New Delhi: A former army chief, who led the Kargil operation in 1999, has said that the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had given in to international pressure and stopped Indian troops from entering Pakistan-occupied territory, said General (retd.) V P Malik.
Malik while extending his full support to surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army following Uri attacks in which 19 soldiers were martyred. “On June 2, PM Vajpayee told the Army not to cross the border. The then national security adviser Brajesh Mishra had said in an interview that the Army was told ‘not to cross the border today, but we don’t know about tomorrow’,” V P Malik said while delivering a speech on leadership and motivation during the ongoing Switch Global Expo. Malik also said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee took three meetings in a day with him to convince him to “let go of Pakistan”, reported Indian Express.
“It required three long meetings in a single day and a lot of convincing from the then prime minister to make me let them (Pakistan) go. I was unhappy and so were the soldiers. Among the many reasons, one was that the international community pressuring India… another was the general elections (held later that year). In the hindsight, it was a right decision.” revealed General V P Malik.
General V P Malik hailed the Indian government and strong political will that allowed Indian Army to carry out surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The retired army man said the surgical strike has sent a strong message to Islamabad. “After the surgical strikes, we don’t have to beg to the international community to build pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting terror activities against India. We have to tell them that if they (Pakistan) continue to do this, we will have to go to war,” said Malik.
When asked about the change in the relationship between India and Pakistan post surgical strike, V P Malik said tension is going to be escalated. “I am not optimistic that Pakistan will change after one surgical strike. We must be prepared for more action from them and more reaction from us,” said Malik. In the wee hours of September 30, Indian Army carried out surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and destroyed seven terror launch pads.