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American Diplomacy and the 1999 Kargil Summit at Blair House
Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania ^ | BRUCE RIEDEL

Posted on 05/19/2002 9:53:25 AM PDT by AM2000

Center for the Advanced Study of India
Professor Francine R. Frankel, Director
University of Pennsylvania
3833 Chestnut Street, Suite 130
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3106

Tel: 215-898-6247 Fax: 215-573-2595 URL:


July 4th, 1999 was probably the most unusual July 4th in American diplomatic history, certainly among the most eventful. President Clinton engaged in one of the most sensitive diplomatic high wire acts of any administration, successfully persuading Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pull back Pakistani backed fighters from a confrontation with India that could threaten to escalate into a nuclear war between the world's two newest nuclear powers. The events of that 4th accelerated the road to a fundamental reconciliation between the world's two largest democracies, India and the United States, but also set the scene for another in the series of military coups that have marred Pakistani democracy. As the President's Special Assistant for Near Eastern and South Asia Affairs at the National Security Council I had the honor of a unique seat at the table and the privilege of being a key adviser for the day's events.

Kargil and Kashmir

For fifty years Pakistan and India have quarreled over the fate of Kashmir. The dispute is not a cold confrontation like that between the two superpowers over Germany in the Cold War. Rather it is a hot confrontation, which has been punctuated by three wars. Since the early 1990s it has been particularly violent with almost daily firefights along the Line of Control (LOC) that divides the state and within the valley between the Indian security forces and the Muslim insurgency. Both India and Pakistan deploy hundreds of thousands of troops in the area.

In the spring of 1999 the Pakistanis sought to gain a strategic advantage in the northern front of the LOC in a remote part of the Himalayas called Kargil. Traditionally the Indian and Pakistani armies had withdrawn each fall from their most advanced positions in the mountains to avoid the difficulties of manning them during the winter and then returned to them in the spring. The two armies respected each other's deployment pattern and did not try to take advantage of this seasonal change.

In the winter of 1999, however, Pakistani backed Kashmir militants and regular army units moved early into evacuated positions of the Indians, cheating on the tradition. The Pakistani backed forces thus gained a significant tactical advantage over the only ground supply route Indian forces can use to bring in supplies to the most remote eastern third of Kashmir. By advancing onto these mountaintops overlooking the Kargil highway, Pakistan was threatening to weaken Indian control over a significant (yet barren) part of the contested province.

What was all the more alarming for Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's hard-line Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was that the Pakistani military incursion came after the Prime Minister had made a bold effort in early 1999 at reconciliation with Pakistan by traveling by bus to the Pakistani city of Lahore for a summit with Sharif. The spirit of Lahore was intended to be the mechanism for breaking the two giants of south Asia out of their half century of violence and fear and moving the subcontinent to a better future. Instead, the Indians felt betrayed, deceived and misled by Sharif and were determined to recover their lost territory.

By late May and early June 1999 a serious military conflict was underway along a hundred fifty kilometer front in the mountains above Kargil (some of which rise to a height of 17,000 feet above sea level), including furious artillery clashes, air battles and costly infantry assaults by Indian troops against well dug in Pakistani forces. Pakistan denied its troops were involved, claiming that only Kashmiri militants were doing the fighting -- a claim not taken seriously anywhere.

The situation was further clouded because it was not altogether clear who was calling the shots in Islamabad. Prime Minister Sharif had seemed genuinely interested in pursuing the Lahore process when he met with Vajpayee and he had argued eloquently with a series of American guests, including U.S.UN Ambassador Bill Richardson, that he wanted an end to the fifty year old quarrel with India. His military chief, General Pervez Musharraf, seemed to be in a different mold. Musharraf was a refugee from New Delhi, one of the millions sent into exile in the 1947 catastrophe that split British India and the subcontinent. He was said to be a hardliner on Kashmir, a man some feared was determined to humble India once and for all.

We will probably never know for sure the exact calculus of decision making in Islamabad. Each of the players has his own reasons for selling a particular version of the process. Musharraf and Sharif have already put out different versions of who said what to whom. Others like former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto have also given their views. What is clear is that the civil-military dynamic between Sharif in Islamabad and Musharraf in Rawalpindi was confused and tense.

The United States was alarmed from the beginning of the conflict because of its potential for escalation. We could all too easily imagine the two parties beginning to mobilize for war, seeking third party support (Pakistan from China and the Arabs, India from Russia and Israel) and a deadly descent into full scale conflict all along the border with a danger of nuclear cataclysm.

