Dras (Ladakh). ‘Always be on your guard and never trust your enemy. Be it Pakistan or China. Former army chief General (Retd) Ved Prakash Malik (Former army chief VP Malik) has given this message to the armed forces deployed on the snowy mountains. General Malik was the army chief during the 1999 war. He expressed confidence that if a war situation arises today, India is better prepared than during Kargil.
He said that his biggest lesson from the Kargil war is that the enemy cannot be trusted despite the “political pretense” of friendship. According to General Malik, it is a situation of ‘He drinks even the burnt buttermilk of milk’. He recalled the ‘Lahore Declaration’ which was signed by India and Pakistan in February 1999 and ratified by the parliaments of both countries. Under this, it was the responsibility of both countries to avoid nuclear arms race and non-conventional and conventional conflicts.
Pakistan first made a show of friendship and then…
General Malik told PTI-language on the sidelines of an event here, “Never trust your enemy, even if there is a political show of friendship like signing of agreements. This happened even before the Kargil war, both the countries had signed an agreement (Lahore Declaration) some time ago and then we were taken by surprise.” “Within a few months, they infiltrated our territory, not with mujahideen or jihadists, but with the Pakistani army,” he said.
Ceasefire or no ceasefire, I’ve seen ceasefires broken too many times
Malik said, “Forces must remain alert – be it China or Pakistan” and there is no room for complacency even if a country is showing “political friendliness”. The former army chief said, “Ceasefire or not, I have seen ceasefire breaking many times. So, it doesn’t matter, we have to be alert on LAC (Line of Actual Control) or LOC (Line of Control). He said that the Kargil war is proof that the Indian Army has the ability to repel the enemy, even if their attack is sudden.
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If there is a war today, we are ready to fight, better equipped
General Malik said, “If a war situation arises today, we are ready to fight. We are far more equipped and better prepared. The human resources are still as good as they were 24 years ago, but the capabilities have improved a lot as compared to today.” He said, “The armed forces have changed. We have better equipment, surveillance system. We are ready to face any challenge.” Recalling the situation during the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan, Malik said the challenges were not just limited to terrain and weather, but also equipment. “But today we are much better,” he said.
In Kargil we fought the Pakistani army and drove them out
Malik said, “It was different during Kargil, initially our personnel suffered heavy casualties because we did not have enough information and once we got to know more details, we were able to drive the Pakistani regular army disguised as attackers out of the hills of Kargil.” General Malik was here for a program in Drass, where war heroes and families of martyred soldiers remembered the martyrs.
Pakistan has always betrayed
Many ex-soldiers also agreed with Malik’s point and said that it is a good thing to have a ceasefire, but it is Pakistan’s habit to violate it. Brigadier (retd) Kushal Thakur, who was the commanding officer of 18 Grenadiers, said, “The ceasefire and how long it will last depends on both the sides. But Pakistan has always betrayed… The Indian Army is capable.”
We must not lose what we gained in war
Honorary Captain Chiring Stopdon of Ladakh Scout, who took part in the Kargil War, said, ‘When there is snowfall in winter, the army comes down. The enemy sees him and goes upstairs. It should not happen. We should not lose what we achieved in the war. It is very important.’ On the occasion of 24th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, a ‘briefing’ was organized at Lamochen (Drass) on Tuesday.
Tags: China, india china ladakh, Pakistan
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 25, 2023, 21:43 IST