INDIAN army faced a huge embarrassment when its Armed Forces Tribunal raised serious questions over the Kargil war history setting the record straight regarding Indian fake claims in the Kargil skirmish, some of which came to light, when Brigadier Devinder Singh, who had commanded the 70 Infantry Brigade in the Batalik sector during the Kargil war petitioned against his superiors after being passed over for promotion and given only a low level peace time medal. Brigadier Singh had led the critical battle for Point 5203, which had been captured by Pakistan in the early days of the war. He also led the assaults on the Jubbar complex, one of the most difficult campaigns during the war. Unfortunately for Singh, his superiors did not recognize his efforts despite that a month before the operations broke out, during a corps-level war game, Brigadier Singh had also predicted the pattern of intrusions by Pakistan Army but Lieutenant General Kishan Pal, the then 15 Corps Commander, doctored his battle performance report to underplay his role. Brigadier Singh became a victim of prejudice and that cost him a war medal and promotion. He was recommended for a Mahavir Chakra, the second highest award for gallantry but was awarded a Vishisht Seva Medal, a peacetime decoration. The verdict in the favour of Kargil war hero Brigadier Devinder Singh came as a slap on the face of the Indian army’s Kargil war commanders. The tribunal has questioned the veracity of entire history of the Kargil war and concluded that top commanders fabricated war records to award their favourites with fake encounters. After a bitter decade-long fight, the Indian army has been forced to set the record straight about its performance in the Kargil conflict. In a judgment made public on Wednesday, Justice A.K. Mathur and Lieutenant-General Naidu — who heard the case after it was transferred from the Delhi High Court to the newly-formed Tribunal — have called on the Indian Army for a full investigation into the actions of the military leadership in the 1999 Kargil war. According to India Today, former Indian army chief General V.P. Malik has admitted that the Indian Army had fudged the records for its gains but defended saying that “the entire the Kargil war records had not been fudged.”
Readers may recall The Daily Mail’s Delhi Correspondent Christina Palmer’s February 01, 2010 exposé titled ‘Another Fake Kargil Hero emerges in Indian Army’, in which she had blown the lid off Grenadier Yonginder Singh Yadav and Havaldar Sanjay Kumar, who had been decorated and promoted out of turn for their feigned valour but later after the discovery of their falsehood, stripped of their ranks. The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that after the Kargil conflict was over, the Indian Army Headquarters at New Delhi, which was stormed by controversies and massive criticism, not only for the debacle at the war front but also for the massive financial wrongdoings in the direction of procurements by army, had directed all the commanders of the Kargil front to immediately submit citations for the bravery of the soldiers so that the pressure from the political circles could be minimized nonetheless to boost up the morale of the demoralized troops. These findings indicate that in the hasty compliance of strong orders from the headquarters, the commanders at Kargil made a variety of blunders and submitted many fake citations with the recommendations of top military awards including the highest and the most prestigious Paran Vir Chakra) (PVC) award. The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that the wrong citations started surfacing soon and the biggest blunder in this regard emerged when the farcical episode of PVC recipient Grenadier Yoginder Singh Yadav got exposed as Yoginder was found hiding at a military hospital in New Delhi while, following the fake citations of his commanders, the government of India had awarded him with the posthumous (after death) PVC award. The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that Indian army leadership was put on a flashing burner by the opposition parties in the parliament not only for outrageous display of combat at Kargil but also for huge financial wrongdoings in procurements, during the conflict. These findings indicate that after pointing out glaring lapses and improprieties in purchase of specialized mountain warfare equipment for the Kargil war, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India had said that even non high-altitude weaponry deals were pushed through by the Defence Ministry in the name of Operation Vijay. Today as the truth emerges after eleven years, the Indian Army must hang its head in shame and conduct a full length inquiry as the tribunal has ordered to cleanse its records once for all and expose all fake heroes.
|India willing to talk to Maoist but not Kashmiris|
| MARK Mazzetti of the New York Times, in his weekend exposé titled ‘U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts’ has revealed that in direct contravention of the Pentagon rules prohibiting the US army from hiring contractors for spying, top military officials have continued to rely on a secret network of private spies who have produced hundreds of reports from deep inside Afghanistan and Pakistan. The scathing account reported by Ginger Thompson and Eric Schmitt, combined with research by Barclay Walsh is based on interviews with more than a dozen current and former US government officials and businessmen, and an examination of official documents. It reveals that not only are the networks still operating, their detailed reports on subjects like the workings of the Taliban leadership in Pakistan and the movements of enemy fighters in southern Afghanistan are also submitted almost daily to top commanders and have become an important source of intelligence. Earlier this year, government officials admitted that the military had sent a group of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers and retired Special Operations troops into the region to collect information. The inputs were used to track and kill people suspected of being militants. It was hastily shut down once a probe began, following General David H. Petraeus, the top commander in the region, signed off on the operation in January 2009. However, quoting Pentagon officials, the New York Times sleuths report that over time the operation appeared to morph into traditional spying activities and the supervisor who set up the contractor network, Michael D. Furlong, was now under investigation. The disturbing aspect is that according to NYT,
Mr. Furlong’s operatives were still providing information using the same intelligence gathering methods as before. The contractors were still being paid under a $22 million contract, the review shows, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by the Pentagon office in charge of special operations policy. Mr. Furlong remains at his job, working as a senior civilian Air Force official. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expanded role of contractors on the battlefield — from interrogating prisoners to hunting terrorism suspects — has raised questions about whether the United States has outsourced some of its most secretive and important operations to a private army many fear is largely unaccountable. The C.I.A. has relied extensively on contractors in recent years to carry out missions in war zones. The exposure of the spying network also reveals tensions between the Pentagon and the C.I.A., which itself is running a covert war across the border in Pakistan. In December, a cable from the C.I.A.’s station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, to the Pentagon argued that the military’s hiring of its own spies could have disastrous consequences, with various networks possibly colliding with one another. The memo also said that Mr. Furlong had a history of delving into outlandish intelligence schemes, including an episode in 2008, when American officials expelled him from Prague for trying to clandestinely set up computer servers for propaganda operations. Some officials say they believe that the C.I.A. is trying to scuttle the operation to protect its own turf, and that the spy agency has been embarrassed because the contractors are outperforming C.I.A. operatives.
Whatever the case maybe, for Pakistan it raises a number of disconcerting thoughts. The recent case of the five US citizens, albeit of Pakistani origin, who were arrested from Sargodha on suspected links with Al-Qaeda and more lately, Mr. Faisal Shahzad, who was apprehended for his botched bombing plot in Times Square, New York, and allegedly having received bomb making training in Waziristan, should have been on the watch list of US authorities since they are all US citizens. Amidst the tough talk of US Secretary Hillary Clinton and her allegations of Pakistan being in the knowledge of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar’s whereabouts, the revelation of the illegal spy ring’s excessive presence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan indicates that not only it is USA which is on the wrong foot, but also its spymasters must definitely be knowing the exact coordinates of the location of Osama and Mullah Omar. A pertinent question is why the number of deaths due to collateral damage has risen owing to the Drone attacks, if such an extensive spy network was in place? Conclusively, it is USA, which needs to do more in respecting Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity rather than casting aspersions on it.