A Question about Kargil Hills

Discussion in 'Military Multimedia' started by bhramos, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Near Tiger Hill, Point 5353, the highest peak still Pak-occupied!!!



    is this true?
    it a part of tiger hill still occupied by Pak forces!!!
    i need some experts answers... Pleaseee
    Advance thank you all.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Yes.

    5353 is with Pakistan.
     
  4. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Self Delete..............................................
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    There are many places from which NH 1A is dominated by Pakistan.

    That is why a new alignment has been organised and work is in progress (at least as far as I know).
     
  6. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    self delete.............................................
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  7. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    Fact and fiction on Point 5353

    The defence establishment's response to the controversy over Point 5353 plumbs new depths.

    PRAVEEN SWAMI

    IN August, news broke that Pakistan holds one of the most important mountain features in the Drass Sector, Point 5353-metres. Since then, there has been a welter of fresh revelations, the most important of them being lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP R.K. Anand' s disclosure that five other positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) are held by Pakistan. Anand also made public Army's internal correspondence on the causes of the debacle over Point 5353. The revelations did not lead to a considered rebuttal, but generated a wave of hostile official polemic, often through pro-establishment journalists. One so-called security affairs expert charged that the revelations were part of a Pakistani intelligence plot to generate a "divisive debate" in Indi a.

    Addressing an audience of businessmen in Mumbai in early August, Union Defence Minister George Fernandes put forward the sole cogent official response to the revelations about Point 5353. "5353," he said, "is the point over which the LoC goes. The fact i s, our troops had never occupied that. The normal practice among them has been that where the line goes over a peak, then nobody occupies it." The Minister then proceeded to assault what he perceived to be irresponsible media organisations, much to the d elight of the assembled Mumbai businesspersons, many of whom have had their own skirmishes with reporters. But an analysis of Fernandes' statement shows not only little concern for fact, but an alarming willingness to use falsehood to ensure that his cho sen team in the defence establishment can continue to be incompetent with impunity.

    "5353 is the point over which the LoC goes"

    Assertions that the LoC is imprecisely defined on the ground, and that the territorial status of Point 5353 is therefore unclear, have formed the central component of official discourse on the controversy. A few hours spent poring over old newspapers are all that it takes to set the record straight. Sadly, few of the many commentators who have engaged with the revelations made in Frontline and other publications on the status of Point 5353 have seen it fit to make the effort.

    During the Kargil war, Pakistan had put forward claims that the LoC was undefined on the ground, and that its territorial contours were imprecise. An irate spokesman of the Union Ministry of External Affairs responded on June 19, 1999. "The LoC is well d efined and delineated," he said, "and is the very cornerstone of Indo-Pakistan relations." Pointing out that detailed co-ordinates of the LoC were given in 19 annexures to the agreement of December 11, 1972, arrived at between Lieutenant-General Abdul Ha mid Khan and Lieutenant-General P.S. Bhagat, the spokesman added that "so far as the de jure position is concerned, there are no doubts."

    Speaking in New Delhi on June 23, 1999, his first press conference after military operations began in Kargil, Chief of the Army Staff V.P. Malik was even more explicit. "In today's display," he said after a formal presentation, "we have also given you de tails of the LoC; its delineation; how it was delineated." "With marked maps, a military man without a GPS (Global Positioning System) can make an error of a few hundred metres on the ground, but an error of 8 to 9 kilometres is unimaginable."

    No one appeared to be in any doubt about just where Point 5353 was during the Kargil war itself. The Press Trust of India (PTI) put out official responses to Pakistan claims that Point 5353 was on its side of the LoC on July 28, 1999. "The maps signed by the Indian and Pakistani DGMOs (Directors General of Military Operations) in 1972 clearly indicate that it belongs to India," the PTI despatch noted. On July 30, a PTI depatch repeated the assertion in a report on fighting around Point 5353: "In this se ctor, Pakistan claims some mountains to be a part of this territory whereas the maps signed between the Directors General of Military Operations in December 1972, are contrary to this claim."