The nuclear scenario was obviously very much on our minds. Since the surprise Indian tests in May 1998 the danger of a nuclear exchange had dominated American nightmares about South Asia. Clinton had spent days trying to argue Sharif out of testing in response and had offered him everything from a State dinner to billions in new U.S. assistance. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Central Command chief General Tony Zinni, Assistant Secretary for South Asia Rick Inderfurth and I had traveled to Islamabad to try to persuade him, but all to no avail.

After a few weeks of agonizing, Sharif had gone forward with his own tests citing as a flimsy excuse an alleged Israel plot to destroy Pakistan's nuclear facilities in collusion with India. (I had the Israeli Chief of Staff deny categorically to the Pakistani Ambassador in Washington any such plan the night before the tests but that fact mattered little to Islamabad). In the new post-May era we confronted the reality of two nuclear tested states whose missiles could be fired with flight times of three to five minutes from launch to impact. One well-informed assessment concluded that a Pakistani strike on just one Indian city, Bombay, with a small bomb would kill between 150,000 and 850,000 alone.

Given these consequences for escalation, the U.S. was quick to make known our view that Pakistan should withdraw its forces back behind the Line of Control immediately. At first Rick Inderfurth and Undersecretary Thomas Pickering conveyed this view privately to the Pakistani and Indian ambassadors in Washington in late May. Secretary Albright then called Sharif two days later and General Tony Zinni, who had a very close relationship with his Pakistani counterparts, also called Chief of Army Staff General Musharraf. These messages did not work. So we went public and called upon Pakistan to respect the LOC. I laid out our position in an on the record interview at the Foreign Press Center in Washington. The President then called both leaders in mid-June and sent letters to each pressing for a Pakistani withdrawal and Indian restraint.

The Pakistanis and Indians were both surprised by the U.S. position: Pakistan because Islamabad assumed the U.S. would always back them against India and India because they could not believe the U.S. would judge the crisis on its merits, rather than side automatically with its long time Pakistani ally. Both protagonists were rooted in the history of their half-century conflict and astounded that the U.S. was not bound by the past.

For the previous fifty years, with a few exceptions, the United States had been tied to Pakistan, while India had been aligned with the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Pakistan had been the take off point for U2s flying over Russia and for Henry Kissinger's trip to China. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s Pakistan had been the U.S.' critical ally in aiding the mujahedin freedom fighters against communism, along with Saudi Arabia. In 1971 the Nixon Administration had "tilted" toward Pakistan and against India during the war that led to Bangladesh's freedom. Although U.S.-Pakistani relations had cooled significantly after 1990 when the U.S. determined Islamabad was building a nuclear arsenal (leading to an aid suspension), the popular and elite perception in both countries was that the U.S. was more pro-Pakistani than pro-Indian. The imposition of tough sanctions on both countries in 1998 (so-called Glenn sanctions) after they tested nuclear weapons had not altered the perception of American bias for Pakistan.

Nawaz Calls for Help

By late June the situation was deteriorating fast. The two parties were engaged in an intense conflict along the Kargil front and both were mobilizing their forces for larger conflict. Casualties were mounting on both sides. Our intelligence assessments were pointing toward the danger of full-scale war becoming a real possibility.

The danger was that the Indians would grow weary of attacking uphill (actually up-mountain) into well dug in Pakistani positions. The casualties the Indian forces were taking were mounting. New Delhi could easily decide to open another front elsewhere along the LOC to ease its burden and force the Pakistanis to fight on territory favorable to India. Even if the conflict remained confined solely to Kargil, the danger of escalation was high. While the Indian forces were making some progress against the Pakistanis and their militant allies, it was slow and both sides were mobilizing more and more of their regular forces.

Sharif became increasingly desperate as he saw how isolated Pakistan was in the world. He urgently requested American intervention to stop the Indian counterattack. Washington was clear — the solution required a Pakistani withdrawal behind the LOC, nothing else would do. In the last days of June Sharif began to ask to see President Clinton directly to plead his case. Sharif had met the President several times earlier, in New York and Washington and at the funeral of King Hussein in Amman. They had also spoken extensively in the spring of 1998 when the President had pleaded with Sharif not to follow India's example and test its nuclear weapons. Although that effort failed (despite promises of enormous U.S. aid to Pakistan), the two leaders had developed a genuine personal bond and felt comfortable talking to each other.

