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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2012 13:43 
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Aditya G wrote:
Have this fetish to collect all enemy surrender photographs .... here is another for the collection:

Major General El Edroos (at right) offers his surrender of the Hyderabad State Forces to Major General (later General and Army Chief) Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri at Secunderabad.

Image


Are you sure that El Edroos is the right in the photo ?

Two reasons for my doubt : the figure on the right is in OG and also looks like the imposing figure of Gen. J. N. Chaudhuri, who later became the COAS in 1962 (when the incompetent buffoon P N Thapar, the TV jockey Karan Thapar's father, was sacked unceremoniously).


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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2012 09:07 
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Aditya G wrote:
Have this fetish to collect all enemy surrender photographs .... here is another for the collection:

Major General El Edroos (at right) offers his surrender of the Hyderabad State Forces to Major General (later General and Army Chief) Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri at Secunderabad.

]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Op_Polo_Surrender.jpg[ g]


Originally sourced from here


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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2012 09:14 
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Jaybhatt wrote:
Aditya G wrote:
Have this fetish to collect all enemy surrender photographs .... here is another for the collection:

Major General El Edroos (at right) offers his surrender of the Hyderabad State Forces to Major General (later General and Army Chief) Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri at Secunderabad.

g]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Op_Polo_Surrender.jpg mg]


Are you sure that El Edroos is the right in the photo ?

Two reasons for my doubt : the figure on the right is in OG and also looks like the imposing figure of Gen. J. N. Chaudhuri, who later became the COAS in 1962 (when the incompetent buffoon P N Thapar, the TV jockey Karan Thapar's father, was sacked unceremoniously).


The photo sequence also has this photo .. while both look similar, its clear that the peak cap wearing person is Edroos and the beret was worn by Gen Chaudhary.

You can also see him in this video http://www.britishpathe.com/video/hyderabad-surrenders/

Image

Image


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PostPosted: 06 Jun 2012 12:40 
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Excellent interview of Lt Gen Brar (retd) on Op Blue Star:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lmvfuH5 ... ure=relmfu

Sadly, the Sikh community at large including the interviewer continue to believe that Bluestar was a great crime inflicted upon them by the govt of the day and hold the Army in contempt. Today they want to construct a memorial for the terrorists at the Golden Temple complex.

The interviewer brings out many of the questions which common Sikhs continue to ask:

> Why didn't the Army simply lay siege to the complex
> Why didn't they parachute from air
> Why weren't only Sikh troops employed?
> Why were tanks used? Wasnt it excessive force?

Sadly for Brar, he has been potrayed as a villain by many in Sikh community. Did it occur to them, that Gen Brar is a hero for having executed the orders he was given?

Another on Lt Gen Sinha (havent seen it yet so cant vouch for the contents):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idw7m7xa ... re=related


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PostPosted: 06 Jun 2012 15:38 
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^^
Thanks for the interviews. Its sad that some sections of Sikh Community demonize Lt Gen Brar when instead he should be celebrated as a hero by the same.


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PostPosted: 07 Jun 2012 09:08 
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Jagan: wrt, pow from '71, here is a link http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pakistan-ansar-burney-indian-war-prisoner-surjit-singh/1/185589.html
The lack of more concerted effort from Indian establishment is puzzling unless they do not believe the info is true...the article does say that BSF has taken it up with Paki Rangers; but nothing about Indian govt. The same govt is showing humanity in finding WW2 american remains in AP though ...so not sure what to say.


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PostPosted: 07 Jun 2012 10:08 
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viv wrote:
Jagan: wrt, pow from '71, here is a link http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pakistan-ansar-burney-indian-war-prisoner-surjit-singh/1/185589.html
The lack of more concerted effort from Indian establishment is puzzling unless they do not believe the info is true...the article does say that BSF has taken it up with Paki Rangers; but nothing about Indian govt. The same govt is showing humanity in finding WW2 american remains in AP though ...so not sure what to say.


That is an interesting link - but the lack of response from GoI/BSF leads me to think there is more to this story .. One clue could be this statement

Quote:
capital punishment later converted into life imprisonment. He was traced to a prison in Pakistan over a year ago though his family had been making attempts to trace him since 2004. Surjit completed his jail term in December 2010.


POWs are never given capital punishments / life imprisonments - they are covered by the Geneva Convention. It is difficult to imagine that the Pakistanis would take a legitimate POW and then give him a sentence in a public court. But such sentences are routinely given to those involved in 'spying missions' and who get caught. Was this a case of mistaken identity?

The articles I have seen on this have comments by the family and none from either the BSF or the GoI officially - which I think is quite strange and the story doesnt seem fully clear. in any case, now that his 'sentence' is over, the Pakistanis should release him and our government should do its best to get him back.


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 04:25 
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viv, Geneva Convention applies to soldiers. The BSF jawan wouldn't fall in that category. Most likely after having declared him dead in 1974 the GOI doesn't want to go back to save some neta/babu's H&D. The big mistake was the release of the 93K prisoners without getting Pak to reciprocate.
In the euphoria of BD liberation in 1971, everyone forgot about prisoners in enemy hands.


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 04:49 
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ramana wrote:

In the euphoria of BD liberation in 1971, everyone forgot about prisoners in enemy hands.

How can a govt forget


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 06:08 
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ramana wrote:
Geneva Convention applies to soldiers. The BSF jawan wouldn't fall in that category.


Ramana, BSF, even Paramilitary and Local Police would be covered by the Geneva Conventions (Pt 1). From the description it would extend even to the RAzakars (Pt 2 below)

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/375?OpenDocument wrote:
Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 06:22 
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Acharya wrote:
ramana wrote:

In the euphoria of BD liberation in 1971, everyone forgot about prisoners in enemy hands.

How can a govt forget

Most likely he was never declared as a POW, then there is no question of the indian government forgetting him..

It would be the responsiblity of Pakistan to declare the soldier as a POW - then the govt will take notice. Now if Pakistan categorised him as a spy and involved him in case (They wouldnt have published his rank / number etc), then it would have been easy for the Indian govt to overlook.

But I can still understand it if Pakistan forgot about him.. ... Governments can sometimes 'forget' to declare POWs - for example ever heard of the two Chinese POWs who languished in a Bihar mental asylum for some 35+years? . Oh , there was a gap of three years from here to here..


