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June 9, 2008
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DGMO of Kargil era ready to face inquiry

June 9, 2008

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ISLAMABAD: Former Director-General Military Operations (DGMO) of the Kargil era Lt-Gen (retd) Tauqeer Zia while eulogising Pakistan Army's performance in the Kargil operation has offered to appear before any commission of inquiry if established by the government to probe into the episode.

"The Indian Army had to suffer much greater losses then the Pakistan Army. Pakistan's position was stronger than that of India but in the end, a stalemate prevailed and we had to go for a withdrawal," Zia said.

He was giving his impression in an exclusive chat with 'The News' on Sunday in the backdrop of the demand for the constitution of an inquiry commission on the Kargil episode. As the DGMO during the Kargil war, Zia had to negotiate with his Indian counterpart Lt-Gen NC Vij at Atari on the Indian side of the Wagah border near Amritsar in India in July 1999.

Tauqeer Zia, who has recently jumped into the political arena by joining the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was reluctant in demanding the establishment of an inquiry commission but said that he would be prepared to appear before such a commission if the government opts to constitute it and he was called to give evidence. "I don't remember all the events in detail since it happened long ago but in case I appear before a commission, the record could be sought. I tend to agree with President Pervez Musharraf's view that the Kargil action revived the Kashmir dispute internationally," he added. "I negotiated the withdrawal with my Indian counterpart as I was asked by my army chief do so. For the purpose, I had to go to the Indian post at Atari," the general said.

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