On the 2nd of July the Prime Minister put in a call to the President. He appealed for American intervention immediately to stop the fighting and to resolve the Kashmir issue. The President was very clear -- he could help only if Pakistan first withdrew to the LOC. The President also consulted with Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee on the phone. The Indians were adamant -- withdrawal to the LOC was essential, Vajpayee would not negotiate under the threat of aggression. The President sought to reassure Vajpayee that we would not countenance Pakistani aggression, not reward them for violating the LOC and that we stood by our commitment to the Lahore process, i.e. direct talks between India and Pakistan were the only solution to Kashmir, not third party intervention.

On the 3rd, Sharif was more desperate and told the President he was ready to come immediately to Washington to seek our help. The President repeated his caution -- come only if you are ready to withdraw, I can't help you if you are not ready to pull back. He urged Sharif to consider carefully the wisdom of a trip to Washington under these constraints. Sharif said he was coming and would be there on the 4th.

The White House and State Department spent much of the rest of the 3rd preparing. Logistics were one problem. Blair House had to be made available for the Pakistanis and the Secret Service needed to secure Pennsylvania Avenue. As any visitor to the Mall on a 4th of July knows, tens of thousands of Americans come down to the Mall to see the fireworks, many come via the area around the White House and would be inconvenienced by a shut down of Pennsylvania Avenue.

A small group also prepared for the substance of the encounter. I led the effort at the NSC to prepare the President, National Security Advisor Samuel R. (Sandy) Berger and Chief of Staff John Podesta. The State effort was led by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, the senior point man on South Asian issues in the Department and Karl (Rick) Inderfurth, Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs at State, whose bureau had the strongest expertise on the Subcontinent in the U.S. government. Strobe, Rick and I had already logged many hours traveling to South Asia to work to advance the President's agenda of improving our relations with this too long neglected part of the world.

The product of this work was two pieces of paper. The first was a draft statement the President would issue if Sharif agreed to pulling back his forces to the LOC, the second a statement which would be used if Sharif refused. The latter would make clear that the blame for the crisis in South Asia lay solely with Pakistan.

On the third, more information developed about the escalating military situation in the area -- disturbing evidence that the Pakistanis were preparing their nuclear arsenals for possible deployment. Sharif's intentions also became clearer. He was bringing his wife and children with him to Washington, a possible indication that he was afraid he might not be able to go home if the summit failed or that the military was telling him to leave. At a minimum, Sharif seemed to be hedging his bet on whether this would be a round trip.

Sharif would be met at Dulles Airport, where his commercial PIA flight was being diverted to from JFK, by the Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Bandar had a long history of helping assist key American diplomatic initiatives and also had worked with Pakistan extensively in the past during the Afghan war against the Soviets. Bandar asked for a briefing on what the President needed from Sharif. I met with him in his McLean home and gave him our sense of the crisis. Bandar promised to weigh in forcefully with Sharif on the ride from Dulles to Blair House, and he secured Crown Prince Abdallah's support for our position.

British Prime Minister Blair also contacted Sharif to weigh in as well on the need for withdrawal. Like us, the British were increasingly worried over the direction the crisis was headed and the danger of escalation to full- scale war. Other governments, including Pakistan's ally China, shared these concerns as well and we asked Beijing to weigh in with Islamabad. We concluded that the Chinese played a constructive role in trying to defuse the crisis.

The 4th Dawns

The President's advisers gathered early on the 4th to brief him on the meeting ahead and provide advice. The mood was somber. Sandy Berger opened the session by telling the President that this could be the most important foreign policy meeting of his Presidency because the stakes could include nuclear war. He had to press Sharif to withdraw while also giving him enough cover to keep him in office to deliver the retreat. Strobe noted the importance of being very clear with Nawaz and not letting the Prime Minister be alone with the President so that he could later claim commitments not made. A record of who said what was critical. Rick and I briefed the President on the latest information we had.

There was more disturbing information about Pakistan preparing its nuclear arsenal for possible use. I recommended that he use this only when Sharif was without his aides, particularly not when the Foreign Secretary, Shamshad Ahmad, who was known to be very close to Pakistani military intelligence (ISI) was in earshot.

Bandar called and told me the results of his discussion with Sharif. The PM was distraught, deeply worried about the direction the crisis was going toward disaster, but equally worried about his own hold on power and the threat from his military chiefs who were pressing for a tough stand. I briefed the President and the team. He said he was ready to go and we crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to Blair House.