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 10:24 
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Sad story. So it does mean that such 'forgefulness' is possible due to ineptitude, negligence or deliberate malice. Surjit Singh could be a real 71 PoW and there could be others. Hopefully not.


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 10:49 
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For records, here is the complete list of 54 PoWs - quite a few air force men here:

Quote:
List of Indian POWs
Prisoner's Name, rank & unit

1. Major SPS Waraich IC-12712 15 Punjab
2. Major Kanwaljit Singh Sandhu IC-14590 15 Punjab
3. Lt SM Sabharwal SS-23957 87 Lt Regiment
4. Capt Ravinder Kaura SS-20095 39 Med Regiment
5. Sq Ldr MK Jain 5327-F(P)
6. Flt Lt Sudhir Kumar Goswami 8956-F(P)
7. Flying Officer Sudhir Tyagi 10871-F(P)
8. Flt Lt Vijay Vasant Tambay 7662 -F(P)
9. Flt Lt Nagaswami Shanker 9773-F(P)
10. Sq Ldr PN Malhotra
11. Flt Lt SK Chibber
12. Capt GR Singh IC-23283 5 Assam
13. Capt OP Dalal SS-22536 Grenadiers
14. Maj AK Ghosh IC-18790 15 Rajput
15. Maj AK Suri SS-19807 5 Assam
16. Capt KS Rathod IC23148 5Assam
17. Flt Lt Ram Metharam Advani 7812-F(P)
18. Flt Lt Manohar Purohit 10249(N) 5 Squadron
19. Flt Lt Tanmaya Singh Dandoss 8160-F(P)
20. Wg Cdr Harsharan Singh Gill 4657-F(P)
21. Flt Lt Babul Guha 5105-F(P)
22. Flt Lt Suresh Chander Sandal 8659-F(P)
23. Major JS Malik IC-14457 8 Raj. Rifles
24. Major SC Guleri IC-20230 9 Jat
25. 2nd Lt VK Azad IC-58589 1/9 G R
26. 2nd Lt JalManeckshaw Mistry 5006-F(P)
27. Capt Kamal Bakshi IC-19294 5 Sikh
28. Flt Lt Harvinder Singh 9441-F(P)
29. Sqn Ldr Jatinder Das Kumar 4896-F(P)
30. Flt Lt LM Sassoon 7419-F(P)
31. Flt Lt Kushal Pal Singh Nanda 781N-F(N)
32. Flying Officer Krishan Lakhimal Malkani 10576-F(P)
33. Flt Lt Ashok Balwant Dhavale 9030-F(P)
34. Flt Lt L Shrikant Chanderkant Mahajan 10239-F(P)
35. 2nd Lt PR Sharma SS-22490 5/8 G R
36. Flt Lt Gurudev Singh Rai 9015-F(P)
37. Flt Lt RS Kadam 8404-F(P)
38. Flying Officer KP Murlidharan 10575-F(P)
39. Capt DS Jamwal 81 Field Regiment
40. Capt Washisht Nath Attock
41. Lt H Krishna Lal 13719585 1 JK Rifles
42. Naval Pilot Commanding Officer A Roy
43. Sqn Ldr Devaprasad Chatterjee
44. Subedar Assa Singh JC-41339 5 Sikh
45. Subedar Kalidas JC-59 8 JK
46. L/Nk Jagdish Lal 9208735 Mahaar Regiment
47. Naik Hazoora Singh 682211303
48. Gunner Sujan Singh 1146819 14 FD Regiment
49. Sepoy Daler Singh 2461830 15 Punjab
50. Sepoy Pal Singh 1239603 181 Lt Regiment
51. Sepoy Jagir Singh 2459067 16 Punjab
52. Officer TS Sethi
53. Gunner Madan Mohan 1157419 94 Mountain Regiment
54. Gunner Gyan Chand


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 21:14 
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Thanks Aditya. Is it that these IAF/IA men are MIA, or were known to have been taken prisoners?


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012 23:27 
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viv wrote:
Thanks Aditya. Is it that these IAF/IA men are MIA, or were known to have been taken prisoners?


I believe they are all MIA/KIA "officially". Rest is a matter of faith and hope of the families.


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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2012 03:38 
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I am not qualified to comment on the army names, but as far as the air force names are concerned, And i say this with great defference to the families - Many of the names are included because the families still cling to strands of hope, without any substantiation

A glaring example:
10. Sq Ldr PN Malhotra - He is not a casualty from 1971, but from the An-12 that went missing in Himachal in 1967. The wreck was discovered in the early 2000s. Now how and why that name got on this list? Nobody knows.

Similarly there are two to three names that are of pilots whose aircraft crashed in territory under our control.

I do wonder who put this list out there and when and how it was compiled in the first place.

Quote:
Rest is a matter of faith and hope of the families.


Thats a better way of putting it.


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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2012 10:52 
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Jagan wrote:
I do wonder who put this list out there and when and how it was compiled in the first place.


Wikipedia says:

This list was tabled in the Lok Sabha in 1979 by Samarendra Kundu, Minister of State of External Affairs, in reply to unstarred question 6803 raised by Amarsingh Pathawa.) Note - Initial list consisted of 40 names which later on expanded to 54

Court judgement on benefits related to same:

http://indiankanoon.org/doc/99814995/


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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2012 19:28 
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Reading the court document, it might be that Kundu was referring to general prisoners than POWs.. but hte judgemnt has attached a list of 54... a closer reading of the question suggests that it was asked about All Indians in Pakistani Jails (About 250 of them) and the list he must have attached consisted of over 158 names to that question.

Quote:
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.6803 LOK SABHA
TO BE ANSWERED ON THE 12TH APRIL, 1978 INDIANS IN PAKISTANI JAILS

6803 SHRI AMARSINE PATHAWA

Will the Minister of External Affairs be pleased to refer to the reply given to part (d) of Unstarred Question No.3575 on the 14th December, 1978 and state:-
a. the names of the persons held in Pakistan and since when under what charges;
b. whether Government is aware that certain prisoners are locked up in Pakistan Jails particularly in Multan Jail for the last 5-6 years without putting any charge on them and
c. whether the Hon'ble Minister will look into the matter personally and got these persons transferred to India.

