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Air Marshal dismisses Gen Malik's charges on Kargil

Written by: Staff
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Somewhere in the Nortern Sector, May 11 (UNI) Denying that the Indian Air Force (IAF) had delayed in joining the Kargil operations in 1999, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command (WAC) Air Marshal A K Singh has dismissed Gen V P Malik's charges in this regard as baseless.

''His viewpoint does not match with reality....There are even dichotomies in his own assessment,'' the Air Marshal said while responding to the reporters' queries when asked to comment on the allegations levelled by Gen Malik in his book 'Kargil- Surprise to Victory.' During the Kargil conflict the IAF conducted some 3000 sorties, he said, and wondered if that could be done if there would have been any reluctance on the part of the Air Force.

Air Marshal Singh, who was incharge of the air operations during the Kargil conflict, said 60 to 70 per cent of the arms and ammunition of the IAF were meant to assist the Army. ''Then why would the IAF not go to suppport the army.

He pointed out that during the 1962 war with China, the IAF was not used. ''Was is it due to any reluctance on the part of Air Force?,'' he asked.

Regarding the intelligence failure with regard to the Kargil, he said there was wrong assessment on the part of the Army as to the number of Pakistani intruders who had infiltrated in the area.

However, he said, the Indian forces were much more prepared in the aftermath of the Kargil. ''Now there is no chance of getting the information and not acting on it properly. The coodination is much better.'' Regarding the measures taken in the light of the Kargil, he said there was heightened surveillance in the area and the posts were not vacated in the winters now.

UNI MA RL KN1710

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