Sharif had a couple of hours to rest and refresh himself since his arrival early in the morning. The President's meeting opened at around 1:30 in the afternoon with a plenary session with their teams. The President began by noting he had to travel on the 5th to America's poorest states, a long planned event to help eradicate poverty in America and thus was glad the PM could be available on the 4th. He then framed the day's discussion by handing the PM a cartoon from the day's Chicago Tribune newspaper that showed Pakistan and India as nuclear bombs fighting with each other. Clinton said this is what worried him.

Sharif opened by thanking the President for resolving the long outstanding quarrel between the two countries over the suspended delivery of F16 fighters — suspended when sanctions were imposed in 1990. Clinton had secured a sizable cash payment to Pakistan that compensated Islamabad for the cost of the never delivered fighters.

Sharif then went into a long and predictable defense of the Kashmiri cause. He appealed to the President to intervene directly to settle the dispute by pressing India. Much of his argumentation we had heard before -- only the U.S. could save a billion and a half South Asians from war, if only the President would devote 1% of the effort he gave to the Arab-Israeli dispute to Kashmir it would be resolved, etc. The President pushed back by reminding Sharif that the U.S. played a role in the Arab-Israeli conflict because both sides invited it to mediate, that is not the case with Kashmir. The best approach was the road begun at Lahore, that is direct contact with India. Pakistan had completely undermined that opening by attacking at Kargil, it must now retreat before disaster set in.

Sharif noted that India had been the first to test nuclear weapons and refused to hold an election to determine the future of Kashmir. Again the President said that was all true but the fundamental reality of the day was the Pakistani army and its militant allies were on the wrong side of the LOC and must withdraw. Only if Pakistan withdrew completely and quickly could the U.S. help Islamabad. A full and complete withdrawal without pre-conditions would give the U.S. some leverage with India, money in the bank of showing America could help India.

The President urged Sharif to give him that money in the bank. But he warned there could be no quid pro quo, no hint that America was rewarding Pakistan for its aggression nor for threatening its nuclear arsenal at India. If the United States appeared to be acting under the gun of a nuclear threat its ability to restrain others from threatening use of their nuclear forces would be forever undermined. Sharif must act today.

The room was tense and Sharif visibly worried. The President told the Pakistani team that he had just read John Keegan's new book on the first World War. The Kargil crisis seemed to be eerily like 1914, armies mobilizing and disaster looming. The President had sent Strobe and his team to South Asia a half dozen times in the last year to try to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, ease Indo-Pakistani tensions and build confidence on both sides. Pakistan was threatening to undo all of that and plunge the world into its first nuclear exchange.

Sharif handed the President a document which he said was a non-paper provided to him early in the crisis by Vajpayee in which the two would agree to restore the sanctity of the LOC (a formula for Pakistani withdrawal) and resume the Lahore process. Sharif said at first India had agreed to this non-paper but then changed its mind. Sharif then asked that the meeting continue just with the two leaders.

Everyone left the room except Sharif, Clinton and myself. The President insisted he wanted a record of the event. Sharif asked again to be left alone, the President refused. The Prime Minister then briefed the President on his frantic efforts in the last month to engage Vajpayee and get a deal that would allow Pakistan to withdraw with some saving of face. He had flown to China to try to get their help to press India to agree to a fixed timetable for talks to resolve Kashmir. Sharif's brief was confused and vague on many details but he seemed a man possessed with fear of war.

The Prime Minister told Clinton that he wanted desperately to find a solution that would allow Pakistan to withdraw with some cover. Without something to point to, Sharif warned ominously, the fundamentalists in Pakistan would move against him and this meeting would be his last with Clinton.

Clinton asked Sharif if he knew how advanced the threat of nuclear war really was? Did Sharif know his military was preparing their nuclear tipped missiles? Sharif seemed taken aback and said only that India was probably doing the same. The President reminded Sharif how close the U.S. and Soviet Union had come to nuclear war in 1962 over Cuba. Did Sharif realize that if even one bomb was dropped… Sharif finished his sentence and said it would be a catastrophe.

Sharif asked again to have me leave the room. The President dismissed this with a wave of his hand and then told Sharif that he warned him on the second not to come to Washington unless he was ready to withdraw without any precondition or quid pro quo. Sharif had been warned by others as well. The President said he had a draft statement ready to issue that would pin all the blame for the Kargil crisis on Pakistan tonight.

