View Full Version : In the Line of Fire: Heights of Deception

27 Sep 06,, 17:43
Heights of deception

K. Subrahmanyam
Posted online: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 0000 hrs

It has taken seven years after the event for General Pervez Musharraf to come out with his version of the Kargil war. What an imaginative version! He tells us now that it was a great victory. It helped to internationalise the Kashmir issue. It was undertaken because the Indian side was preparing an offensive operation. He expects the Pakistanis and the rest of the world to accept this version after dozens of books have been written on the war, an overwhelming number of which give a very different version of the event. The general either has very great confidence in his persuasive powers or harbours utter contempt for the people of Pakistan, who are the primary audience of this book.

If India was preparing for an offensive action and this move was undertaken as a countermeasure, why was this charge not made earlier when the then Pakistani foreign minister, Sartaj Aziz, visited India in June 1999? Why did it not feature in the conversations of the director-generals of military operations? Why did not Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif raise the issue in his conversations with Atal Bihari Vajpayee? The general claims it was a great victory for his army. Why then is it that the officers and men of the Pakistan army who fought valiantly and got killed did not get the decent burial that was their due? Why were their bodies abandoned on Indian territory? There is no precedent in the history of warfare of a victorious army behaving this way. Why did Pakistan not own up to this victory? Why was it not advertised to the great pride of the Pakistani people till this book was published?

If Pakistan’s action was a preventive or preemptive action against a planned Indian offensive, there should have been no difficulty in it owning up to the presence of its Northern Light infantrymen across the LoC. But the myth of “mujahideen” was maintained even at the time of withdrawal. There was no need for Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz to cover himself with ridicule by claiming that the LoC was not clear, with the Indian side throwing at him the demarcation maps signed by General Hamid of Pakistan and General Bhagat of India.

Musharraf is economical with the truth when he claims that he told Nawaz Sharif, as he was leaving for Washington on July 3, 1999, that the military situation was favourable to Pakistan. Tololing was recaptured on June 17, Point 5149 in the Dras section on June 20, and Tiger Hill in the Dras sector was retaken even as Sharif was flying to Washington. Presumably the Americans did not share the general’s assessment of the military situation being favourable.

According to Bruce Riedel’s account, the Pakistani army was attempting to escalate the conflict while being pushed back, by attempting to deploy presumably nuclear missiles, as the Americans assessed. General Musharraf denies this and says that at that stage the Pakistani nuclear arsenal was not in a position to be deployed. He may well be right on that point.

However, the Americans with their satellite information were not confirming General Musharraf’s assessment to Prime Minister Sharif on the night of July 3, 1999 that the military situation was favourable to Pakistan.

General Musharraf claims Kargil as a great diplomatic success since it internationalised Kashmir. In fact, it was the first time India found that neither China nor the United States was prepared to back Pakistan on its misadventure and in a sense Kargil marked a turning point in Indo-US relations. President Clinton’s firm stand that there was no point in Sharif coming to Washington unless he was prepared to withdraw his forces impressed India favourably. Subsequently, in March 2000, on General Musharraf’s watch, Clinton said in his TV address to the entire Pakistani nation that borders could not be redrawn in blood. Evidently these developments count as favourable ones from General Musharraf’s point of view. No need for India to quarrel with him on this issue.

General Musharraf confirms the conclusion of the Kargil Committee report that the balance of probability suggested that Nawaz Sharif was fully in the picture. This, it may be recalled, was against the wisdom of the then top Indian political leadership who maintained that Sharif, who had signed the Lahore Declaration, could not have approved the Kargil aggression. While the general may not necessarily be truthful on all points in recounting the Kargil misadventure, it is clear that Sharif too has not been telling the truth on Kargil.

Obviously the book is a kind of election manifesto for the general to stand for election as president next year. Among the previous military rulers of Pakistan, President Ayub Khan and President Yahya Khan did not survive defeats in the military adventures they launched. In this case, the war was launched by Sharif, no doubt instigated by General Musharraf. Sharif has paid the penalty for launching the Kargil war.

General Musharraf is trying to salvage his position after having survived the aftermath of the Kargil debacle for seven years. His version of events is not likely to impress political leaders, analysts or military establishments around the globe. On the issue of Kargil, the audience he is aiming at is Pakistani servicemen and common people. Presumably he relies on public memory being proverbially short. Still he has taken high risks of being challenged in his own country. India has to deal with General Musharraf as a ruler of neighbouring Pakistan. There is no alternative to that. In doing that we have to bear in mind the mindset of the leader we are dealing with. In this case, he seems to be a person who is not highly concerned about his own credibility.

