The Kargil war undoubtedly was one of the most dreaded and somber events in the history of conflict between the two neighboring states of India and Pakistan. India emerged victorious defeating Pakistan in a war contested in high altitude, in mountainous terrain and above anything else, with unmatched grit, amid a lot of bloodshed on both sides of the border.
The war ended with India beating Pakistan, forcing a Pakistani withdrawal along the Line of Conflict (also known as the LOC).
The Kargil War has also since then emerged as somewhat of a legend with the tales of valor, supreme sacrifice, and unmatched courage, attributed to the service of the motherland going on to inspire generations hence. It’s an inspiring tale that deserves to outlive time and should pass on from a generation to another, living on for posterity, even as the bitter war ended some two decades back in time.
But it appears there’s a recent development pertaining to a historical fact about the war, particularly from India’s side, as told by former Army Chief of India, General VP Malik (retd).
Just like it goes without saying that the embitterment arising from a war stems from the bloodshed on both sides, it is needless to say that controlling the escalation in the conflict requires the deployment of copious and at times, strategic ammunition.
This wasn’t a far-fetched reality in India’s case, when two decades back, it had to deploy certain arms and ammunition in order to meet the suddenness of the war, arising from an intense situation up in the Kargil district, of Kashmir.
And to that end, former Army Chief VP Malik is of the view that India was overcharged for the arms and ammunition it had used during the time of the Kargil war, an intense episode for both Pakistan and India, one where the blood spilled on either side of the conflict, ravaged families unendingly.
In fact, it is important to note that the former Army Chief didn’t only speak about the arms and ammunitions used by India; he also, as a matter of fact, alleged that the satellite images that were used by the country during the time of duress and ultimately, triumph, saw India being overcharged for the same.
“In every urgent purchase during the Kargil war, no matter from which country, they exploited us as much as they could. When we approached one country for a few guns, initially they promised us. But later supplied refurbished old weapons.”
And that is not all. The Former Army Chief also explained the troubles surrounding India when it contacted another country in times of the dire need. He would go on to add, “We were short of some ammunition and when approached another country, we were given 1970 ammunition.”
Of all that said, it is worthwhile to remember that General VP Malik was the head of the Indian Army during the unforgettable Kargil conflict. In fact, he also happened to share that each satellite image that India had purchased back then, at the height of the conflict cost India Rs 36,000 each. And that’s not all; there’s a further catch to this.
The images that were used ultimately by India weren’t even the latest ones and were actually around 3 years old. Speaking at a Military Literature Festival, General Malik shared that due to the abject failure of the public sector units to fully supply the needed stock of weaponry, only alternative India was left with, was to source weapons and other related paraphernalia from outside its territory.
But regardless of what it was, the Kargil War will undoubtedly serve a reminder of the pride the country holds in the spirit and valor of the nation’s defense forces.