    Maps published in Frontline, and also separate documents made available to the press by Anand, both make clear that Point 5353 is at an aerial distance of almost a kilometre from the LoC on the Indian side. On the ground, that would mean a trek of several kilometres, given the terrain's savage contours. How what was "well defined" and "well delineated" only a year ago has now become so confused is a question only the defence establishment's apologists can answer.

    "Where the line goes over a peak, nobody occupies it"

    Leaving aside the so far undenied fact that Pakistan is indeed in occupation of Point 5353, this second element of Fernandes' argument raises more than a few interesting issues. Right through the Kargil war, Indian officials made clear that the fight for Point 5353 had been joined. But that fight would have served little purpose had the strategically located peak not fallen inside Indian territory.

    Northern Command chief H.M. Khanna announced in Srinagar on July 21, 1999 that while the bulk of the Pakistan intrusion had been vacated, "some 50 to 70 intruders still held three positions along the LoC in Kargil". Two days later, The Tribune, ci ting official reports, noted that "fierce fighting was on in Batalik and Kaksar sub-sectors as the Indian troops launched operations to evict the intruders from the three pockets they were holding." "Fighting," the report noted, "was under way at Point 5 353 in Drass, Muntho Dhalo and Shangruti Ridge in Batalik, and also at a position in Kaksar." These are much the same areas as Anand referred to in his press conference.

    Nothing much changed over the next few days. On July 24, The Tribune again reported that "Pakistani intruders continued to hold their position in the small pockets of intrusion". The same day, the Asian Age's special correspondents in New D elhi and Srinagar quoted Union Defence Minister George Fernandes as saying that "a very few Pakistani soldiers are occupying one point each in Drass. Batalik and Mushkoh." "These points," he insisted, "will be cleared at any time." Officials did their be st to prove their Minister right, announcing both on July 25 and July 26, 1999 that the last of the intrusions had been cleared.

    Fernandes and Lieutenant-General Nirmal Vij, the Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO), were, in fact, being economical with the truth. On July 28, PTI reported that fighting continued in several areas. One soldier was killed in shelling in the Batalik area while another died in the Muntho Dalo area. The Pakistan Army, PTI recorded, "also launched a counter-attack on Sando Top and Zulu Spur." The Zulu Spur forms the junction of ridges from the Mushkoh Valley and the Marpo La area. Most importan t of all, PTI noted that "in Mushkoh sub-sector of Drass both sides exchanged small arms fire around Point 5353". What Indian troops were doing there if the peak is not on the Indian side of the LoC remains a mystery - particularly if, as the Army's publ ic relations staff insist, the peak is of little strategic significance and poses no real threat to National Highway 1A.

    Pakistan, which now denies that it holds any territory on the Indian side of the LoC, clearly understood the gains it had made. On July 26, even as officials in New Delhi announced that the last Pakistani intruder had been evicted from the Indian side of the LoC, the Pakistan Army's Brigadier Rashid Qureshi made a significant, but little noticed, statement. The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that "contrary to Indian claims, the Pakistan Army is still holding some strategic heights along the Li ne of Control and can effectively tackle any Indian attack." "We are in a position to target Indian vehicles on the Kargil-Drass road," it quoted Qureshi as saying.

    But in the triumphal glow provoked by the end of Operation Vijay, news regarding Point 5353 disappeared from the press. No reportage on the fighting in the area appeared after the PTI report of July 28. A similar fate befell operations in the Batalik are a. On July 9, Army spokesperson Bikram Singh announced that "valiant Gorkha Rifles soldiers, who had recaptured Khalobar and Point 5287, regained point 4821 and Kukerthang". "The gallant Bihar regiment," he continued, "took control of the Tharu hills in an overnight operation." "Now," he concluded, "only one or two pockets where the intruders are giving resistance are left to be recaptured." Nothing about those pockets, which included the Shangruti feature on the LoC, was heard of again.

