Kargil conflict: 500 Pakistani soldiers were killed, PML-N demands inquiry
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The demand came in the wake of a retired general's revelation that the operation to send regular troops across the Line of Control was masterminded by former army chief Pervez Musharraf.
"Following the latest revelations by a close aide of Musharraf, there is no option but to seek the formation of a judicial commission to conduct an inquiry into the Kargil episode," senior PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters outside parliament.
"Though more than 500 Pakistani soldiers, including young and senior officers, were killed in Kargil, there has been no inquiry till today," he said.
In contrast, India had already carried out an inquiry into the incident and made its report public years ago, he remarked.
The comments by Khan, who is Leader of Opposition in the lower house of parliament, came in the wake of fresh disclosures by Lt Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz, who headed the analysis wing of the ISI during the Kargil conflict.
Aziz, who has written a book about his days in the army, has told the media that the Kargil operation was masterminded by a group of four generals led by Musharraf.
He has said details of the operation were hidden from other military commanders and the exact number of Pakistani casualties was still not known.
"It was a failure because we had to hide its objectives and results from our own people and the nation. It had no purpose, no planning and nobody knows even today how many soldiers lost their lives," Aziz said in a recent interview.
Khan said an independent inquiry into the Kargil conflict would ensure that no military officer could act in the same manner in future.
"Four generals conducted the operation like thieves while hiding things from the army and the government. The lives of soldiers and the respect of the army were compromised in an operation that had no approval or objective.
"f there is no accountability, another general like Musharraf could do the same thing in future," he said.
A PML-N government headed by party chief Nawaz Sharif was in power at the time when Pakistani soldiers captured strategic heights along the LoC in early 1999.
The troops were forced to withdraw following counter-attacks by Indian forces backed by artillery and airpower.
Following the Pakistan Army's debacle in Kargil, relations between Sharif and Musharraf deteriorated and the PML-N government was removed in a bloodless coup.
Though Aziz has said he had come across information that suggested Sharif was not kept totally in the dark about the Kargil operation, Khan contended that he had a 'lot of proof' about what the generals had told Sharif in 1999.
Khan said he would also raise his demand for an inquiry in the National Assembly.
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