India’s pride, “Operation Meghdoot”: How Indian Army along with RAW destroyed Pak Army in 1984

RAW, the task of this elite organisation is to accomplish the impossible. More than Indians, Pakistani Army is well aware of this as they were humiliated by RAW several times. Pakistan decided to face humiliation from the hands of RAW once again so it decided to capture the Siachen glaciers.

Pakistan decided to capture the peaks of Siachen Glacier in the year 1983 even though every Indian knew who would be the winner. After the end of the winter, Pakistan decided to show its supremacy by capturing the peaks.

Pakistan formulated a plan which aimed at capturing the peak by April 17, 1984. So for this, Pakistan ordered 150 Arctic gears from the London-based supplier. But all thanks to RAW who decoded their plans in advance.  To counter this, RAW ordered 300 arctic gears and also ensured that the gears won’t be delivered on time to Pakistan. Meanwhile, ISI didn’t have any clue of this.

“Operation Meghdoot” launched by the Indian Army

Indian Army aimed to occupy the glacier by April 13, 1984. The soldiers were ordered to march to the peaks in the month of March and few were airdropped on April 13. India showed extreme alertness so that the aircraft won’t be located by the Pakistani radar.

But later the Pakistani army found that India is heading towards the glacier. It moved aggressively to push back the Indian soldiers. Pakistan had better excess through West in POK and could have had caused much damage to India. But both the sides suffered causalities.

After a certain stage, India occupied a peak which gave them upper hand from both Pakistan and China. But still India had to depend on airdrop for supplies.

Siachen Through Operation Meghdoot in 1984

Where Pakistan showed its foolishness?

RAW had got the Pakistan’s information from the London based supplier, but how? In 1982, India had sent its soldiers to Antarctica for training expedition and in 1983 the army had placed its soldiers in Northern Ladakh and some paramilitary forces in the Antarctica region. To carry on all these expeditions, India had ordered arctic gears from the London based supplier. In 1984, even Pakistan ordered from the same supplier. This way, RAW came to know the plans of ISI.

Why the conflicts over Siachen?

Both the countries had claimed that the glacier belongs to them but none had stationed their forces prior to 1984. But Pakistan had an edge over India as it had better access to the peaks through POK and China controlled Aksai Chin.

In the 1970s and 1980s there were regular mountaineering expeditions conducted by both nations. But India got suspicious after Pakistan allowed a Japanese expedition to scale an important peak (Rimo I) in early 1984. The peak, located east of the Siachen Glacier, also overlooks the northwestern areas of the Aksai Chin area, which is occupied by China but claimed by India. India thought that such an expedition could consolidate a trade route from the northeastern (Chinese) to the southwestern (Pakistani) side of the Karakoram Range and eventually provide a strategic advantage to the Pakistani Army.

Operation Meghdoot: What India conquered?

In the words of General Musharraf, Pakistan lost almost 2300 kms of territory in the 1984 conflict. He also said that India advance captured nearly captured 2600 km of territory claimed by Pakistan. In 1987 and 1989, Pakistan launched attacks to recapture the heights but went in vain. India won a Pakistan post “Quaid” in 1978 by the bravery of Bana Singh who launched a daylight attack named “Operation Rajiv”. For this bravery he was awarded with the highest gallantry award Param Vir Chakra (PVC).

Nishika Ram