    "Fact is, our troops had never occupied that"

    The argument that Point 5353 was never held by India has been regularly used by the Army public relations apparatus to rebut the charge that operational incompetence and strategic errors led to its occupation by Pakistan during the Kargil war. The claim is, in fact, true. India did not hold Point 5353 before the war broke out. What has not been reported widely is that this statement of fact rebuts nothing, for no one ever claimed that the peak was physically held by India before the war. Indeed, reports that appeared in Frontline and Business Line made quite clear that the peak was not held by either side in the build-up to the conflict.

    Point 5353, along with the features around it, was occupied by the Pakistani troops at the start of the Kargil war. When the hostilities ended, the Indian troops had succeeded only in taking back Charlie 6 and Charlier 7, two secondary positions on the M arpo La ridgeline. The Indian troops had also been unable to evict Pakistani soldiers from Point 5240, some 1,200 metres from Point 5353 as the crow flies. Amar Aul, the 56 Brigade Commander in charge of the operations to secure Point 5353, responded by occupying two heights on the Pakistani side of the LoC, 4875 and 4251, just before the ceasefire came into force.

    Aul later tried to use these two heights to bring about a territorial exchange. In mid-August 1999, his efforts bore fruit, and both sides committed themselves to leave Points 5353, 5240, 4251 and 4875 unoccupied. Indian and Pakistani troops pulled back to their pre-Kargil position as part of a larger agreement between their respective DGMOs. In October that year, however, the deal broke down. Aul tasked the 16 Grenadiers to take Point 5240 and the 1/3 Gorkha Rifles to occupy Point 5353, choosing to vio late the August agreement rather than risk a Pakistani reoccupation of these positions. The operation was mishandled, and when the Pakistani troops detected the Indian presence on 5240, they promptly launched a counter-assault on Point 5353.

    Pakistan rapidly consolidated its position on 5353 after the abortive Indian offensive. Concrete bunkers came up on the peak, and a road was constructed to the base of the peak of Benazir Post. And with Point 5353 and its adjoining area now linked by roa d to Pakistan's rear headquarters at Gultari, any attack will lead to a full-blown resumption of hostilities. No official from the Army or the Defence Ministry has, until the third week of September, denied this sequence of events.

    Nor has a denial been made of significant new revelations made by Anand. Anand made available the correspondence between Captain Navneet Mehta, who led an unsuccessful attack on Peak 5353 in May 1999. The correspondence outlines the errors that led to th is debacle. Aul has not been called to account for his actions. Nor has the Army denied or accepted this highly decorated solider's part in the debacle. Neither have his superiors seen it fit to explain why Pakistan was left in possession of the peak, an d why the subsequent exchange-deal was terminated to India's evident disadvantage. Most significant, Anand's claim that Point 5353 was indeed held by India in 1992-1993, successfully cutting off Pakistani supply routes, has not been rebutted.

    In the wake of Anand's intervention on the 5353 debate, General Malik has chosen to distance himself from the entire controversy. At an August 31 press conference, held to inaugurate the Army Wives Welfare Association's website, Malik said the issue had now entered the "political domain." "We are going through his statement," Malik said. "We have the answer, but let the government react." Coming from an Army chief who allowed his officers to brief the Bharatiya Janata Party on the conduct of the Kargil war, and permitted his soldiers to host a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-organised religious function in Leh, the new disdain for politics is interesting.

    The worrying lack of answers about Point 5353 is not the only problematical aspect of the affair. Many of the Army's responses to Point 5353 stories were put out not through attributable statements, for which officials could later be held accountable, bu t through off-the-record briefings held behind closed doors. In effect, a section of the media allowed itself to be used as the public relations wing of an incompetent defence apparatus. One Calcutta-based daily even apologised for the unpardonable sin o f having failed to censor Anand's press conference on behalf of the defence establishment.

    India's defence establishment and much of the press have chosen to hide from uncomfortable truth. But the silence does no one any favours, least of all the soldiers who could one day have to pay again with their lives for the failures of the Kargil war.

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1720/17200340.htm
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    This is an incorrect statement that 5353 is a km away.

