Musharraf hid Kargil intrusions from ISI: former general

Islamabad: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf kept such a tight lid on intrusions by Pakistani troops into Indian territory in Kargil in 1999 that the ISI learnt of the development when it intercepted Indian Army communications, a retired general says in his new book.

Lt Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz, who headed the analysis wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence at the time, writes that when he brought "strange wireless intercepts" to the notice of then ISI chief, Lt Gen Ziauddin Butt on May 3 or 4, 1999, he asked Aziz to keep the documents with himself.

Aziz says the intercepts made it clear that troops from 10 Corps had "carried out an aggressive operation" along the Line of Control.

In his book "For How Long This Silence", written in Urdu and released last week, Aziz says the entire operation in Kargil was planned and executed by then army chief Musharraf, Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Aziz Muhammad Khan, 10 Corps chief Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmad, and Maj Gen Javed Hassan, the chief of the Force Command Northern Areas.

Besides these four generals, "no other senior officer knew about the operation", Aziz writes.

"Even the staff of 10 Corps headquarters was unaware of the operation in the beginning. The Military Operations directorate also knew later when everything had been done," he says.

ISI chief Butt later acknowledged that Pakistani troops had taken control of many areas on the Indian side of the LoC that were empty or had for evacuated by Indian troops for winter.

Aziz writes that the communications intercepts showed the "nervousness" and "confused talk" on the Indian side.

"Indian forces seemed to be frightened. I said, 'It seems that our forces have conducted a major action in Kargil'," he writes.

At a briefing at the Military Operations directorate in early May that was also attended by Aziz, then Director General of Military Operations Maj Gen Tauqeer Zia said the Northern Light Infantry and other regular troops had "occupied empty hilltops in Kargil".