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PostPosted: 31 Aug 2005 19:32 
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Tommorrow, September 1st, will mark the 40th Anniversary of the 1965 India Pakistan War, a war that we fought so bitterly against our rival Pakistan, a war that has been so mindlessly bought upon us by the Dictatorial CMLA Ayub Khan and his cronies.

So where were you when the war was fought (I am asking the oldies on the forum). I was not even born yet. And I am sure as are a majority of the forumites.. But still there are a few wise men who were around at that time, and maybe they can share thier impressions ?

It might be worth revisiting the war...that was fought forty years ago..

Patton Nagar
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... atton.html

Official War History
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... index.html

Land War in Pictures
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... 1965a.html

Air War
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... index.html


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PostPosted: 31 Aug 2005 22:10 
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I wouldn't be born till three more years.

I am not sure why, but all I heard during my childhood was about the 1971 war. I have a good memory, almost from 4+years of age, but I can't recall much about the '65 war even from school history classes. I think it was not mentioned much.

Then Kargil came, and the Internet gave all kinds of info, including discovery of BR. I remember spending a whole day at work, reading the war info on BR. Till that time, I had no idea how wars are fought, except what you see on movies. It kind of changed my whole outlook, and suddenly I found myself a jingo.

I look forward for more info on this thread from the guys who actually lived through it.


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 00:01 
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Good Topic Jagan.

I was in Primary School in Kolkata at that time. Have some vivid memories from the time of this war.

Was too young to know the reasons behind the war, or follow the buildup to the war. All we heard was that Pakistani infiltrators had entered Kashmir, and we were pushing them back.

I think the authorities expected massive air raids on Kolkata, hence the following measures were taken:

Evening blackouts were declared. Top half of vehicle headlights were painted black (this continued for some years after the war). All glass windows were ordered to be taped crosswise with brown paper tape.

Air raid drills were conducted. Trenches were dug and sandbags placed around them at several street corners and public places, including around the 'maidan' at my school. We were told about the air raid siren and the all-clear siren. For practice, they started blowing the siren at precisely 9am in Kolkata, and the people were expected to run to the shelter trenches at that time. I think this siren still blows at 9am every day in Kolkata even today, and is used by people to synchronize their watches.

At my school, we were told to bring a package of glucose biscuits, and a bottle of water with us, to be used if we had to spend extended periods of time in the trenches if there was an air raid. My sister ate up her packet of glucose biscuits the first day, and asked for a new one telling my mother she had to hide from the Pakistani aircraft that raided her school that day. :)

Shastriji coined a new national slogan by adding 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' to the old 'Jai Hind'.

The news we heard about the war was all positive. Our armed forces had attacked Lahore, the dreaded American Patton tanks were being blown up by hundreds by our brave Jawans and little Gnats were blowing away the big Sabre Jets. Keeler, Pathania, Abdul Hameed, and Ranjit Singh Dayal became household names. Haji Pir was ours, and we were about to kick the Pakis out of Kashmir, when America and Russia forced us to declare Cease-Fire.

Evil America supplied Pakistan with the best weapons in the world, but our brave Jawans destroyed all these great weapons with their courage.

New friend Russia also stabbed us in the back when they forced us at Tashkent to give back Haji Pir, and then they killed our beloved Shastriji. :( Or was it Indira Gandhi that killed Shastriji so that she can become Prime Minister like her father.

That's all I can remember for now.

Cheers


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 10:02 
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Quote:
At my school, we were told to bring a package of glucose biscuits, and a bottle of water with us, to be used if we had to spend extended periods of time in the trenches if there was an air raid. My sister ate up her packet of glucose biscuits the first day, and asked for a new one telling my mother she had to hide from the Pakistani aircraft that raided her school that day. Smile


:mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 14:18 
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The 1965 war is the second war in my memory. The first - when I was 7 years old was explained to me as Chinese trying to capture the Himalayas. I had more awareness in 1965 and actually used to read the papers.

There were blackouts in Poona and a double layer of thick black paper was glued on to every pane of every window. There were practice air raid drills.

1965 was the first time names like Khem Karan, Haji Pir pass, Sialkot and and Chhamb were indelibly imprinted in my memory from news reports. I recall reading about Trevor Keelor's Sabre kill, and about Havaldar Abdul Hamid - who won the first Param Vir Chakra. Both were national heroes.

Looking back I can understand why some things have been very difficult to explain to Indians within India. We have had heroes like Abdul Hamid fighting and dying in a war against an abomi-nation that set itself up as the bulwark of Islam. Ayub Khan stated in those days that one Paki soldier is equal to six or ten Indian soldiers - can't recall which.

