24 June, 2021

Command Failure

Contrary to impressions, the man on the spot provided timely warnings but in a callous lapse, the military and political leadership failed to react. Now, a cover-up may be on

Command Failure

Intelligence failure and incompetence of the system are the two vague and faceless culprits being touted as the main reasons for allowing Kargil to build up into as big an operation it did. No politician, no minister, no bureaucrat or general has been held culpable for a war that left over 400 Indian soldiers dead and over 700 injured. Right now, just one officer, Brig Surinder Singh, commander of the Kargil-based 121 Brigade, has been singled out for failing to detect the Pakistani intrusions on time. Where did Singh err? And was he alone to blame?

Investigations carried out by Outlook in Srinagar, Kargil and Delhi reveal that actual warnings and not mere intelligence inputs were made available to the army top brass. And these were sent from Kargil by none other than Brig Singh.

While the army has denied that it received any intimation, according to unimpeachable sources, Singh wrote at least six letters to his immediate superiors, the army chief and the defence ministry between August '98 and March this year, informing them of the 'increased threat...

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