ANSWER

THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (SHRI SAMARENDRAH KUNDU)

(a) & (b) while reply to the Unstarred Question No.3575 dated December, 1978, I had stated that about 250 Indians were still in Pakistani Jails according to information received from Government of Pakistan and other sources. Meanwhile, we have received information regarding some more persons reportedly detained in Pakistan. According to our recent information, 250 Indian nationals are stated to be in Pakistani Jails. This number includes 158 names conveyed to us by the Pakistan and is in the process of being verified through the State Authorities. The remaining names are based on information received from relatives etc. of the detainers and conveyed to the Pakistan government. While we do not have precise information in regard to the dates since when they are under detention and also the charges under which they have been detailed, their names and parentage as well as the names of the jails in which some of them are reported to be held are given in list attached.

(c) We are in constant touch with the Government of Pakistan through their Embassy in New Delhi and our Embassy in Islamabad for the release and repatriation of the Indian detainees.

(Note: he does not mention military personnel, or missing defence personnel anywhere in the answer)


To double check this, we should pull the original archives.

I do know that in recent years either late 1990s or early 2000s, the MoD issued the same list, but this was done without any proper vetting by either the army or the airforce. a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing.


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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2012 19:37 
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Here is an email I wrote on this subject some time ago. changed the text bit - names etc with whom I was corresponding were omitted.

Quote:


“I am afraid I may hold views that go contrary to popular public sentiment. This is due to the fact that as a weekend researcher I tend to dig a bit deeper into the claims on both sides before deciding on what to believe. I have followed the Indian POWs in Pakistan saga – especially the list of 54 POWs that was widely circulated in the press for over four decades now. I have examined this list name by name – for half of the list refers to Indian Air Force fliers who never returned . (I will focus only on the the Indian Air Force and the lone Indian Navy flier and I cannot comment on the Army names in the list. )

Unfortunately it appears that the mere criteria that they were lost on operations appear to be reason enough that ‘they must be POWs’, despite the fact that quite a few of the names are of those who were lost over our own territory – and one of the names was clearly of a transport pilot who went missing in the An-12 crash of 1967. There may be two or three valid cases in which evidence appeared – but beyond that, a majority of the names just appear to be last strands of hopes that the grieving families were holding on to.

I urge everyone to look at the fliers in the list – Cdr Ashok Roy is listed as his POW – his Alize crashed in the Atlantic Ocean being pursued by a F-104. How and why was his name added to the POW list? if it was, what happened to his Observer and Radar Operator? Similarly Flt Lt Purohit is listed as POW, but his pilot Flt Lt Naithani and another Navigator Flt Lt Theophilus are notably missing. And it is a fact that their Canberra crashed in our territory but the impact made it difficult to recover remains.

So in the end, an accurate vetting of the list may turn up only half a dozen potential cases.

It is perhaps time for someone to step up and ask as to why the following names were included in the list

5. Sq Ldr MK Jain 5327-F(P) (Aircraft Crashed in territory under our control)
9. Flt Lt Nagaswami Shanker 9773-F(P)
10. Sq Ldr PN Malhotra (Pilot of an An-12 that went missing in 67 – the wreck was traced a few years ago)
18. Flt Lt Manohar Purohit 10249(N) 5 Squadron (Canberra that crashed in our territory at Nal – what happened to the other two crew members – why only Flt Lt Purohit?)
19. Flt Lt Tanmaya Singh Dandoss 8160-F(P)
21. Flt Lt Babul Guha 5105-F(P) (65 War loss – why and when his name was added to this list?)
32. Flying Officer Krishan Lakhimal Malkani 10576-F(P)
33. Flt Lt Ashok Balwant Dhavale 9030-F(P) (He was lost in our own territory )
36. Flt Lt Gurudev Singh Rai 9015-F(P)
37. Flt Lt RS Kadam 8404-F(P)
38. Flying Officer KP Murlidharan 10575-F(P)
42. Naval Pilot Commanding Officer A Roy (Navy Pilot – what happened to his crew men?. Pak sources say the Alize crashed into the sea)
43. Sqn Ldr Devaprasad Chatterjee (65 War loss)
52. Flying Officer TS Sethi (65 war loss)

I understand there could be a few valid cases, xxxx had mentioned once he heard the radio announcement on Flt Lt Sasoon . Those can be investigated, but to me it appears that a whole host of other names were added just to give it weight. And if someone was missing or believed shot down, it was reason enough to add their names into the list.

There have been many articles by Kaiser Tufail that gave resting places of these pilots – shouldn’t someone take it up with Pakistan to identify and repatriate these remains if possible? An enticement to do the same for downed Pakistani fliers should be a good incentive – at the very least mark the final resting places . The Americans are still trying to locate remains of fliers lost in our NE states during WW2 flying the hump – I know of a recent case by British families to identify remains from a bomber shot down over Andamans and give them a proper burial.. We should do the same

We should differentiate when we use the word POW, to when we use the term MIA . (eg- there should be some compelling evidence that there was an ejection, or a claim of capture by the Pakistanis, or a sighting by a fellow officer or jawan that is reliable before we can use ‘POW’).

Unfortunately today, I see ‘POW’ used as as a catch-all term for everything and this does disservice to the forces as well as our government , it implies that the IAF has been callous at ignoring their fates. unfortunately this viewpoint I have seen being expressed among many emails, repeated by press reports, even a published book by an army officer, and finally by political parties raising this issue as an attention grabber in the parliament. So yes, drawing a clear distinction between MIA and POW is a great place to start.

There is overwhelming support for collating the facts , and making an effort with the other side that would lead to the marking of the final resting places or repatriation of the missing.

But I believe this can be done faster if an official or a semi-official body drives the effort . For example if this activity is spearheaded by a body like USI, or CAPS or CAFHR, then it would carry much more credibility . They can certainly use the material that we collect online, but nothing actually beats an official effort and ‘boots on the ground’. I know CAFHR tried something of the sort, perhaps it can be done again.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2012 06:36 
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During the first World War, the Indian army fought gallantly and effectively in the Battle of Ypres. Some Indian battalions suffered 100% casualties.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2012 09:10 
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A PoW story not to wow

Shishir Arya, TNN Jun 11, 2011, 05.02am IST
Quote:
NAGPUR: It was an experience which he never wanted to recall all these years. For the last four decades, Air Vice-Marshal Aditya Vikram Pethia tried to get over memories of the five-month ordeal as a prisoner of war (PoW) in Pakistan. Not even comfortable in sharing the experiences with his wife and son, he finally narrated the story before an audience of over 50 in the city on Thursday.

