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Chumik Operation 1989

Discussion in 'Pakistan Army' started by DESERT FIGHTER, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. DESERT FIGHTER

    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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    Chumik Operation
    Introduction
    [​IMG]
    The Siachen dispute was added to the roster of major issues in Indo-Pakistan relations for the first time in April 1984. During the month, Indian Army airlifted mountain trained forces into position over-looking key passes in the Baltoro Range , a spur of the Karakoram Mountains , flanking the Siachen Glacier's southern rim, setting in motion a spectacular high-altitude military struggle with Pakistan that has continued unabated to the present day. Confronting one another in some areas at altitude over 6000 metres, the two armies contested for possession of a largely uninhabited wedge-shaped piece of territory, about 2500 square kilometers in size, situated just south of the Chinese border. The struggle is on till today and a number of operations have been executed by both sides for occupation or retention of key areas / posts.

    Background
    Chumik is a minor sub sector of Bilafond Sub Sector, which has remained quiet since 1984 with the exception of Chumik Operation in 1989. Forwarded posts of the sub sector overlook Gyong Glacier and also dominate by observation, enemies Baniya Base. A Pakistani post was established in the Location of present Sher Post in 1985. The post was later withdrawn suffering heavy losses due to avalanches and enemy artillery fire the same year. The post was re-established in 1988 by 9 Northern Light Infantry on the order of Commander Force Command Northern Area. In the early spring of 1989, there were signal intercepts indicating enemy activity in the area. On 22 February 89 , enemy helicopter's conducted reconnaissance of the area followed by inaccurate artillery fire. Reconnaissance was conducted by Helicopter and it revealed that enemy had established five new posts/bases. Enemy had also occupied off shoots of point 22158 (the highest peak in the area which came to be known as Naveed Top after this operation). This gave enemy, the vital observation over our entire sub sector which could create serious problems in holding and maintenance of own posts. Enemy started engaging our forwarded posts, Ashgar Base and escalated the situation in the sub sector , forcing us to react.

    Conduct of operation
    Relative strength and deployment in the area is as under:


    Enemy
    Enemy had intruded into Chumik area and occupied the area. Enemy's one complete battalion supported by different calibers of artillery and complete flight of Lama Helicopter took part in the operation. She established the following posts/bases which were supported through administrative bases of Bniya and Rani:

    • GANGA One platoon
    • SADHU One platoon (minus)
    • AGRA -I One Section
    • AGRA-II One Section with an artillery observer
    • MG Position One Section with heavy Machine Gun
    • Support Troops One Company in support role (for back up support)


    Own
    A company of regular troops was detailed to relieve Northern Light Infantry troops in the Chumik Sector on 10 April 1989 . The force was further strengthened later, which was necessary for the final eviction of the enemy from the Sector. Activities in this sector had intensified considerably and constant vigil was kept on the enemy activities. Risk of weakening of our forces in this area could therefore not be taken. Guns and mortars of available artillery in the area supported the operation. One company of Northern Light Infantry on relief from the sector was provided for assistance. Ten men of Special Services Group were provided for technical assistance and expertise. Four Lama Helicopters of Arms Aviation were provided to support the operation.

    The Initial Plan
    Company minus ex 9 Azad Kashmir was holding Chumik sub sector which was subsequently augmented by another company for offensive role. Helicopters were also provided for the operation, along with Special Services Group troops and additional 81 millimeter Mortars. It was planned to occupy the area to check the further movement of enemy. The out line plan was as follows:

    Mission
    To occupy the area by engaging enemy Ganga Base with observed artillery fire to interdict her Line of Communication.

    Execution



    • The plan/task was to be accomplished in following phases:
    • Phase-I Establish Kausar Base.
    • Phase-II Establish Kausar 1, Kausar 2 and Kausar 3 Bases.
    • Phase-III . Occupy the area.

    First Attempt
    Aerial reconnaissance of the area was carried out on 16 April 1989 . The expedition was sent out in establishing Kausar Base by mid night the same day. Kausar 1 was established on 17 April at a height of 17000 feet and in the same evening Kausar 2 was also established. It was found that movement thereafter was not possible due to extreme difficult nature of terrain. The expedition was immediately called off to avoid detection by the enemy.

    Second Attempt
    Force Commander Northern Area decided to drop Special Services Group persons on Saddle by helicopter. Effort was made to drop the persons but helicopter could not hover at such a low level where persons could jump basically because of poor weather and configuration of ground. The mission was once again aborted.

    Modified Plan
    After failure of two missions, the plan was modified as under:

    • Persons ex 9 Azad Kashmir and Special Service Group) to be sling – dropped at the base with the aim of occupying the area, facilitating ultimate eviction of enemy.
    • Two platoon size expeditions to make efforts for link up from two directions (One platoon each from 9 Azad Kashmir and 6 Northern Light Infantry).
    Execution of Plan
    On 19 April 89 , the first helicopter took off. Lieutenant Naveed, a volunteer officer ex 9 Azad Kashmir was sling drooped at the Saddle. Captain Seghal and Captain Zia(got shahdat as Lt colonel on a UN mission), the pilots of helicopter also did a wonderful job and were able to release the slung officer at a flat place on the base (Naveed Base). Subsequently Naik Yaqoob, Special Services Group was also dropped to join Lieutenant Naveed. Some stores were also dropped in next sorties. But soon weather deteriorated making further drops impossible. It was 21 April when weather cleared and more persons were dropped. Then it was race between Indians and us to reach the top. Our troops made it to the top (Kamran Top) earlier than the enemy thus gaining the victory at a highest point in the world where battle has ever been fought. Eight Indian soldiers were discovered only 300 – 400 meters from Kamran Top who were forced to withdraw under own fire.

