POLITICS

Kargil War Came This Close To Becoming A Nuclear Catastrophe, New Disclosure Shows

Too close for comfort.

24/07/2017 3:03 PM IST | Updated 24/07/2017 3:05 PM IST
DSK via Getty Images
(FILES) In this combination of file pictures created on July , 17, 2009, shows then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) gestures as he addresses a press conference at his residence in Islamabad on October 8, 1999 and a TV frame grab of then Pakistani army chief General Pervez Musharraf (R) addresses the nation via television from Islamabad on October 13, 2009.

India may have accidentally killed Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf right in the middle of the Kargil war in 1999--had it not been for an Air Commodore's razor-sharp instincts.

An exclusive report by The Indian Express describes how the pilot of an Indian Air Force Jaguar locked on a target that he thought was a big Pakistani military camp on Indian soil. However, Air Marshal A K Singh (now retired) told the pilot not to fire as the Air Commodore's instincts told him that the pilot had unknowingly crossed the Line of Control (LoC).

Singh told Express that he was familiar with the area and had overflown himself there, and thus advised caution. So they released the bomb on the Indian side, and flew back to pavilion. Returning to the Adampur air base, they reviewed video footage of the target, and found it to be the Gulteri military base in Pakistan. Worse, the footage showed that a large number of people at the base were listening to a speech by Sharif, who was present at Gulteri with Sharif at the time the two Indian air force officers were considering bombing the base.

At the time of the incident, both the countries were nuclear-armed and in the middle of the Kargil war. A mistake like this would have potentially triggered off a catastrophic set of events. Sharif was, at the time, advocating peaceful resolution with India while speaking to officers at the Gulteri base.

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