"Today the hatred seems to be dying down and the session here has left me a bit relieved," said Pethia.

It was after a great dilemma that he decided to narrate the nightmare at the meeting organized by the Rotary Club. He ensured that both, his wife and son, an Indian Air Force officer, were not present.

As a young flight lieutenant, his plane along with 11 others was shot down during a bombing raid on a train carrying tanks in the western sector. Captured on December 5, 1971, Pethia was released on May 8, 1972 from the camp at Rawalpindi, where he was being held, on account of his grave condition. "It was exactly after five months, three days and eight hours," he says.

The enemy soldiers pounced on him as he parachuted down. An unconscious Pethia with his ribs broken was shifted to the camp tied on a cot.

A smiling Pethia narrated the tales of torture of getting cigarette burns in between the thighs, being made to sleep naked on a cement floor during cold nights and much more. The inmates had once requested for one more chapati and got just half.

"There is a time when you only hear the sound but not feel the pain. They battered us with everything - rifle butts and lathis to even table tennis rackets," said Pethia. "Imagine if your hands are put below the leg of a cot and someone jumps over it. My scars have gone but the broken bones are still there. I am left with damaged ribs and a lung." By the time he was released, Pethia was declared having tuberculosis.

Three of his colleagues, including Flight Lieutenant Dilip Parulkar of Nagpur, made two unsuccessful attempts to escape but Pethia was too feeble to even make an attempt. "On their second attempt they were caught in Peshawar as they planned to flee through Afghanistan," said Pethia. "Now Parulkar is settled in Pune."

Once the inmates also encountered some Pakistani pilots with whom they had spent time as course mates during a joint training in the US. "We exchanged greetings, they were friends at that time but now enemies," he said.

Pethia was released some days before his colleagues. As he walked out of the camp with tears rolling down thinking about those inside, he had encountered feelings of joy and despair. "As I was being taken back to India in a Red Cross vehicle, they offered a bottle of Coca Cola. When I asked if it was from Pakistan, the answer was no. Only then did I drink it. The hatred was fresh at that time, but with time it heals," said Pethia who now lives in Bhopal.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/news ... wsid=14867

X posting from genocide thread.
I think this is the correct thread.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2012 09:26 
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Back in 1971 a body of an Lt was returned to Pune, castrated, ears and nose cut, I do not have a name nor confiramtion, only word of mouth. Do I trust it happened. 100%. Very difficuly to validate it now. It belonged to a different time and unfortunately cannot construct an disucssion around it. But Lt Kalia. We know. Ahuja, Nachiketa their treatment. We know.

I see that Joe's story on cyclic has been taken removed by the author. I am not looking into reasons at this point. What I do see it as to take these
narratives, to ensure that as and when POWs fall into the hands of TSP it treats them with basic human dignity and also GOI does not drop the ball on them.


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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2012 09:02 
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From "The First World War" by John Keegan

Quote:
That was the exact opposite of developing British policy, which was to "dominate no man's land" by redigging trenches closer to the enemy's and staging frequent trench raids. The firs trench raid appears to have been mounted on the night of 9/10 November near Ypres by the 39th Garwhal Rifles of the Indian Corps. Fierce irruptions of into enemy positions under cover of darkness was a traditional feature of Indian frontier fighting and this first murderous little action may have represented an introduction of tribal military practice into the "civilized" warfare of western armies. The event set a precedent of which the British were to make a habit and which the Germans were to copy. The French, despite their long experience of tribal warfare in North Africa, never found a similar enthusiasm for these barbaric flurries of slash and stab. Disposing of many more field guns in their corps reserves than either the British or Germans did, they preferred to dominate their defensive fronts from a distance with artillery fire, for which, after the solution of the shell shortage of the winter of 1914-15, they were amply supplied.


:evil:


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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2012 09:10 
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Once a Briturd, always a Briturd. His is the "white man's burden" - carrying all that turd in his head.

If he had any semblance of integrity he would acknowledge the command which ordered the Indian soldiers to stake their lives in this manner at night after battling all day. And they want to teach us about being civil. What a laugh.


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2012 08:54 
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Aditya G wrote:
Excellent interview of Lt Gen Brar (retd) on Op Blue Star.


IA was asked to do a job, and it was done.
Gen Brar a good man in a difficult situation.


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2012 09:15 
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Gen Sinha's interview is pretty good too.
Thanks to Aditya G



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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2012 04:35 
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http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120628/j ... 666585.jsp


Quote:
Unarmed major who disarmed Pak soldiers and saved a future PM
SUJAN DUTTA


New Delhi, June 27: The cold steel of a rifle barrel poked Major Ashok Tara in the chest.

The finger on the trigger was trembling, as was the scared Pakistani soldier who was pointing the gun. Barely out of his teens, the fresh-faced youth, Tara noted, was wide-eyed and his lips were quivering. One false move and the nervous boy could squeeze the trigger by mistake.

At such close range, the bullet would go through his body taking half the chest with it. It was a precious chest having braved two wars.

It endures. Even today, India is riding the goodwill that it commands.

On Monday this week, Dhaka announced that it was conferring the “Friend of Bangladesh” Award to Ashok Kumar Tara who retired as a colonel in 1994. Indira Gandhi, India’s Prime Minister in 1971, was conferred the award in her time.

This morning, Tara told The Telegraph during a chat in his modest ground-floor flat in Noida, that of all the events that tumultuous December of 1971, he still remembered the feel of the barrel of a gun aimed at his chest like a phantom limb.

That morning of December 17, 1971, Tara had disarmed himself — unthinkable for an officer in the face of hostilities — in a gamble with his life. Is this how it was going to pay off? The choicest Punjabi expletives aimed at himself were racing through his mind. His wife and four-month-old baby were at home in Delhi.

For two weeks he had gone from battle to battle ever since his unit, the 14 Guards, was ordered out of Agartala to cut an axis to Dacca. He had killed the enemy himself and had seen his comrades getting killed in firefights. He was quite ready to be killed himself in a firefight. He was a seasoned soldier and a company commander.

This was already his second war. He was leading Alpha company and two weeks earlier was decorated with the Vir Chakra, the third highest gallantry award, in the Battle of Gangasagar. In that battle, Lance Naik Albert Ekka of his unit’s Bravo company was killed and posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award.

