Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stopped Army From Crossing LoC After Kargil, Says Former Army Chief

"Be prepared for more action from Pakistan."

11/10/2016 8:20 AM IST | Updated 11/10/2016 8:58 AM IST
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Former Indian Chief Of Army Staff, V.P. Malik, during a press conference in New Delhi On May 18,1998.

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, the Indian Express reported.

"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," General (retd.) VP Malik told the audience at the ongoing Switch Global Expo in Ahmedabad.

However, in a paragraph from his book 'Kargil: From Surprise to Victory', that will find relevance in the political atmosphere today, Malik wrote that he had complained to Vajpayee about National Democratic Alliance election posters featuring the military chiefs. Writing for the Business Standard, Ajay Shukla, who quoted portions from the book, said Vajpayee ensured it did not happen again.

In his book, Malik described how "a large band" of Vishwa Hindu Parishad workers had brought along rakhis for the troops and demanded to meet him at the army headquarters right after the successful Kargil operations.

"When they were refused permission, they forced their way into the Media Cell offices and handed over the rakhis to the staff, making sure that the TV cameras caught all the action. From the next day onwards, entry was further restricted", Malik wrote.

On Monday he told his audience that India should be "prepared for more action" from Pakistan.

Malik had earlier criticized those questioning the credibility of the surgical strikes the army conducted across the Line of Control saying that the "video should not be released just because some stupid people have sought so."

He told PTI it was "utter nonsense" that people are asking the army to prove the operation and wondered what is wrong with the political class. "Only the army should take a call on whether to release the video or not and when," he said.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there has been no reciprocation from Islamabad in spite of all the efforts of the Modi-led government to improve relations and stressed that there will be "no compromise with the honour of the country".

"Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee used to say, neighbours cannot be changed and all out efforts should be made to improve ties with them," he told a BJP workers' meeting.

"(In response to efforts to improve relations) Kargil was committed...our Prime Minister Narendra Modi made every effort, invited the heads of all the neighbouring countries at his swearing-in ceremony...(the leader) of Pakistan also came...we made all the efforts to improve relations," Singh, who visited his Parliamentary constituency for the first time since the army's surgical strikes in PoK, said.

(With PTI inputs)

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