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May 26, 1999
Govt made the 'right move'
Defence expert and former Lieutenant General V R Raghavan today said that the government's decision to launch air strikes against infiltrators in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir was a ''correct move.'' The infiltrators would have emerged stronger with the passage of time, he said.
Speaking about the air raids onStar TV, Lieutenant General Raghavan, who has commanded the army in the difficult terrain of Jammu and Kashmir in the past, said the Indian Air Force would have to use a mix of fighter planes and helicopter gunships as the latter were vulnerable to attacks from shoulder-fired missiles reportedly carried by the intruders. The combat aircraft would ensure the helicopter gunships' safety.
He said the army would soon be starting ground operations to clear the insurgents from the area. On the likelihood of Pakistan posing obstacles, he said they cannot do anything because the operations are taking place in Indian territory.
To the question whether India should adopt the 'hot pursuit' approach, he said that may not be necessary and it would be sufficient to throw back the infiltrators thus teaching them a good lesson.
On whether there was any failure of intelligence, he said it was very difficult to believe that over 400 infiltrators would cross over unnoticed. ''We should have kept our eyes and ears open,'' he remarked.
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