    RK Anand should be made to trek to the nearest point for a personal check!

    Shangruti was always with Pakistan.

    There are and were areas from which the Pakistanis can dominate NH1A even before the Kargil War. So, what's new except that Quereshi wanted to make some Brownie point to hide the ignominy of their defeat!

    Benazir is in the Kaksar area and 5353 is in Dras.

    What is the connection?

    Sensationalism and pretending to be well informed!

    If from 5353 Pakistan's supply route i.e. the Gultari - Dalunang op track/ rd could be cut off, then cutting off would take a new meaning. He should visit any of the ridgeline and check what can and cannot be cut off and then comment!

    It is good to see lawyers better than Generals. Is he the same chap who was involved in some stuff about doctoring witnesses in the BMV hit and run case?

    So much so for his integrity!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
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  9. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Holy God !! I never knew this !! Pakistan still occupies an Indian position inside our side of the LOC ! And the army has just accepted to get along with this fact ! Splendid ! So much for as aspiring superpower, my a** !
     
  10. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Valid reason for anyone to be worried.

    Notwithstanding, just see the photos given by Biswas.

    How many peaks are important and what all should be held?

    That is why the saying - Mountain eats up troops.

    You climb and occupy one hill and there is always another that requires occupation and so that one is not cut off by the enemy infiltrating, and you have to have one post in between so that all posts are mutually supported!!!!

    And each post should have adequate number of troops who can undertake administrative duties like fetching water from the valley floor (no water at those heights), get rations, letters from the Base etc, do OP/LP duties, also have patrols out and still have adequate numbers on the post at the same time as all these duties are being done, so that if the enemy attacks, then that attack can be repulsed!!

    A very tough call to distribute Troops to Task and ensure that none can infiltrate and cut one off!

    It maybe mentioned that even in peacetime, new posts are created and there are always disputes and that is why you have so many LC firing going on quite a few times!

    What I have written is but a very sketchy overview. It is much more complicated.

    Oh yes, another point that is important is that defences should not be just linear. It must have depth to be viable i.e. not only should there be posts on the Marpola Ridge but also ridges in depth, so that the enemy does not have a straight run to their objective and in this case ridges overlooking right on top of NH1A.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
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  12. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    They have no edge having that point when its under all the guns we have..

    Besides now we have a airstrip in kargil, jets can land their specially Jaguar..
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    This is a photo from the Dras Sector.

    If one observes the photo, one will see so many peaks and it is difficult to know which one should be occupied and which could be left out.

    It all is worked out through Threat Analysis and Matching it with Troops Available to the Task Given.

    And it is never perfect.

    If it were, then one whole Division would not be there now, where only one Indep Inf Bde was!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    No.

    We did not cross the LC when the Kargil Op was on.
     
  15. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    It is a debacle. It is in fact a bumbling catastrophe.

    When the war ended, Def Min George Fernandes addressed a series of businessmen in Mumbai and said, "Point "5353 is the point over which the LoC goes. The fact is our troops never occupied that. The normal practice among them has been that where the line goes over a peak, then nobody occupies it."

    Any analysis of his statement will show you how little concern he had for defence priorities, and how he relegated fact for "policy".

    The fact is that even though 5353 is surrounded by 4 Indian peaks, it is an artillery shell away from a crucial 25 km. stretch of the national highway (Hwy 1 D). Any bombardment of that stretch will ensure that highway supplies to Leh and Kargil are cut off.

    Besides, the Pakistanis have reinforced concrete bunkers and have been happily constructing a supply route to the peak. Rohtang and Zojila are being made "all weather" passes, but there's an urgent need to construct an alternative Leh-Siachen route if the point's not taken in the interest of "larger peace in the area". Drass and the Point 5353 itself don't just remain under observation, Kaksar remains too.

    The External Ministry has been following a two-pronged strategy, of playing down the threat: because it has become a national issue with the significance of martyrs that died during the Kargil war; and attempting to take the peak through various means short of making an artillery barrage an outright war. To date, they have remained unsuccessful. I think we all know why (Hint: they're a bunch of ass wipes, oh aww shucks ! I gave you the answer already ).