But this was no firefight. Yet here Major Tara was — that winter’s morning made colder still by the feel of the rifle barrel aimed at his heart. A crowd had gathered some distance away from the gates of the house in Dacca’s Dhanmondi locality where Tara stood alone.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s family, future Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, then 24-years-old and the mother of a baby herself, among them, were under arrest in that house for nine months.

It was past 9 in the morning. A day earlier Lt Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, the commander of forces in East Pakistan, had surrendered to the Indian Army.

Since then, Tara’s unit was assigned by divisional commander Maj. Gen. Gonsalves to secure the battered Dacca airport. Its runway had been strafed by the Indian Air Force and only helicopters could land. Senior officers and VIPs were reaching Dacca after the surrender. Tara’s company was asked to secure the main terminal when a local political leader came up to his battalion commander, Col Vijay Kumar Chanana, and told him that Mujib’s family was in danger of getting wiped out by Pakistani soldiers.

Chanana called Tara and asked him to go to Dhanmondi, a 20-minute drive. Tara left with three soldiers.

At Dhanmondi, the local politico fled after pointing out the place. A Mukti Joddha, Bangladesh liberation warrior, came to Tara’s vehicle and told him that Pakistani soldiers who were in the house had threatened to kill the family. He pointed to the burnt car, half way between the crowd and the house, that a man, possibly a journalist, was taking to reach the gates. The bullet-riddled body of the man was inside the charred car.

Tara looked hard at the house. There was a sandbagged bunker on the roof with a light machine gun (LMG). He could make out the sentry who had a clear field of vision. There would be other guards.

One bunker was on the terrace, the others were on either side of the gate. A Pakistani flag flew atop the building.

“The Pakistani guards had fired on a crowd in front of the house last night, killing at least five persons including a woman,” reported the United News of India from Dacca in a despatch dated December 17, 1971.

There was no way Tara could charge with just three men. He called his JCO (junior commissioned officer) and handed him his sten gun. Stay on one side of the road, he instructed.

Unarmed, he began a slow walk to the gates. As he passed the car, the sentry on the rooftop warned him that he would open fire if he took another step. Tara, whose parents migrated to Delhi from Rawalpindi in 1945, understood his language.

“Dekho, main Hindustani fauj da afsar toadde saamne khada hoon, main bin hathyar ke hoon,” Tara shouted back in a mix of Punjabi and Hindi. (See, I am an Indian Army officer standing unarmed in front of you.)

“Jab main pahunch gaya hoon aapke saamne bina weapon ke iska matlab hain ki aapka fauj ne surrender kar diya. Aap apni afsar se pooch lo,” he continued. (If I have reached unarmed in front of you, it means your army has surrendered, you can ask your officer).

The sentry asked him to halt. After a while, he shouted back: “Sadda un nala koi link nahin”. (I have no contact with the officer). Tara, then 29 years old, learnt later that a Pakistani captain had abandoned his post. Even then, he knew that the news of the surrender had not yet reached the lower ranks because communications were disrupted.

At that time, Indian helicopters flew overhead. “I pointed to them and shouted ‘look our helicopters are flying in the sky and look behind me, our jawans are inside Dacca. You have a family with children as I do; if you lay down your arms and come out peacefully, I guarantee you a safe passage to your camp or wherever you want to go to’.”

He was walking closer to the house as he shouted these words and was at the entrance when the guard in the bunker at the gates pointed the rifle at him.

“I locked eyes with the shivering boy even as I was talking to the havildar on the rooftop,” recalls Tara now. From inside the house, the family of Sheikh Mujib (Mujibur Rahman was in a jail in Pakistan and was to be flown to Dacca a few days later) was also shouting. “If you do not save us, they will kill all of us, we know,” a woman’s voice wailed out to him.

They had overheard his shouted conversation with the havildar. “I kept up the conversation as I softly pushed the barrel of the gun away from my body,” says Tara. “Those were different times, there was a different kind of josh because I had been through the Battle of Gangasagar just two weeks earlier,” Tara says now of the experience of overcoming the fear of death.

The UNI reported laconically: “A major who led the (Indian) detachment ordered the guards to surrender. They (the Pakistani soldiers), however, refused to move out of the bunker unless ordered by their own officers. The major explained that the Pakistani troops had already surrendered and that they should do the same instead of provoking the troops to eject them. After much argument, they agreed to come out. They were given civilian clothes to wear lest they be shot on the road by vengeful youths.”

A more enthusiastic Northern India Patrika despatch reported: “The release of Begum Mujibur Rahman has been as thrilling as the fall of Dacca or for that matter the liberation of Bangladesh.”

Tara says Begum Mujib embraced him and said: “You are my son who has come as God to me”.

The Patrika quotes Begum Mujib in its December 1971 report. “Many a time I thought that neither I nor the Indian officer will survive this. It is a new lease of life for us.”

Inside the house, there was barely any furniture. The family had been sleeping on the floor. There were hardly enough rations either. “I saw only biscuits,” recalls Tara.

Tara clicked a picture of the 24-year-old Sheikh Hasina with her baby in her arms. He intends to enlarge and frame the picture and gift it to the Bangladesh Prime Minister when he goes to Dhaka shortly to receive his award.

Her sister, Rehana, wrote to Tara for a long time afterwards. In her letters penned in childish but neat writing she asks repeatedly about “bhabhi (Tara’s wife) and baby”. Tara was asked to stay on in Dhaka to meet “Bangabandhu” Sheikh Mujibur Rahman even after his unit was ordered back to the Mizo Hills. When Mujib returned, he was treated like a family friend. Tara shows photographs with the family signed by Mujib.

Nearly 41 years later, Sheikh Hasina has invited Colonel (retired) Ashok Kumar Tara to return to Dhaka for thanksgiving. “She tried earlier too when she was the Prime Minister (1996-2001) but somehow that did not materialise,” says Tara.

In his Noida flat, Tara, now 70 years old, still gets up to open the door when the bell rings, assuming that one of his soldiers from the unit has come. His wife, a former teacher, lives with him. His daughter and son live in Australia with their families.

In prising Col Tara out of obscurity, Sheikh Hasina is acknowledging the role of India in the liberation of Bangladesh, something that her detractors have been seeking to erase. With the passing of Tara’s generation, that would become all too easy, lest New Delhi uses the past as the springboard for a renewed friendship.




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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2012 03:13 
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booklet - Memorials of Indian Soldiers in Israel

http://www.scribd.com/doc/103019590/Mem ... -in-Israel


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2012 23:50 
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Are there any good books on Operation polo?


