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Another Kargil war can't be ruled out: Ex-army chief

July 26, 2011 16:01 IST
Admitting that Kargil intrusion was a result of intelligence failure, former Army chief General (retd) V P Malik on Tuesday said a repeat of 1999-like attack cannot be ruled out as long as the Pakistan Army continues its proxy war against India.

"The Pakistan Army has not given up this agenda of proxy war. As long as proxy war goes on you cannot say there won't be another Kargil-type of war," Malik, who was the army chief at the time of Kargil war told newsmen in Srinagar.

Malik, who was in Srinagar to take part in 12th anniversary of operation Vijay, said the army and other security forces have to remain alert to ensure that another Kargil does not take place.    

"We have to remain alert to make sure that if ever there is an attempt from Pakistan Army, We are ready for it," he said.

Malik said it was the failure of both military and civil intelligence and lack of surveillance, which allowed the Pakistan Army to carry out Kargil operation.

"Yes, we were taken aback. In that I blame both military intelligence and civil intelligence and lack of surveillance," he said.

The former army chief said the army was taken aback and surprised by the Kargil intrusion as it was initially thought to be an infiltration bid by militants.

"We were surprised. Initial reports were that some militants have infiltrated which was a continuous process at that time. But as time passed, we realised that it was the handiwork of the Pakistan Army in view of the artillery shelling from across the Line of Control and the helicopters flying in the area," he said.

He said on Tuesday the army is better equipped as they have got gadgets like radars, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites, which were introduced after the Kargil war. "Besides the improvement in surveillance, the intelligence has also improved," he said.

On the scheduled talks between Foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, Gen Malik said there was nothing wrong in the dialogue at diplomatic level.

"Diplomatic dialogue at political level must go on. There is nothing wrong in it. You can send messages about 26/11 or the recent Mumbai blasts across," he said. However, the soldiers guarding the borders of the country cannot afford to lower their guard.

Earlier, Malik and General Officer Commanding of Army 15 Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain laid a wreath at the war memorial at Badamibagh cantonment to pay tributes to the Kargil war martyrs.

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