    Read this article by Pran Krishan Vasudeva for a further insight:


    KARGIL REVISITED - FACTS AND MYSTERIES ON POINT 5353

    [​IMG]

    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/167146
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  16. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ray Sir, a common man like me will never know about what really happened at the LOC peaks and what is the situation on the ground as of now. What I meant to say was that according to the report it say that, though there are 4 Indian peaks surrounding it, it can still be used to shell the NH1D without much effort and also the Pakistan have constructed a supply route to the peak. Now, I have utmost respect for the armed forces, but this is inside our territory, so it is a bit hard for me to digest, even though your comments are very much valid, no army can spare troops to guard every damn peak in a mountain range, that's simply impossible !
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The problem of people who have not visited the Sector is that they do not know that Pt 5353 is not the only place from where the Pakistanis can interdict NH1D. There are at least minimum two other places and better situated for the task of interdiction.

    Just because 5353 has become a cause célèbre, it has become a hot talking point and every Tom, Jack and Hariharan has become an expert!

    The author is a doctor of the Army! Theory and practical experience of Infantry command are two different things!

    For example, there were many artillery and GS officers and highly qualified including senior to Brig Lakhwinder the CArty. Yet, it was old Lakkhhi who got the idea of using 155 in direct role! Unheard of. It worked. Therefore, while an armchair critic may criticise the action based on theoretical knowledge, it is the man who is upfront, who alone knows what will work and what will not!

    There is alternate routes being constructed.

    Not only Dras and Kaksar but also Kargil are vulnerable. Dras and Kargil was shelled during the war!

    .

    Well since they are all what he call they are, how come he does not give us the secret to the elixir of life?
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    No, I am not stating that you are wrong in being worried.

    You have every right to be concerned and you have correctly stated what a common man would feel.

    I only wrote to indicate the issues involved wherein it is quite a task to guard these mountains and that is why when people say 'seal the border', it is never feasible.

    Those photos of Biswas and mine would show that there will never be adequate numbers and even if there is, the logistics would be colossal and it would not be possible to match up given that the Passes close for about six months of the year.

    I would once again state my post was a general one indicating some of the issues involved and that is why my first sentence was that you are right to be worried.

    Even the good Army doctor, who should know more than you, is way off and attempting to be an expert!
     
  19. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Sir,

    In all due honesty, that was my categorical assertion. Someone like me, who has never been to Drass will never know. I rely on satellite imagery and sifting through reports, of what I consider are credible authors. Still, the fact that no one on the ground has actually come up with something detailing why the Point is not as of the strategic significance expounded in, as what you call a 'cause célèbre', or why it can not be retaken, warrants a questioning. I could understand if the confusion served a purpose, but I simply cannot see what. Other than angering a crowd, incensed at the fact that their martyrs' blood has been spilled in vain, at least with respect to that peak.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    In so far as shelling, the AMC Colonel who would not have fired a artillery piece has misled the common man.

    It is not that easy to totally disrupt a linear target. It is a lucky barrage that can to some extent, but it will be put into use soon.

    If it were possible to disrupt so easily, then how come, even with Pakistani occupying 5353, the convoys used to go through?

    What are the four peaks that the Colonel is writing about?

    There were a whole lot of peaks!

    Another issue that one should know is that artillery is not that effective in the mountains and that too High Altitude. The rarefied atmosphere plays havoc and while one takes a datum shoot every two hours to cater for the change in the atmospherics, in the HAA, it might warrant a shorter time lag.

    Also attacking peaks with arty requires a whole lot more ammunition since the peak is a small area. Arty is an area weapon and hence it has a dispersion in the dropping of the shells. So some land on target and some go over or drop short.

    And so to cater for the excess ammunition required a great number have to be dumped at the gun position. Imagine what it does to the logistic train which not only has to cater for artillery ammunition, but also for other ammunition, stores and daily maintenance!
     
  21. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    It make sense IA didn't go for that point..
     

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