Kapil Kak is a retired Indian Air Marshal. He served for thirty-five years in the flying branch of the Indian Air Force. Kapil Kak was posted during the India – Pakistan war in 1965, and he was part of the Air Force bombing mission in the 1971 war. During the war, he served as the Navigator in Transport, Bomber, and Air Headquarters Communication Squadron.
Kapil Kak was born in Kashmir, India. After finishing his school studies, he completed his graduation in Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) and National Defence College (NDC) in 1975. Bharat Rakshak Later, he went to the Universities of Madras and Allahabad to pursue his Post-graduation in Defence/Strategic Studies. Kapil Kak In November 1975, he did the 31 DSSC (Sqn Ldr) course, and in December 1990, he did the 30 NDC (Air Cmde) course.
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His parents’ names are not known.
Wife & Children
Kapil Kak is married.
Air Force Designations
Kapil Kak joined Indian Air Force on 10 December 1963 as the Flight Officer. On 15 July 1985, he was elevated to the rank of Group Captain. On 17 July 1989, he was promoted to the rank of Acting Air Comrade and was designated as Air Comrade on 1 March 1989. On 21 March 1994, he was elevated to the position of Acting Air vice-marshal (AVM). He was then promoted to the rank of Air vice-marshal (AVM) on 21 March 1994.
Kapil Kak was posted from June 1984 to January 1986 as an Air Commander of the Operational Air Force Wing at Agra. Later, he was appointed as a directing staff and the head of the Air Force at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. Kapil Kak was posted in Thailand as Group Caption in India’s Defence Attaché’ from 24 January 1986 to 25 June 1989. Kapil Kak served as the Air Assistant to Chief of Air Staff from 01 December 1990 to 31 May 1993. He was posted at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington as Air vice-marshal (AVM) from 01 June 1993 to 30 September 1996.
The government of India often take suggestions of Kapil Kak on various defence and international security issues. The India – Pakistan peace talks and the conflict management meetings in Jammu and Kashmir are often attended by Kapil Kak.
Kapil Kak is on the Advisor Board committee of the NGOs named Healing Minds Foundation in New Delhi, the Kashmir-based Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, and the Chanakya Centre for Strategic Studies in New Delhi. Kapil Kak is one of the founding members of the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) in New Delhi. He served the CAPS as its Deputy Director till 2012.
After serving the Indian Air Force for thirty-five years, Kapil Kak superannuated on 30 September 1996. After his retirement, Kapil Kak published more than fifty journals and articles on various national issues and agendas such as strategic, national security, defence, and airpower. The names of his famous books include India and Pakistan: Pathways Ahead (2007) and Comprehensive Security for an Emerging India (2010).
In 2019, Kapil Kak attracted controversy when he stated in a press conference that India had let down Kashmir. He said,
Kashmiris have not let down India, India has let down Kashmir….”
Following his statement, long debates were initiated on Twitter that condemned his statement, and these debates predicted him to be an anti-national and anti – Modi.
- 26 January 1981: Kapil Kak was honoured with the Vishist Seva Medal by the President of India.
- 26 January 1994: He was awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal.
- Kapil Kak is the recipient of Navigator’s Badge.
- Kapil kak was awarded the Vishist Seva Medal and Ati Vishist Seva Medal in 1981 and 1994, respectively. During this award ceremony, it was announced that he flew the air jets with the highest capacity for more than 5000 hours during his service period in Indian Air Force.
- The former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha led a delegation named ‘concerned citizens’ from India during his tenure in the Indian government, and Kapil Kak joined this delegation as its member in 2017 to participate in the talks related to the conflicts of Jammu and Kashmir.
- In 2019, Kapil Kak was one of the many petitioners in India who challenged the Supreme Court for the repeal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by the Narendra Modi led government. Kapil Kak stated in an interview with Al Jazeera that this abrogation of Article 370 would worry the residents of Kashmir. He said,
(it is ) a permanent resident by stealth. It should worry the Kashmiris … The effect of this notification would be felt in [the] Jammu [region] because there are not many people who have come into Kashmir in the last 15 years.”
He stated in another interview with a media house that he had a problem with the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. He further added that he believed in the democratic and pluralistic culture of India. He narrated,
I have multiple identities. I am, first of all, an international citizen. I am also a very proud Indian. I joined the Indian Air Force in 1960 and opted for combat flying. I believe in India’s democratic, pluralistic and deeply ingrained secular ethos. In the Air Force, I absorbed the cultures of those places where I was posted. Lastly, I am a Kashmiri first, before being a Kashmiri Pandit, and I have a problem with the abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir.”
- Kapil Kak is often invited as a guest speaker by prominent Indian Defence and Civil Institutions of higher learning like the National Defence College and Universities.
- The prominent Indian news channels and radio stations often invite Kapil Kak on their shows as a commentator.