KL NEWS NETWORK
A former army general Saturday revealed that there were attempts to provoke Pakistan to attack Kashmir so that fourth war between India and Pakistan could have started.
At a book release function, Lt Gen (rt) PN Hoon said that “Operation Brasstacks” was Indian army’s preparations for “a war against Pakistan and not a military exercise”. He was the then commander-in-chief of the Western Command. The revelation was made in his book, “The Untold Truth”.
Hindustan Times reported from its Chandigarh bureau this night that Lt Gen Hoon has revealed behind-the-scene politics of major operations.
The chapter 9 of the book reveals the inside story of “Operation Brasstacks”. “It was in peacetime in January 1987 that the Indian Army began moving to the western border carrying live ammunition. The citizens were told that it was an exercise. The book suggests that ‘it could only be a preparation for a war’,” the report said.
Talking about the operation, Lt Gen PN Hoon said, “Brasstacks was no military exercise, it was a plan to build up a situation for a fourth war with Pakistan. And what is even more shocking is that the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, was not aware of these plans of a war.”
“The author said that it was General Sundarji’s (the then chief of army staff) and minister of state for defence Arun Singh’s plan to provoke Pakistan ‘into launching an offensive in Kashmir’,” the report added.
“… an attack on Kashmir would be an attack on India and in the garb of the exercise that India was already conducting, India would go into a full-fledged war with Pakistan,” reads the chapter.
“It was during a dinner party on January 15, 1987, (Army Day) that the PM came to know about the exercise,” Lt Gen Hoon said.
“Rajiv Gandhi asked me, ‘How is the western front?’ To this I replied, “Mr Prime Minister, sir. The western army is in fine fettle and very soon I shall be past our battle stations and will give you Sind on one side and Lahore (Pakistan) on the other,” said the author.
“Rajiv was totally aghast and visibly angered. He left the party immediately. The PM did not want to go into a war. Hence, on January 20, Sundarji, pleaded me to stop moving forward,” he added.