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2012 23:32 
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Army officer corps was split during Sino-Indian war, says former army chief

Quote:
A total lack of strategic sense among the political leadership in New Delhi was the root cause of the bruising 1962 Sino-Indian war, experts said at a round table here Thursday to mark the 50th anniversary of a conflict whose reverberations continue to be felt to this day.
“There was a total lack of strategic sense at the political level. The first mistake was at Bandung (the 1955 Asian-African conference) when India recognised Tibet as a part of China,” former Indian Army chief Gen. V.K. Sharma said at the round table “50 years after 1962: India-China Relations.

“Once that happened, it followed that the borders as they existed would have to be relooked,” Sharma said at the event jointly organised by the India Internaional Centre, the Society for Policy Studies (SPS) and the Subbu Forum.

“In any case, India’s borders were given to us by the British which was never accepted by China,” he added.

Indicative of the lack of strategic thinking, Sharma said, was the fact that repeated reports from the army’s long-range patrols of Chinese incursions,particularly in the Aksai Chin area, were ignored by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

He also faulted Nehru for not considering Aksai Chin to be of strategic importance because “not a single blade of grass grew there” as the prime minister had famously stated in parliament, attracting the ire of the opposition.

“If no grass grows in your backyard is it still not your own?” Sharma asked.

Adding to the army’s woes was the almost vertical split in the officer corps over loyalty to defence minister V.K. Krishna Menon.

“The officer corps was split, from the colonels to the generals, into the pro and agnostic camps. If you were pro Krishna Menon you were promoted; if you were agnostic, you were ignored. As junior officers, we wondered what to do with the political hierarchy,” Sharma revealed.

Sharma, in fact, echoed the previous speaker, Air Commodore (retd) Jasjit Singh, who pointed to the “failure” of the higher defence organisation in the decade leading up to the 1962 war, a situation that still prevailed.

“The higher defence organisation failed from 1954 to 1962, a situation that has still not been repaired adequately. Worse, during the war, the chiefs of staff committee did not meet even once.

The decisions were taken by the minister and a joint secretary in the defence ministry.”Thus, it is not Nehru alone but the defence minister who was more responsible” for the debacle, Jasjit Singh, who heads the Centre for Air Power Studies, contended.

Speaking about the lack of air support for the ground operations during the war, he said army headquarters never asked for this as it feared that if the Chinese fighters also went into action, this would disrupt the logistic support that was being provided by the Indian Air Force’s transport planes and helicopters.

Then, the “politcal leaders of Bengal put pressure on Nehru not to use the air force (fighters) as they feared Calcutta would be bombed and their memories of World War II (when the city was sporadically bombed 1942-44 by the Japanese) were still fresh,” Jasjit Singh said.

According to veteran journalist and commentator George Verghese, who reported on the 1962 war for The Times of India, the genesis of the conflict lay in the “mistaken belief that an unprepared Indian Army could take on China.

A year before, the Indian Army had overcome Portuguese resistance to free the western India state of Goa from colonial rule and this led to complacency that this could be replicated with the Chinese, Verghese said.

“Politics determined the military disaster. India never learnt the lesson that borders are more important than boundaries,” he added.

The round table was the first in a series of four that will review the 1962 conflict from different perspectives.


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2012 17:14 
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Any idea if Henderson brooks report is going to be released anytime soon? Why did the non-cong govt also try to keep it secret?


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PostPosted: 11 Sep 2012 03:04 
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Two links on Pundit nain Singh Rawat, the first of the Himalaya explorers for the British

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nain_Singh_Rawat

and

http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgu ... srawat.pdf


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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2012 02:34 
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ramana wrote:
Two links on Pundit nain Singh Rawat, the first of the Himalaya explorers for the British

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nain_Singh_Rawat

and

http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgu ... srawat.pdf


Fascinating read !! Thank you for sharing this.


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2012 02:14 
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Inder Malhotra on 1965 war


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2012 22:53 
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Consigned to the dustbin of history
Quote:
The ‘unacknowledged' brave men of the Tibetan Army’s Special Frontier Forces fought well in wars which were not theirs. They remain ready to defend India. The least one can do is remember them next November 14

Quote:
The second one has for long been kept secret: I am speaking of the creation of the Special Frontier Forces, the Tibetan Army (also known as the two-twos) which was founded a week before China’s unilateral cease-fire in the 1962 conflict. There is little doubt that the two events (Nehru’s birthday and the SSF’s creation) are linked, as sycophancy prevailed in India during those days.

Why was the formation of the Tibetan Army initiated on October 14? BN Mullik, the then Director of the Intelligence Bureau (and one of the main culprits of the 1962 fiasco) probably wanted to please Nehru on his birthday by telling him that he ‘had found a solution’ to China’s military superiority. The Tibetans would themselves ‘liberate’ Tibet!

But Mullik realised he would need help for this; and he looked towards the United States.

Quote:
The honeymoon with the CIA did not last long and the Tibetan Force would eventually be built with purely Indian inputs under the supervision of Maj Gen Sujan Singh Uban (The SSF became later known as ‘Establishment 22’ or ‘Two-twos’ because Uban had earlier served as commander of the 22 Mountain Brigade).

Many are not aware that the Tibetan force participated in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Quote:
Ratuk Ngawang who was a ‘Dapon’ at the time of the Liberation of Bangladesh recalled: “The Force was established in 1962, after the Indo-China War. The main objective of the regiment was to fight the Chinese army with the help of the Indian Army. The plan was to engage the Chinese army in a military conflict within 5 or 6 months of the Force’s creation. But the Indo-China war came to an abrupt end (on November 22), and due to severe international pressure to maintain peace, no further military engagements occurred with China. Therefore, the services of Establishment 22 regiment were not used as planned.”


Quote:
When asked who ordered the SFF to take part in the 1971 war, Ratuk Ngawang answered: “A special army meeting was held in New Delhi (probably under RN Kao, the RAW Chief); later we heard that General Uban had volunteered to lead the Establishment 22 regiment in the Bangladesh war. It was SS Uban and my colleague Dapon Jampa Kalden who voluntarily decided to take part in the war.”

Quote:
Ratuk Ngawang added: “When the regiment was established, there was a mutual agreement that we would fight the Chinese. This did not happen. However, I told General Uban and Jampa Kalden that if we were to get a formal order from the Indian government then we could join the operations.” They did.