The writer was chairman of the Kargil Review Committee set up by the Government of India in 1999



I am not posting this in the South Asian defence forum since fiction is not a part of defence.

Slowly, the facts and figures and official info will be released to indicate what a fabricator this man is.

As it is apart from the above, Musharraf had to eat crow over the CIA having paid money to the Pakistani govt.

‘Pak Govt didn't receive money from CIA’
Press Trust of India
Posted online: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 0942 hours IST
Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 1013 hours IST

Washington, September 27: Backtracking on the claims made in his just-released memoirs, President Pervez Musharraf has said the American Central Intelligence Agency did not pay money to the Pakistan government for handing over al-Qaeda suspects.

In an interview with a US television channel, Musharraf was read out a passage from his book In The Line of Fire that said, "Those who habitually accuse us of not doing enough in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan."

CNN pointed out to Gen Musharraf that it had broached the CIA with how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan.

On this the Pakistan President said, "You know, I don't know whether this is to the government of Pakistan. I don't think I wrote 'the government of Pakistan'."

But when pointed out that on Page 237 of his book he has in fact said this and asked if he wanted to revise the Pakistani President said, "Yes. I think that if it is written "government of Pakistan," yes," he said.

"Certainly not the government, not the government... no, government of Pakistan hasn't received anything," he said.

On Iran, Musharraf argued that Pakistan's development of the bomb was based on a security perspective, that Iran did not face this situation and hence should not go forward in getting one.

"We developed it because of our security perspective, because of our threat perception. We don't believe that there should be any more nuclear proliferation. And we don't think that Iran suffers from a threat perception that we suffered," Musharraf said.

Asked if Islamabad was opposed to Iran's going forward on this Musharraf replied, "We are against it. We would be against it

Officer of Engineers
27 Sep 06,, 17:45
I was always of the opinion that Musharraf may be a bastard but he's our bastard. I just never realize that he was no bastard, just damned looney. He made General?

I see a command of the facts ain't his strong point.

27 Sep 06,, 17:55

Coup rumours sweep Pakistan


Islamabad, September 25: Pakistan on Sunday denied rumours of a coup attempt against President Pervez Musharraf while he is visiting the United States.

Newspaper offices and journalists were inundated with telephone calls and text messages inquiring about the rumours, which coincided with a widespread power cut.

But television programmes did not allude to them until Geo Television ran a ticker headline saying Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani had accused "rumour mongers" of exploiting the power cut.

Reuters made checks with senior government as well as military officials, and journalists saw nothing unusual in the capital or the neighbouring garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Durrani, who is travelling with Musharraf said, "These rumours were sparked by the power breakdown. These are baseless. These rumours spread because televisions were off and telephones were on."

A military official who declined to be named added: "It's totally rubbish."

Last week Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted as Thai prime minister while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York -- which Musharraf also attended.


Durrani also said Musharraf had had a routine medical check-up in Texas with a Pakistani-American doctor.

"He is absolutely all right," he said.

Musharraf, who came to power in a bloodless military coup seven years ago and has controversially held onto his role as chief of army staff, is due to launch his autobiography, entitled "In the Line of Fire", in New York on Monday.

He also has a second meeting with President George W. Bush, along with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and is due back in Pakistan by the end of the week.

Power cuts are not unusual in Pakistan but Sunday's outage, which blacked out large parts of the country including Islamabad, Rawalpindi and the eastern city of Lahore for several hours, was unusually extensive.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said maintenance work on a transmission line in northern Pakistan had caused the breakdown, and officials at the state-run power utility ruled out sabotage.

Musharraf has survived several assassination attempts since withdrawing Pakistan's support for the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan in 2001, after the Islamist militia refused to surrender its guest, Osama bin Laden, in the wake of al Qaeda's Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

While fears of assassination remain, speculation about Musharraf's grip on power is seldom heard, as there is no overt political challenge to him.

Leaders of the mainstream opposition parties are living in exile, and while some Islamist leaders talk of toppling the president, most diplomats and analysts reckon Musharraf could only be ousted by a coup from within the military.

Looks like Mushy's days are numbered, Pak street's gut feeling. They should know, since they have been there before. He sure got free pubicity, mostly in India. Unfortunately for him, proceeds from the book's sale in India will not pay for his retirement in the Riviera.:biggrin:

27 Sep 06,, 17:57
I was always of the opinion that Musharraf may be a bastard but he's our bastard. I just never realize that he was no bastard, just damned looney. He made General?

I see a command of the facts ain't his strong point.