The President was getting angry. He told Sharif that he had asked repeatedly for Pakistani help to bring Usama bin Ladin to justice from Afghanistan. Sharif had promised often to do so but had done nothing. Instead the ISI worked with bin Ladin and the Taliban to foment terrorism. His draft statement would also mention Pakistan's role in supporting terrorists in Afghanistan and India. Was that what Sharif wanted, Clinton asked? Did Sharif order the Pakistani nuclear missile force to prepare for action? Did he realize how crazy that was? You've put me in the middle today, set the U.S. up to fail and I won't let it happen. Pakistan is messing with nuclear war.

Sharif was getting exhausted. He denied that he had ordered the preparation of their missile force, said he was against that but he was worried for his life now back in Pakistan. The President suggested a break to allow each leader to meet with his team and consider next steps. He would also call Prime Minister Vajpayee to brief him on the discussions. After ninety minutes of intense discussion the meeting broke up.

The President and I briefed the others in our room in Blair House while Sharif huddled with his team in another room. The President put through a short call to New Delhi just to tell Vajpayee that he was holding firm on demanding the withdrawal to the LOC. Vajpayee had little to say, even asking the President "what do you want me to say?" There was no give in New Delhi and none was asked for. After the intensity of the first round, the President lay down on a sofa to rest his eyes for a few minutes. We all were consumed by the tension of the moment and drama of the day.

After an hour break the President, Sharif and I returned to the discussion. The President put on the table a short statement to be issued to the press drawing from the non-paper Sharif had given us and the statement we had drafted before the meeting to announce agreement on withdrawal to the LOC. The key sentence read "the Prime Minister has agreed to take concrete and immediate steps for the restoration of the LOC." Strobe, Sandy, Rick and I had drafted this key sentence during the break. The statement also called for a ceasefire once the withdrawal was completed and restoration of the Lahore process. Finally, the statement included a reaffirmation of the President's long standing plans to visit South Asia.

The President was clear and firm. Sharif had a choice, withdraw behind the LOC and the moral compass would tilt back toward Pakistan or stay and fight a wider and dangerous war with India without American sympathy. Sharif read the statement several times quietly. He asked to talk with his team and we adjourned again.

After a few minutes Sharif returned with good news. The statement was acceptable with one addition. Sharif wanted a sentence added that would say "the President would take personal interest to encourage an expeditious resumption and intensification of the bilateral efforts (i.e. Lahore) once the sanctity of the LOC had been fully restored."

The President handed the sentence to me and asked my opinion. I said we could easily agree to this because the President already supported the Lahore process but we need a clear understanding on how we would portray the LOC issue -- we would need to explain to our press that this language meant a Pakistani withdrawal. Clinton agreed and told Sharif that was his intention. Reluctantly, the Prime Minister said yes.

The mood changed in a nano-second. Clinton told Sharif that they had tested their personal relationship hard that day but they had reached the right ending. Once the withdrawal from Kargil was done the U.S. would have more credibility with India and the President expressed his determination to do what he could on Kashmir. The President called Vajpayee to preview the statement.

As the U.S. delegation was exiting the door from Blair House, Sharif's Foreign Secretary Ahmad, made a last minute effort to reopen the text. He approached Sandy Berger with a list of alterations in the text. Sandy dismissed him with a curt `your boss says it is ok as is.'

The press briefing by Rick and I was a tough event. The journalists were convinced there must be some quid for Pakistani withdrawal. We made clear there was none.

Aftermath: New Deal in New Delhi, Coup in Islamabad

Sharif came to the White House early the next morning for a photo op with his family and the President. His mood was glum, he was not looking forward to the trip home. The Prime Minister knew he had done the right thing for Pakistan and the world, but he was not sure his army would see it that way. He stopped in London and Riyadh on the way home. Both our allies gave him their support.

The Prime Minister was good to his word. He ordered his army to pull back its men and its allies and they did so. India was jubilant, Pakistan morose. The fighting had taken a toll. Estimates of the dead on both sides vary. Indians usually claim 1300 killed on both sides, Pakistanis cite around 1700.

The President also lived up to his word. As soon as the Pakistani forces were back across the LOC he pressed India for a cease-fire in the Kargil sector. After this occurred he privately invited Sharif to send a senior trusted official to Washington to begin discrete discussions on how to follow up on his "personal commitment" to the Lahore process.

It soon became apparent, however, that all was not well in Islamabad. For weeks the Prime Minister did not respond to our queries to send someone to discuss Kashmir. The only explanation offered was that it was difficult to decide whom the right person combining the PM's trust and the background on Kashmir was. We concluded the Pakistani internal situation was not ripe for Sharif to take action.