Quote:
The website Bharat Rakshak provides more information on the SFF’s achievements in Bangladesh: “After three weeks of border fighting, the SFF divided its six battalions into three columns and moved into East Pakistan on 03 December 1971.”

Quote:
By the time Pakistan surrendered, the SFF had lost 56 men, nearly 190 were wounded, but it is said that they blocked a potential escape route for East Pakistani forces into Burma and would have halted Pakistan’s 97 Independent Brigade in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

As they did not ‘exist’ officially for the Government of India, nobody could be decorated. However, some brave Tibetan commandos were awarded cash prizes by the Indian Government.


Quote:
t is also necessary to mention some of the many operations in which the SFF participated: An attempt to plant a nuclear-powered sensor on the Nanda Devi in 1965, a regular presence on the Siachen Glacier or in the Turtuk sector during the Kargil conflict.

Quote:
Though the SFF have in some cases been replaced by the Ladakh Scouts and other local troops who can also acclimatise easily for high altitude warfare, they remain ready to fight to defend India’s fronti


Quote:
I still remember a poem written in Hindi by a Tibetan SFF jawan who had participated in the Kargil operations; the song of the poet-jawan described joy, sorrow and emotion by expressing his gratitude to his second motherland and to the people of India who had given refuge, protection and education to his countrymen.

It is difficult to say today what is the future of the two-twos, but one can at least acknowledge that they fought well in wars which were not theirs and if the new leadership of China were to choose adventurism as its new policy and walk in the footsteps of Mao, one can be certain that the two-twos will be here to defend India. One should not forget them next November 14.


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2012 23:23 
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Recap of alleged mistakes done by the generals in various wars and counter insurgencies

Army’s most critical deficiency: Good Generals?


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PostPosted: 24 Dec 2012 07:17 
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Rude awakening for Pakistan: Inder Malhotra

Quote:
Despite making major mistakes, the Indian armed forces displayed tactical superiority to hold the balance in the 1965 war

As described in ‘From Gibraltar to Grand Slam’ (IE, December 10), for Pakistan’s first military ruler, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, the moment of truth arrived at 4 am on September 6, 1965. He was roused from his bed and informed that the Indian army was on the march towards the prized city of Lahore. This took him completely by surprise. After brief consultations with his top commanders and civilian advisors, the first man he met was understandably the United States ambassador, Walter P. McConaughy. According to Khan’s principal confidant and biographer, Altaf Gauhar, the envoy started by telling him: “Mr President, the Indians have got you by the throat.” Khan replied: “Any hands on Pakistan’s throat would be cut off.” He still believed that on the battlefield, Pakistan “would defeat the Hindu”.

There is no point going into daily details of the war as it went on because most of these have been discussed threadbare. Attention should focus, therefore, on crucial landmarks and major mistakes both sides made in the heat and dust of war. Pakistan’s greatest folly was to go on lying to its own people, telling them that the Indian invaders were being “thrown out”. Come the ceasefire, and the rude reality could no longer be hidden.

On the Indian side, it became evident on the very first day that coordination between intelligence, then the monopoly of the monolithic Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the army, was appalling. As our armoured columns advanced, they discovered that Pakistan had dug the Ichchogil Canal as a tank trap of which they had never been informed. Which of the two institutions was to blame became a major dispute then, and, to an extent, remains so even now. The IB maintained that it had conveyed the necessary information to the government and the army headquarters. It wasn’t its fault if the army leadership failed to pass it on to the formations in the field. The army denied this vehemently, and never let up on its trenchant criticism of the IB.

The second failure of both the army and the IB was more serious, and it came to light most embarrassingly. To compel the Pakistan forces still struggling to occupy Chamb-Jaurian to return hastily to defend their motherland, the Indian army opened a second front in the Sialkot sector. An important calculation behind this action was that Pakistan, like India, had only one armoured division that was frantically trying to defend Lahore. But, totally unknown to India, Pakistan had raised a second armoured division that met the Indian attack in and around Sialkot.

The third unfortunate feature of the Indian situation was that cooperation between the air force and the army left a lot to be desired. The IAF seemed to be concentrating on establishing air superiority rather than providing ground support to the troops.

Meanwhile, Pakistan had managed to establish a bridgehead to the small Indian town of Khem Karan across the border. They were convinced that, thanks to the US-supplied, state-of-the-art Patton tanks, their counter-offensive would make a breakthrough all the way across the Punjab plains to Delhi. This was, as future developments were to demonstrate, pure hubris on their part. But the Pakistani arrival beyond Khem Karan, combined with the discovery of a second Pakistani armoured division, caused grave anxiety at the army headquarters.

Presumably to err on the side of caution, the army chief, General J.N. Chaudhuri, ordered the GOC-in-C of the Western Command and overall commander of the battlefield, Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh, to withdraw his forces to the east of the Beas river. To his credit, Harbaksh flatly refused. Had he carried out the directive, it would have been the greatest folly of the war, and perhaps an invitation to disaster. Some doubts have been expressed about this episode, but Captain (retd) Amarinder Singh, now a Punjab Congress leader and a former chief minister of the state, was in 1965 the ADC to Harbaksh Singh, and a witness to the telephonic exchange.

Although the distressing episode became known widely fairly soon, Harbaksh the gentleman, refused to discuss it. In his book, War Despatches: Indo-Pakistan Conflict, 1965, published a quarter of a century later, all he said was: “There appeared to be a tendency in the higher command to succumb to [the] pressure of events and fall an easy prey to dark and gloomy apprehensions. This is a dangerous attitude.”

In any case, Pakistan’s planners had counted without the tactical virtuosity of the Indian commanders in Khem Karan, Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh, Maj Gen Gurbaksh Singh, commander of 4 Mountain Division, and Brig Thomas Theograj who commanded the two armoured regiments hastily assigned to the defenders. In September, in Punjab’s fields, sugarcane grows to full height. Indian generals then hid their tanks in these fields to welcome the Pakistanis. The biggest tank battle since World War II thus began. They then played their masterstroke. They cut off the embankment of a conveniently located canal. Pakistan’s tanks got literally stuck in the mud. Soon enough, the nearby village of Asal Uttar became a graveyard of Patton tanks. Indian Centurions and Shermans of World War II vintage had decimated them.

