Make 1962 report public: Army officers

FP

A day after The Sunday Express brought out details of the Henderson Brooks-PC Bhagat report on the 1962 military debacle, retired and serving military leaders said that the controversial report needs to be made public and discussed, given that 50 years have elapsed since the war with China.

The report, which has been marked classified by the government and is under wraps, was in many ways a guiding force behind the many changes that took place in the military after the 1962 war, some of which are at the very core of the Army's war fighting and organisational philosophy.

Several serving and retired Army officers are of the opinion that with half a century gone by, a frank assessment and debate on the report is necessary and it should be part of the essential reading for military leaders.

"As far as the culpability part is concerned, that is now long over. All the persons concerned with the decision are no longer here with us. There are no accusations possible today. (making the report public) Would bring out the truth and will give an analysis of that period — whatever lessons have to be picked up, today we are well equipped to take those," says former Army Chief Gen V P Malik, who led the Army during the Kargil operations.

The General, however, adds that the Brooks-Bhagat report should not be seen in isolation as it is a comment on just the military operations but should be viewed with a broader picture.

"This impression that the military leadership was at fault in isolation is not correct. The grand strategy of appeasing the Chinese during that long period and the military strategy dictated by politicians on the forward policy, where people had to go to areas where there was no infrastructure need to be taken into consideration," Gen Malik said.

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