    6 Northern Light Expedition
    The expedition having left on 18 April was close to saddle on 25 April. Three officers with one Jawan were buried alive under tons of snow. This marked the end of expedition.

    9 Azad Kashmir Expedition
    The expedition under Captain Tariq took a good start on 22 April 89 . Its fire raided enemy's Agra I forcing her to vacate the base. Then proceeded to close with Agra II but could not succeed due to difficult terrain. The post was however engaged with artillery fire.

    The First Blow
    Enemy's intention of dominating Chumik Glacier began to fail when “Ganga Base” also known as “Thappa Base” was effectively engaged by artillery. The enemy was forced to shift the base. Destruction of Ganga Base probably forced enemy to give a second thought to her plans.

    The Raid
    On 30 April 1989 , a raiding party consisting of 11 persons including 4 officers was organized by Major Abdul Rehman Bilal. The party closed in with enemy machine gun position at approximately 1900 hours. The fire was opened which caught enemy by surprise. However, enemy soon retaliated with small arms and rocket fire. Own troops were relatively safe since Kamran Post was protected by a boulder. The raiding party in the meantime inflicted heavy damages to the enemy. This final blow forced enemy to withdraw asking for a meeting where almost all of our terms were accepted. The area was vacated and declared as de-militarized zone.


    @PanzerKiel
    upload_2020-6-18_20-44-59.png

    A famous picture.....Brig Bokhari (left) and Brig Nanawattay (IA) on the right....post Chumik talks 1989.....this occurred once PA had captured Pt 22158, and had inflicted massive casualties on IA.

    https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/pakistan-military-multimedia.30020/page-658#post-12449561
     
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  2. PanzerKiel

    PanzerKiel PROFESSIONAL

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    Maj Abdul Rehman Bilal, then BM, volunteered to go into op as well, even though he was doing as BM. He got an SJ.



    His account of the op. Inspiring.

    This op was my research topic in one of the courses....so had to go pretty deep into it.
     
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  3. DESERT FIGHTER

    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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    My father was serving there during the same time period. Was a newly promoted Capt back than...
     
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  4. PanzerKiel

    PanzerKiel PROFESSIONAL

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    Some slides from my presentation.....
    upload_2020-6-18_21-38-32.png

    upload_2020-6-18_21-39-33.png

    upload_2020-6-18_21-39-51.png
     
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  5. DESERT FIGHTER

    DESERT FIGHTER ELITE MEMBER

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  6. GumNaam

    GumNaam ELITE MEMBER

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    Good read...
     
  7. Sal12

    Sal12 FULL MEMBER

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    Indian claims are that all of the Siachen Glacier is in their custody roughly 2500 sq km. Is this true.
     
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  8. Mighty Lion

    Mighty Lion FULL MEMBER

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  9. HttpError

    HttpError SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yup would like to know that @PanzerKiel. While some say argue that Siachen doesn't provide any strategic benefit considering the cost involved to operate from there, but others say it does hold some tactical advantage?
     
  10. PanzerKiel

    PanzerKiel PROFESSIONAL

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    Somehow, the nature of both armies.. PA and IA, is such that, sometimes they both end up fighting for a land which may have no military importance, but may be having some prestige value.

    Moreover, logically, if a place doesn't hold strategic advantage, tactical advantage should also be absent.

    .... But it's all comparative I believe. If we enlarge the canvas, we may start to see some strategic advantages of this area. It all depends how one looks at it.

    Not sure about the figures for area, but yes, it's with them.
     
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  11. VCheng

    VCheng ELITE MEMBER

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    The value of the Siachen territory lies in whose narrative is to be believed north of the last point demarcated along the LoC. (There is an older thread worth reading on this topic somewhere on PDF.) The repercussions for the remainder of the claims are obvious.
     
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  12. Pakistan Space Agency

    Pakistan Space Agency BANNED

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    So, the Pakistani military successfully occupied it and then just gave it all up?
     
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  13. PanzerKiel

    PanzerKiel PROFESSIONAL

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    Actually, point is that in Siachin area, one can't just go around capturing different peaks. There are areas where there is absolutely no deployment.

    This engagement occurred in an area in which previously there was no deployment from either side. However, after this event, both sides agreed to vacate the area.
     
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  14. Pakistan Space Agency

    Pakistan Space Agency BANNED

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    If Indians occupied it first, they did it for strategic reasoning and advantage. Why couldn't Pakistani military see the strategic reasoning and advantage behind it when they grabbed it from the Indians?

    China is today capturing territory whether patrolled by india or vacated, inch at a time (or salami slicing) while Pakistani military is happy as long as the area is vacated.
     
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  15. PanzerKiel

    PanzerKiel PROFESSIONAL

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    @Pakistan Space Agency
    I am attaching US Infantry Magazine of 2010, in which the battle account was published in detail (page 30 -34).

    US writer, Capatain Nathan Fry, is full of praise for PA handling of this operatiom - "Naqvi, by issuing “an uncomplicated plan with a wellthought- out intent,” set the proper conditions for his small unit leaders in Operation Chumik — MAJ Bilal and CPTs Kauser and Tariq — to exploit battlefield opportunities in conjunction with traversing the most dangerous mountain terrain in the world. The leaders and soldiers in the operation, well trained in mountaineering skills and seasoned with combat experience, successfully combined tactics with technique to overcome both enemy and terrain."
     

    Attached Files:

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