Well see who are the intended audience of the book. In that place it's the heart that dominates the thinking process not brain. So who gives a damn about minor details such as Facts as long as Mushy gets to his obejective. History tells us that Mushy some how manages to do that in the end.:rolleyes:

27 Sep 06,, 18:09
Musharraf in his book has made himself a hero and everything went right.

Then why is he afraid to have a National Commission on Kargil as demanded by the people?

27 Sep 06,, 18:20
Musharraf in his book has made himself a hero and everything went right.

Then why is he afraid to have a National Commission on Kargil as demanded by the people?

In that case you will need facts and they may be forced use brain:biggrin: . As I recall, the report of 1971 war was also kept under wrap for long long time before they were made public.

Anoop C
02 Oct 06,, 13:24
Musharraf's book woes....Will he do the same for his own book to boost sales??


Musharraf buys all copies of sensitive ‘65 war book
Amir Mir
Sunday, October 01, 2006 00:17 IST

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army general headquarters has purchased all 22,000 copies of a sensitive book by a former Inter Services Intelligence(ISI) chief on the myth of the victory claimed by the Pakistan Army in the 1965 war against India.

The army felt The Myth of 1965 Victory by Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmed would malign the armed forces’ image.

According to GHQ sources, army chief General Pervez Musharraf found the book, published by Oxford University Press, ‘too sensitive’.

The sources said Mahmood had submitted the manuscript to the GHQ as per rules. However, after going through the manuscript, the GHQ referred it to Musharraf, who noted on the file that Mahmood should review sensitive parts of the book and the title, especially the use of the word ‘myth’ in relation to the 1965 war.

Mahmood refused to make suggested major deletions, claiming the book was in print.

Under the circumstances, the sources said, the GHQ directed the Army Book Club to immediately buy all copies, worth millions of rupees, directly from the publishers, to stop it from being marketed.

When leading distribution houses contacted Oxford, they were told the book had been sold out. Even otherwise, the sources said, it was binding on the publishers, under a revised contract, not to provide it for general distribution.

The sources said Mahmood, considered a hawkish pan-Islamist, tried to get a few hundred copies for his library but could not get the GHQ’s permission.

Mahmood is at the centre of a recent controversy for having quoted former American deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage on issuing him a blunt warning in September 2001 that Pakistan could be bombed back to the Stone Age unless it cooperated in the United States-led war on terror, as stated by Musharraf in an interview in Washington recently.

Musharraf recently mentioned Mahmood’s book in an interview to the foreign press in the US, while describing his former aide’s post-retirement activities and referring to it as unpublished.

The sources said Mahmood joined the Tableeghi Jamaat after being relieved of his post-retirement assignment to head the Fauji Fertilizer Corporation. He is one of seven generals who carried out the coup against Nawaz Sharif in 1999. He was Corps Commander, Rawalpindi, at that time, but was rewarded for his loyalty to Musharraf and made director general, ISI.

However, soon after the 9/11 terror attacks, he was retired prematurely and sent home, amid speculation that he had been too soft on the Taliban to suit changing circumstances.

Anoop C
02 Oct 06,, 13:47
'Make Mullah Omar Honda’s brand ambassador'

An excerpt from Daily Pioneer, an Indian newspaper:

Link (http://www.dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=FLASH&file_name=cap1%2Etxt&counter_img=1)

After Taliban leader Mullah Omar escaped from advancing US forces on a Honda motorcycle, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf jokingly advised the Japanese Prime Minister that the terrorist should be made a brand ambassador for the automobile major. In his book In the Line of Fire: A Memoir, Musharraf said the US started massive carpet-bombing of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 and the Northern Alliance simultaneously launched a land offensive. This led to Taliban cadres fleeing from Afghanistan into the mountains. In the first week of Dec 2001, Mullah Omar, sensing defeat, escaped on a Honda motorcyle and went into hiding, Musharraf writes. Once when Japanese PM Koizumi asked me about the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, I told him that Omar had escaped on a Honda motorcyle, says Musharraf. He then suggested that the best advertisement for Honda would be an ad campaign showing Mullah Omar fleeing on one of its motorcyles.

03 Oct 06,, 06:34
'Make Mullah Omar Honda’s brand ambassador'

An excerpt from Daily Pioneer, an Indian newspaper:

Link (http://www.dailypioneer.com/indexn12.asp?main_variable=FLASH&file_name=cap1%2Etxt&counter_img=1)
In the first week of Dec 2001, Mullah Omar, sensing defeat, escaped on a Honda motorcyle and went into hiding, Musharraf writes.

Mullah Omar escaped on a Honda motercycle! How does Musharraf know this? Unless ofcourse the Taliban and Osama are his guests.:rolleyes: