The World wouldn’t have believed the truth of Kargil if one of India’s biggest intelligence coup couldn’t have unearthed the key mastermind of Kargil on tape.
General Pervez Musharraf who was in China here is the transcript of the tell-tale tape.
Transcripts of conversations between Lt Gen Mohammad Aziz, Chief of General Staff and Gen Pervez Musharraf, Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan.
(Aziz spoke from Pakistan to Musharraf, who was on a visit to China.)
Pak: Lt Gen Mohd Aziz, Chief of General Staff
China: Gen Pervez Musharraf, Chief of Army Staff
A real audio version of the conversation.
P: How is the visit going?
C: Yes, very well, Okay. And, what else is the news on that side?
P: Ham-dul-ullah. There is no change on the ground situation. They have started rocketing and straffing. That has been upgraded a little. It has happened yesterday also and today. Today high altitude bombing has been done.
C: On their side, in those positions?
P: In those positions, but in today’s bombing about three bombs landed on our side of the Line of control. No damage, Sir.
C: Is it quite a lot?
P: Sir, about 12-13 bombs were dropped, from which three fell on our side, which does not appear to be a result of inaccuracy. In my interpretation, it is a sort of giving of a message that if need be, we can do it on the other side as well. It is quite distance apart. Where the bombs have been dropped, they have tried to drop from a good position where they are in difficulty, from behind the LoC but they have fallen on our side of the LoC. So I have spoken to the Foreign Secretary and I have told him that he should make the appropriate noises about this in the Press.
C: They (Indians) should also be told.
P: That we have told, Foreign Secretary will also say and Rashid will also say. He will not, generally speaking, make any such mistake about those other bombs falling on the other side, our stand should be that all these bombs are falling on our side. We will not come into that situation. The guideline that they have given, we have stressed that we should say that this build-up and employment of air strike which has been done under the garb of….us (?), actually they are targetting our position on the LoC and our logistic build-up, these possibly they are taking under the garb having intention for operation the craft (?) Line of Control, and this need to be taken note of and we would retaliate in kind…. is what happened? So, the entire build-up we want to give this colour.
C: Absolutely okay. Yes, this is better. After that, has there been any talk with them? Any meetings etc?
P: Yeserday, again, in the evening.
C: Who all were there?
P: Actually, we insisted that a meeting should be held, because otherwise that friend of ours, the incumbent of my old chair, we thought lest he give some interpretation of his own, we should do something ourselves by going there.
C: Was he little disturbed. I heard that there was some trouble in Sialkot.
P: Yes, There was one in Daska. On this issue there was trouble. Yes, he was little disturbed about that but I told him that such small things keep happening and we can reply to such things in a better way.
P: There is no such thing to worry.
C: So that briefing to Mian Seheb that we did, was the forum the same as where we had done previously? There, at Jamshed’s place?
P: No. In Mian Saheb’s office.
C: Oh I see. There. What was he saying?
P: From here we had gone — Choudhary Zafar Saheb, Mehmood, myself & Tauqir. Because before going, Tauqir had spoken with his counterpart. We carried that tape with us.
C: So, what was he (Indian counterpart) saying?
P: That is very interesting. When you come, I will play it for you. Its focus was that these infiltrators, who are sitting here, they have your help and artillery support, without which they could not have come to J&K. This is not a very friendly act and it is against the spirit of the Lahore Declaration. Then Tauqir told him that if your boys tried to physically attack the Line of Control and go beyond it….and that the bombs were planted on the Turtok bridge and the dead body received in the process was returned with military honours and I said, I thought that there wan good enough indication you would not enter into this type of misadventure, and all this build-up that you are doing — one or more brigade strength and 50-60 aircraft are being collected. These are excuses for undertaking some operations against the verious spaces, so I had put him on the defensive. Then he said the same old story. He would put three points again and again that they (militants) should not be supported, and without your support they could not be there, they have sophisticated weapons and we will flush them out, we will not let them stay there. But this is not a friendly act.
C: So, did they talk of coming out and meeting somewhere?
P: No, No, they did not.
C: Was there some other talk of putting pressure on us?
P: No. He only said that they (militants) will be given suitable reception. This term he used. He said they will be flushed out, and everytime Tauqir said that please tell us some detail, detail about how many have gone into your area, what is happening there? Then I will ask the concerned people and then we will get back to you. So whenever he asked these details, he would say, we will talk about this when we meet, then I will give details. This means, they are possibly looking forward to the next round of talks, in which the two sides could meet. This could be the next round of talks between the two PMs which they are expecting it….Sir, very good thing, no problem…
C: So, many times we had discussed, taken your (PM’s?…) blessings and yesterday also I told him that the door of discussion, dialogue must be kept open & rest, no change in ground situation.
P: So, no one was in a particularly disturbed, frame of mind.
C: Even your seat man?
