Op Parakram most punishing mistake: Ex-Navy chief

"Operation Parakram" in 2001 was the "most punishing mistake" for the Armed Forces, former Navy chief Admiral Sushil Kumar said on Friday, maintaining the government then lacked any political aim or objective for deploying the Army along the Indo-Pakistan border.

"There was no aim or military objective for the Operation Parakram... I don't mind admitting that Operation Parakram was the most punishing mistake for the Indian Armed Forces," Kumar said here, addressing a seminar on 'Limited wars in South Asia-Against a nuclear background'.

Operation Parakram, the 11-month-long border stand-off, took place soon after the December 13, 2001 terror attack on Parliament.

"When the Parliament strike took place, in the (CCS) board room it was super charged atmosphere, as you are aware in the CCS board room, the three Services chiefs sit opposite the Cabinet. In the end, Prime Minister (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee turned to me and said 'aap khush nahi lag rahen hain, Admiral sahab (You don't seem to be happy)'."

"I said I beg your pardon, sir, can you give us what is your political aim, we need to derive a military aim from it. That is the whole principle of war. What is the aim, you need an aim and military objective. Operation Parakram was the most punishing mistake for the Indian Armed Forces...," he said.

Kumar also said China and not Pakistan is the "biggest problem" for India.

"China is our biggest problem, not Pakistan. But the whole target seems to be hovering around Pakistan.... God forbid, if we have to try Op Parakram against the Chinese," he said.

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