Finally in September Sharif sent his brother, the governor of Lahore, to Washington for the long awaited discussions. Rick Inderfurth and I met with him for hours in his suite at the Willard Hotel. A day-long downpour of rain made the capital a wet and dreary place.

We tried to get a feel for how the Prime Minister wanted to pursue the Kashmir issue. Instead, Shahbaz Sharif only wanted to discuss what the U.S. could do to help his brother stay in power. He all but said that they knew a military coup was coming.

On October 12, 1999 it came. Ironically, it was Nawaz who provoked the coup's timing by trying to exile Musharraf when he was on an official visit to Sri Lanka. His plane was denied permission to return to Karachi or anywhere in Pakistan. The military rebelled and forced open the airport. Within hours, Nawaz was in jail and the army was in control.

The President instructed the NSC to do all we could to convince the new Pakistani leadership not to execute Sharif as General Zia had executed Prime Minister Bhutto in 1978. That outcome would have been a horrible one for all Pakistanis and would have considerably set back the country's already slim hope of a better future. The President urged Musharraf to let Sharif free. With our encouragement the Saudis pressed hard for Sharif's freedom. Finally, in December 2000 Sharif was exiled to the Saudi Arabian Kingdom.

Why did Sharif agree to withdraw on the fourth? Only the former Prime Minister can answer this question authoritatively. What is clear is that President Clinton was direct and forceful with him at Blair House -- there were no options except withdrawal or isolation. Whatever hopes Sharif and the rest of the Pakistani leadership had of getting American support for their Kargil adventure vanished that afternoon in Washington.

The most important strategic result of the Blair House summit was its impact on Indo-U.S. relations. The clarity of the American position on Kargil and its refusal to give Pakistan any reward for its aggression had an immediate and dynamic impact on the relationship. Doors opened in New Delhi to Americans that had been shut for years. The Indian elite -- including the military -- and the Indian public began to shed long held negative perceptions of the U.S.

The stage was set for the unprecedented back to back summits between President Clinton and Prime Minister Vajpayee in 2000. After a quarter century gap in Presidential visits to India, Clinton's spring visit symbolized a new level of maturity in the relationship between the world's two largest democracies. Vajpayee's return visit formalized the commitment.

President Bush has accelerated and intensified the process of U.S.-India rapprochement. After the September 11th attacks on America, he lifted the Glenn sanctions imposed after the 1998 tests and welcomed Vajpayee to the Oval Office. U.S. relations with Pakistan have substantially improved as well thanks to the Musharraf's government's role in the war against the Taliban and Usama bin Ladin, a striking reversal of earlier Pakistani policy. But the tensions following the attack on the Indian Parliament show the Kashmir issue remains as dangerous today, however, as it was in 1999, a time bomb capable of exploding upon the subcontinent with little or no warning.


There is a large library on the India-Pakistan conflict. A few pieces are particularly notable as they apply to the Kargil episode. The best discussion of the background to Pakistan's incursion into Kargil and the strategic significance of the territory I have seen is by India's former Foreign Secretary, J.N. Dixit, "A Defining Moment," in Guns and Yellow Roses: Essays on the Kargil War (Harpers, 1999). Also useful is Gaurav Sawant's Dateline Kargil (Macmillan, 2000) for descriptions of the fighting by a journalist who was there. A recent useful update on the nuclear dimension of the India-Pakistan conflict is the essay by M.V. Ramana and A.H. Nayyar, "India, Pakistan and the Bomb," in Scientific American December 2001.

(c) All Rights Reserved

Center for the Advanced Study of India
Professor Francine R. Frankel, Director
University of Pennsylvania
3833 Chestnut Street, Suite 130
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3106

Tel: 215-898-6247 Fax: 215-573-2595 URL:

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: clinton; india; pakistan; southasialist; usa; war
This is a really good read.. this paper has been referenced a number of times by many articles posted here on FR, so I figured it would be a good idea to have the actual article in the archives as well.
1 posted on 05/19/2002 9:53:25 AM PDT by AM2000
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To: sawdring;Dog Gone;mikeIII;keri;swarthyguy;maquiladora
2 posted on 05/19/2002 9:54:20 AM PDT by AM2000
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To: *southasia_list
3 posted on 05/19/2002 9:54:33 AM PDT by AM2000
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To: AM2000
Thanks for posting this. I had little interest in the region in 1999 and did not follow Kargil or the resulting developments closely at all.

This is good stuff.

4 posted on 05/19/2002 12:48:46 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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