P: Yes, he was disturbed. Also, Malik Saheb was disturbed, as they had been even earlier. Those two’s views were that the status quo & the present postion of Gen Hassan (?) no change should be recommended in that. But he was also saying that any escalation after that should be regulated as there may be the danger of war. On this logic, we gave the suggestion that there was no such fear as the scruff (tooti) of their (militants) neck is in our hands, whenever you want, we could regulate it. Ch Zafar Saheb coped very well. He gave a very good presentation of our viewpoint. He said we had briefed the PM earlier & given an assessment. AFter this, we played the tape of Tauqir. Then he said that what we are seeing, that was our assessment, and those very stages of the military situation were being seen, which it would not be a problem for us to handle. Rest, it was for your guidance how to deal with the political & diplomatic aspects. We told him there is no reason of alarm & panic. Then he said that when I came to know seven days back, when Corps Commanders were told. The entire reason of the success of this oepration was this total secrecy. Our experience was that our earlier efforts failed because of lack of secrecy. So the top priority is to accord confidentiality, to ensure our success. We should respect this and the advantage we have from this would give us a handle.
C: Rest (baki), is Mian Saheb okay?
P: Ok. He was confident just like that but for the other two. Shamshad as usual was supporting. Today, for the last two hours the BBC has been continuously reporting on the air strikes by India. Keep using this — let them keep dropping bombs. As far as internationalisation is concerned, this is the fastest this has happened. You may have seen in the press about UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s appeal that both countries should sit & talk.
P: This Is Pakistan. Give me Room No. 83315 (same room number). Hello.
C: Hello Aziz.
P: The situation on ground is okay, no change. This area but it is not brought down by attack. One of their MI-17 arms (?) was brought down. Further, the position is, we had approached to our position, it was brought down. Rest is okay. Nothing else except, there is a development. Have you listened to yesterday’s news regarding Mian Saheb speaking to his counterpart. He told him that the spirit of Lahore Declaration and escalation has been done by your people. Specially wanted to speak to me thereafter. He told Indian PM that they should have waited instead of upping the ante by using Air Force & all other means. He (Nawaz) told him (Indian PM) that he suggested Sartaj Aziz could go to New Delhi to explore the possibility of defusing the tension.
P: Which is likely to take place, most probably tomorrow.
P: Our other friend (Lt Gen Ziauddin, DG ISI…?… or could be United States) might have also put pressure on. For that, today they will have a discussion at Foreign Office about 9.30 and Zafar Saheb (Lt Gen Saeeduz Zaman Zafar, GOC 11 Corps & Acting Chief) is supposed to attend.
P: Aziz Saheb (Sartaj Aziz, Foreign, Minister) has discussed with me and my recommendation is that dialogue option is always open. But in their first meeting, they must give no understanding or no commitment on ground situation.
C: Very correct. You or Mehmood (GOC X Corps, Rawalpindi) must have to go with Zafar. Because, they don’t know about the ground situation.
P: This week, we are getting together at 8’o clock because meeting will be at 9.30, so Zafar Saheb will deliberate it. We want to suggest to Zafar that they have to maintain that they will not be talking about ground situation. All that you say. So far as the ground situation is concerned. Subsequently, DGMOs can discuss with each other and work out the modus operandi.
C: Idea on LoC
P: Yes. Hint is that, given that the LoC has many areas where the interpretation of either side is not what the other side believes. So, comprehensive deliberation is required. So, that can be worked out by DGMOs.
C: If they are assured that we are here from a long period. We have been sitting here for long. Like in the beginning, the matter is the same — no post was attacked and no post was captured. The situation is that we are along our defensive Line of Control. If it is not in his (Sartaj Aziz’s) knowledge, then discuss it altogehter. Emphasise that for years, we are here only.
C: Yes, this point should be raised. We are sitting on the same LoC since a long period.
P: This is their weakness. They are not agreed on the demarcation under UN’s verification, whereas we are agreed. We want to exploit it.
C: This is in Simla Agreement that we cannot go for UN intervention.
P: Our neighbour does not accept their presence or UNMOGIP arrangement for survey for the area. So, we can start from the top, from 9842 (NJ 9842). On this line, we can give them logic but in short, the recommendation for Sartaj Aziz Saheb is that he should make no commitment in the first meeting on military situation. And he should not even accept ceasefire, because if there is ceasefire, then vehicles will be moving (on Dras-Kargil highway). In this regard, they have to use their own argument that whatever is interfering with you. That we don’t know but there is no justification about tension on LoC. No justification. We want to give them this type of brief so that he does not get into any specifics.
P: In this connection, we want your approval and what is your programme.
C: I will come tomorrow. We are just leaving within an hour. We are going to Shenzhen. From there, by evening, we will be in Hong Kong. There will be a flight tomorrow from Hong Kong. So, we will be there at Lahore in the evening, via Bangkok flight.
P: Sunday evening, you will be at Lahore. We will also indicate that, if there is more critical situation, then it (Sartaj visit) should be deferred for another day or two. We can discuss on Monday and then do.
C: Has this MI-17 not fallen in our area?
P: No Sir. This has fallen in their area. We have not claimed it. We have got it claimed through the mujahideen.
C: Well done.
P: But topwise side, crashing straight before our eyes.
C: Very good. Now are they facing any greater difficulty in flying them? Are they scared or not? This also you should note. Are they coming any less nearer?
P : Yes. There is a lot of pressure on them. They were talking about greater air defence than they had anticipated. They can’t afford to lose any more aircraft. There has been less intensity of air flying after that.
C: Very good. First class. Is there any build up on the ground?
P: Just like that but the movement is pretty sluggish and slow. One or two are coming near no.6. Till now only one call sign in which one has not reached the valley so far. Now the air people & the ground people will stay back and then the situation will be okay.
C: See you in the evening.