Soon after the war I bought the 1965 war booklet that is now available in pdf format in one of these geocities sites of mine. Not sure if it is downloadable on BR too.

65 was a lousy year for India. It was a year of drought and misery and the war topped that. In those days it took years to recover from war and by the time the nation recovered - we were in the middle of the 1971 war.

Jagan's book is a timely one to remind us of those days.


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 18:32 
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I was in assam a small oil town called digboi and inmy primary schools . Comming just after 3 yrs of sino-indian war when we were really frightened and evacuated by RAF transport aircraft from Chabua air base . During 65 we were still made to leave digboi as it was considered a likely target ( now i fail to understand how pakistan could have stuck digboi even from east pakistan but remeber flying over a longer route from guahati to calcuta over the siliguri corridor instead of directly over dacca of east pakistan . What remeber most is death of Shastriji in taskant and subsequent taking over by free indias most glamorous prime minister -Indira gandhi .


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 21:22 
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Shiv:

Sounds like you are a couple of years older than me. My memory of the 62 war is that we were asked to forego Patakhas(firecrackers) during that Diwali and donate the money saved to the National Defense Fund.

Do you remember for sure if it was during the 65 war that Shastriji gave a call for the people to save food by giving up one meal a week (IIRC on Tuesday)? Or was it even before the war started?

65 was a terrible year for India because of the drought. Green Revolution had not made an impact yet. That is why it is all the more remarkable that Shastri showed the courage in taking the decision to launch the counter-attack on Paki teriitory after their incursions in Kashmir. It was not expected from the dimunitive, fill-gap Prime Minister of a starving, beggar country. And the Indian Armed Forces were also not considered to be capable of launching an attack on anybody. After all, their recent history had been all of running from the attackers in NEFA and Rann of Kutch.

I think the biggest positive from the 65 war was that the nation got its self-confidence back. 1965 ended on a high note. Then Shastriji died in January 1966 and then there was doom and gloom again.


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 21:32 
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How did Shastri die?


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 22:01 
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He died in tashkent in his sleep ... there is a theory that he was poisoned..


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 22:17 
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One speculation is that the Soviets knew that he was having a stroke in the night but could not inform since it would reveal that the room was bugged.

Another one is that there were too many chinese in the Tashkent conference and they may have been responsible. Homi Bhaba was also Killed in Jan in a plane crash.

Are there Chinese in photo
Image


There seemed to be a coordination between Chinese, Russians and Uncle before and after the war.


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PostPosted: 01 Sep 2005 22:57 
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I am not a taker for conspiracy theories but the bit about Shastris room being electronically bugged does ring a bell.

His heart attack may have been induced by the stress he was under. He was pressurised into 'giving back' a lot of territory (remember we 'got back' some of our territory too). And that may have something to do with it.

Its a choice - give away haji pir pass, and all the territory we had, otherwise we would not get akhnur, chamb and khem karan back. Regardless of how much enemy territory we hold, the very fact some parts of indian territory is in enemy hands rankles more in our hearts..


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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2005 00:03 
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I was in school and reading newspapers very avidly. All the names that Shiv writes about are etched in memory. In particular the bridge at Dera Baba Nanak which was blown up. There were many heroes and role models- the Keelor brothers, CQMH Abdul Hamid, Col Tarapore. News accounts of the raid on Badin. Came to know about a lot of equipments- Patton and Centurion tanks, RCL launchers, Gnats, Mystere jets, Sabre, 104 Starfighter, Canberra jet and so on and so forth.

AIR used to have a commentry by Melville deMello which was heard by all for the summary of the days events and his flowery prose. Came to develop lot of interest in war and strategy etc which I am still studying. I got the book by D.R. Mankekar "Twenty Two Days War" with my pocket money. It had neat maps of TSP bases etc but was in retrospect a hack job.
The Rann of Kutch was a bad prelude to the events of September 65.

The 1965 war was important in many ways. It was first time that India crossed the IB and carried the war to the enemy. In that respect it was a landmark event. The forces were just getting requipped after the 1962 debacle. Higher direction of war was not good due to inexperience of the nation in such matters and also diffidence that India could achieve any success.


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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2005 00:16 
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Quote:
How did Shastri die?


Acharya:

I remember reading a blurb in the Hindu in the 80s where there was a unconfirmed report that the Soviets had bugged Shastri's room and knew he had a heart attack the moment it happened.

It was in their interests to see IG become PM.


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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2005 03:02 
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Jagdish,

Welcome to BRF. Being a BC resident myself, I really enjoyed reading your post. As for me, I wasn't born yet in '65 but my family has told me stories of how they carried me (infant) under our house whenever the air raid sirens went off in '71. But that story is for another thread.