How this climax to the war played out in Pakistan is best left to Gauhar to describe. He records that Khan had called him into his office and was happily explaining to him, on a map, how the Khem Karan offensive, personally approved by him, was progressing. He then adds: “While Ayub was explaining the details of the operation, his military secretary, General Rafi, walked into the room in a state of great agitation and almost shouted that the Indians had cut the Madhupur Canal.” Khan wanted to know, writes Gauhar, how long it would take for the battlefield to be submerged. “The GHQ had no clue.” Ghulam Ishaq Khan, then heading the water and power authority, was of some help. “At this juncture Ayub discovered, to his dismay, that General Nasir, the commander of the operation, had relied on old survey maps.”

“The Khem Karan counter-offensive,” concludes Gauhar, “ran aground on September 11, and with that collapsed Pakistan’s entire military strategy. For Pakistan, the war was over.”

The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator


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PostPosted: 15 Jan 2013 07:33 
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Unfortunately I could not find normal URLs for these articles. These are e-paper links.

The Last Stand of Saragarhi

A Synopsis of book on Lt Gen P C Bhagat

The battle of Sylhet


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PostPosted: 04 Feb 2013 17:03 
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http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-r ... /1068806/0

The road to Tashkent

Quote:
How the Soviet Union brought India and Pakistan to the negotiating table after the 1965 war

As early as August 18, 1965, the Soviet prime minister, Alexei Kosygin, had written to his Indian counterpart, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Pakistan President Ayub Khan, asking them "not to take any steps that might lead to a major conflict". He wrote again on September 4 appealing for "an immediate cessation of hostilities and a reciprocal withdrawal of troops behind the ceasefire line". He also offered the Soviet Union's "good offices" in negotiating a peaceful settlement of differences between India and Pakistan. Neither country reacted to this offer for the obvious reason that two days later the war had escalated, and the Indian army was on the march to the prized Pakistani city of Lahore.

On September 18, Kosygin sent his third letter to the two South Asian leaders, proposing that they "should meet in Tashkent or any other Soviet city for negotiations", and even offered to take part in the discussions himself, "if both sides so desired". He underscored his serious concern because the war was taking place "close to the Soviet Union's borders".

Shastri waited until September 23, when the ceasefire came into force, before disclosing to Parliament the Soviet offer, adding that he had "informed Mr Kosygin that we would welcome his efforts and good offices". In Pakistan, however, there was complete silence on the subject because of its extreme reluctance to take part in Soviet-sponsored negotiations.

"Ayub," records his closest confidant and biographer Altaf Gauhar, "was quite disturbed that the US and the British should leave the field to the Soviet Union... the subcontinent had been traditionally the area of Western influence, and the induction of the Soviet Union into the region as a mediator would only strengthen India's position". Consequently, even after agreeing to the Tashkent talks on November 11, he decided to go to London and Washington to persuade Harold Wilson, the British prime minister, and US President Lyndon Johnson to so arrange things that some "self-executing machinery" could be set up to resolve Kashmir, preferably before the Tashkent meeting. In both capitals he drew a blank. Wilson bluntly told Ayub that China was the "greatest danger in the region because it was far more expansionist than the Soviet Union or India". His foreign secretary added that in its present mood, "China was an extremely dangerous friend to have". Wilson's concluding remark at the end of a marathon meeting was: "We cannot hurry the Kashmir issue, though we realise the conflict is driving India and Pakistan to orbits we fear".

On way to Washington, Ayub stopped over in New York to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly. He devoted it almost entirely to Kashmir and ended his oration with the demand: "Let India honour her agreement as we would, to let all the people of Kashmir settle their own future through self-determination, in accordance with past pledges." In Washington the next day, at his prolonged meeting with Johnson, he returned to this theme and said with some emotion that the Kashmir problem must be resolved. "If India could not comply with the UN resolutions then arbitration by an independent body was the only peaceful way to settle the dispute."

According to Gauhar's account, Johnson said little about Kashmir but dilated at some length on America's problems in Vietnam, where both the Soviet Union and China were helping North Vietnam. The US president then told his guest that he was "praying for the success of the Tashkent meeting". Whereupon Ayub "regretted" that US and Soviet policy "had come to coincide in India, and that was why the Soviet Union was helping India, and the US, too, had allowed itself to be 'suckered' by the Indians".

While the two presidents were engaged in one-to-one talks, Pakistan officials told their American opposite numbers that throughout the "crisis", the feeling in Pakistan was that the US "had let down Pakistan and equated it with the aggressor". Ayub said the same thing somewhat politely at his final meeting with Johnson: "Let us hope we get more comfort in future out of our alliance with the US."

As was perhaps to be expected, China acted promptly to vindicate Johnson's apprehension that it would "fish in troubled waters" in both South Asia and Indochina. No sooner had Pakistan announced its willingness to partake in the Tashkent talks under Soviet auspices, that the Chinese tried to throw a spanner in the works by suddenly opening fire on two Indian posts on the Sikkim-China border and making repeated intrusions across this frontier. What added to Indian worries was a report by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies that China had "massed 15 divisions in Tibet, of which at least six were stationed near the borders of Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal". However, New Delhi's assessment was that Beijing was only trying to create tensions and wasn't paving the way to a renewed invasion.

Shastri's greater worry was about the withdrawal of troops to the positions they held before Pakistan's infiltrations into Kashmir on August 5. The Indian army had paid a heavy price to wrest from Pakistan the highly strategic Haji Pir Pass, the most convenient route for Pakistan's infiltrators. There was a strong feeling in the country that Haji Pir should never be returned to Pakistan. Though normally a cautious man, Shastri himself intensified this sentiment by declaring repeatedly that if Haji Pir were to be given back to Pakistan, "some other prime minister would do it".

Meanwhile, the Soviets invited foreign minister Swaran Singh to Moscow a week before the start of the Tashkent conference. The message he brought back was that while the Soviet Union stuck to its traditional stand that Kashmir was a part of India, it was also of the firm view that peace between India and Pakistan must be established on the basis of the UN Security Council resolution of September 20, which demanded the "withdrawal of all armed personnel to positions held prior to August 5, 1965".

This, as we shall see, was to be a source of great trouble during the Tashkent talks, as well as afterwards.

The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2013 11:02 
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India Ends Imperialist Portugal's Occupation Of Goa - Portuguese Troops Surrender To Indian Forces

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OT - Portuguese Forces Kill Unarmed Indians Seeking End To Portugal's Occupation Of Goa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb_j7qRqwWA



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