldier are higher today than ever before.

Lisa Mc Mullen (Mon Dec 16 20:54:12 1996 IST):

Incase of another war what is the extent of India's readiness strategically from the wars point of view

Aarti Arunachallam (Mon Dec 16 20:55:42 1996 IST):

Generalsaheb, never have three better officers been in charge of an operation as they were at Amritsar twelve years back. Gen Vaidya, Gen Sundarji and you. In fact, both you and Gen Sunderji look like brothers in the PIB pictures of that time. How could the three of you goofed as much?

Lt. Gen. K S Brar (Mon Dec 16 20:56:09 1996 IST):

Lisa: I have no comments to offer. However, I see no reason why there should be such a threat posed by the United States as percieved by you in the present world scenario. USA is the most powerful country in the world and it is unlikely that in the forseeable future there would be any change in its power equation with either Russia or China. As such, I do not foresee any clash of interest which may drive the United States to take such drastic action as feared by you.

Ram Behari Sharma (Mon Dec 16 20:56:35 1996 IST):

Hey, Aarti, that was my question! Cut and paste what?

Aarti Arunachallam (Mon Dec 16 20:57:04 1996 IST):

Ram, sorry, it was a good question which I though the general needed to answer.

Atul (Mon Dec 16 20:57:25 1996 IST):

Good evening General sahib Do you agree that Pakistan does not want peace with India. Instead it wants a piece of India. ??

Aarti Arunachallam (Mon Dec 16 20:58:00 1996 IST):

Anyway, General, suppose there is an India-Pakistan standoff, and a conventional war results, do you think we could still win? Or have the Pakistanis vastly improved?

aa (Mon Dec 16 20:58:20 1996 IST):


Balraman Kandoth (Mon Dec 16 20:58:45 1996 IST):

As an expert on these matters, do you think we have enough nuclear strength to counter Pakistan?

Lt. Gen. K S Brar (Mon Dec 16 20:59:40 1996 IST):

Aarti: I'm surprised at your question. Initially, you call the three officers good and in the next breath, goofs. It is easy to be critical when you are ignorant about what actually happened, why it happened and whether or not the action was avoidable. I can assure you, it was a most unenviable task but it had to be carried out to safeguard the soveignity of the country and the operation was carried out bearing in mind the need to avoid death and destruction to the extent possible.

Gagandeep Singh (Mon Dec 16 20:59:59 1996 IST):

Good night, general, I hope one day you will realise what you have done.

Lisa Mc Mullen (Mon Dec 16 21:00:07 1996 IST):

Gen: My question comjes in the wake of this picture this, Americca is a arms driven economy with my powerful infleunces within the government CIA, FBI and the industrial class, they need wars to prosper, Iraq is the biggest example of a Showcase exhibition of the power of USA, they have interfered in almost every nation big and small creating conflicts for their betterment. What if these nations get together and deciede to retailiate???