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Tehelka breaks the emerging history of India’s biggest military setback in the recent past:

The ghost of the Kargil War has returned to haunt the National Democratic Alliance yet again, this time for sleeping over an intelligence alert that the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government received, even a year before the Pakistan Army’s intrusions began in 1999.

The authoritative revelation comes from the Indian Army’s think-tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) in a study it undertook on the Indian intelligence and the Kargil crisis. The report damns the charge on the Indian security establishment of the major failure in detecting and predicting the Pakistani invasion because of lack of proper intelligence and a turf war between the security agencies. “What went wrong, was not lack of intelligence, but the lack of coordination, assessment and predicting in specific terms in which way the attack will be enacted,” says the study.

It shows that the Indian intelligence agency had accurately assessed Pakistani intentions prior to the Kargil crisis and as early as in 1998, a year prior to detection of the intrusions, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had rushed a secret note to the then Prime Minister Vajpayee on the Pakistani logistics building across the Kargil.

As many as 43 reports were produced together between June 1998 and May 1999 by the three intelligence agencies—the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), IB and Military Intelligence (MI). Two other reports were generated by the Indian Border Guards stationed in Kargil.

Out of these 45 reports, 11 had landed at the Joint Intelligence Coordination (JIC), directly working under the Cabinet Secretariat. The most crucial two reports, one each from IB and RAW were copied to the then Prime Minister.

The strategic weakening of India that this government achieved will tell on us in the years to come. Now it turns out that it also lacked tactical foresight.

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