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Home > News > PTI

'NDA took 18 days to OK air strikes in Kargil'

June 09, 2004 13:36 IST
Last Updated: June 09, 2004 20:38 IST

The government today said troops had to fight the Kargil war from a 'position of disadvantage', and despite the Army asking for use of air power on May 8, 1999, the Vajpayee government took 18 days to give the green signal for air strikes.

"The Army had, on May 8, projected the requirement of attack helicopters for use against the enemy and also
helicopters for use for transport of troops', an official statement tabled in the Lok Sabha said, pointing out that 'this was
considered between May 12 and 17, 1999, and it was decided not to use this option as it may lead to escalation'.

Also See: Kargil, 5 years on
Ex-air marshal returns army fire

In a suo motu statement, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said it was only after the 'fuller and in-depth appreciation
of the emerging situation, that the Cabinet Committee on Security took the decision to deploy the Indian Air Force and gave the go-ahead for use of air power'.

Coming against the backdrop of media reports that air strikes had been delayed in the Kargil conflict, the statement clarified that the time taken for giving clearance to deploy air power was not the reason for higher casualties.

'After all,it was a difficult war fought from a position of disadvantage', the statement said, lauding the armed forces for
demonstrating indomitable courage and fighting abilities to evict the enemy and win the war.

The statement said during the period between May 8 and 25, the Chief of Air Staff 'was taking the view that air power at those heights could not be properly utilized as helicopters would be extremely vulnerable and there would be danger of escalation of conlict'.

Mukherjee said the then Air Chief's view was that before committing air power, political clearance should be obtained,
which was finally done on May 25, 1999.

Confirming that the Army had prepared a report on the conflict, the minister said as with every war, the Indian Army
in September 2000 had prepared a six-volume classified report to record the events and analyse successes and failures,
shortcomings and strengths of the war-like situation in Kargil.

The preparation of an abridged version of the report was taken up in July 2003 and completed in January 2004, the
statement said, clarifying that the ministry of defence was not involved in any way with the preparation of the report.

'The report is prepared for purposes of campaign study and these are documents prepared for internal use for training
purposes', the statement said.

The Kargil war: complete coverage

More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis

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Number of User Comments: 9

Sub: 18 days to ok air strikes

Air strike is a major decision its not just to say go shoot thousand of decisions regarding bilateral relations, foreign policy have to be kept ...


Sub: kargil war

It is strange that BJP claims credit for the Kargil war. It was an unfortunate situation that the enemy forces occupied our territory and our ...

Posted by ramji

Sub: Bad Decision

Escalation of the problem? The problem has already escalsted, and crossed it's limits many years ago. If they are not worried about it, why in ...

Posted by vikram

Sub: 18 days to take a military dicision

It is good the government atlast brought to the notice of public. This is called the freedom to the facts and figures.the delay in taking ...

Posted by Patrick

Sub: What About The Reports Regarding a Point Near Tiger Hill

We are all hearing reports that a point, most probably 5353 near Tiger Hill, still has not been recaptured from the infiltrators by the army. ...

Posted by Prasad K



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