Richard


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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2005 04:37 
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I have very clear memories of the Goa operations, the Chinese operations and off course 1965. I had turned 10 and in 7th grade in 1965. I was reading newspapers by then even in 1962. We were liviing in Kanpur and it was a real hotbed. IAF and the few Army types( the Army had decreased its presence in Kanpur by then) had many kids in my class and school. Also for some reason many people were too indulgent to me in my young days and even though a civvy I had the run of the flight line at IAF Chakeri, and also the DRDO Labs in Kanpur. I am almost embarrased by the many kindnesses people of that time showed me in Kanpur. The war started with all sort of bad premonitions. It was a very hot summer and I had spent the summer bicycling over town collecting money for Bihar famine relief, old clothes etc. In these endeavours many kids from the KIAP program( Kanpur-Indo-American program that set up IIT/K) participated. No American family left eventhough the US state deptt. gave orders to leave. No American kid avoided school ( lest be caught in an air raid)and they shared in our miseries and our wins. The bad premonitions were shattered right away. Quasi-local boys screwed the shit out of the PAF, the Keelor brothers both from La Martiniere, Lucknow really sent everything soaring (old man Keelor ran a school , an upper primary in Lucknow). In Kanpur we hated dem blokes, too good in soccer and rugby and consistently had bashed the stuffing from our school, but boy I can still remember how proud both Denzil and Trevor made everybody feel. Then came the kills of Neb and boy this put us over the top. We had air-raid drillls at school but then most of us decided we would watch dogfights if they came about. There were lots of rumors, of paratroopers who would poison the water supply of the town. I must have heard of at least 8 incidents were "burqa" clad people were arrested with bottles of poison in the folds of their clothing. At night I once saw a satellite and to my young mind I was convinced it was a "chatha wallah( an umbrella man in the local argot)". A squadron leader had his son in my class, the son
is a senior IAF officer and he was an utter daredevil lets call him "Chow". He was on the NDA team that climbed Nun-Kun in 1970. The Illustrated Weekly of India did a focus on the team and "Chow" was called the "baby of the team". Chow claimed to bring the latest from Chakeri everyday, his reports became more upbeat as the war progressed. Very often I would see formations leave over our house at dusk going west and I am not sure where, "Chow" would say theye were on their way to plaster Peshawar, but the IAF hit Peshawar once, so you see it was heady time. But I can say that Chow did get someone to buzz our school playground eventhough we were sceptical. This cannot happen anymore, those days are gone.
Col. Lakshmi Saighal(of INA fame) organized a big booth at the Kanpur railway station.
My mother and I volunteered and teams of people would meet railway trains esp. the Assam Mail from the east, carrying troops and give them free tea, snacks and also
shaving kits, toothbrushes etc. However, the casualties would arrive at night and would disembark at a remote siding and be taken to the IAF base hospital in Kanpur Cantt.
I went with my mother on two occassion and wrote letters home in Hindi for those jawans
who could not write. Wng-Cdr Gupta was the hospital head and as I say people were too indulgent towards me. I remember a fairly seriously wounded jawan from Assal Uttar, he was in great pain but kept telling that he was williing to go back and kick the Paki backsides in.
One very low point for me was the first raid on Kalaikunda, didnt know where it was had to look it up, though in 5 years I would see it, and the naval shelling of Dwaraka.

Yes, the no rice day was a reality. In Dec 1965 I was travelling on Southern Express( now Dakshin Express) from Chennai back to Kanpur, those days Dakshin had just started and it was secondary train to Chennai. I think it was a Thursday
and the caterer said that we could have only bread and not chappati or rice for dinner and lunch.

5 years later I was in IIT/KGP and there everybody claimed esp. the old timers(those in the B.Arch and Naval Arch 5.5 years program) that they saw the dogfight and had parts of Cooke's kill stashed away, though I never saw any. Everybody claimed to have seen that one. The greatest gaspot a guy called Agnihotri was a B.Arch type still lives in Delhi
and he had the most outrageous tales to tell.


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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2005 21:16 
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There is a error in caption in a photograph on Page 4 of Second Kashmir War. The caption says Indian flag hoisted for the first time in Dera Baba Nanak, pakistan.
Dera Baba Nanak has always been with India. Fierce fighting took place near the village in '65 and '71 for the railway-cum-road bridge on the outskirts of the town which connects it to Pakistan.


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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2005 21:40 
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I was in Mahbub College Secunderabad when the war broke out, but during the actual war days I was attending amrriage in Vizag. As a family which had a lot of relatives in the Army in EME, allmof them had don diplomas (LME, LEE) and joined the army in 1962 emergency period recruitment of SSC officers, they were all serving in Punjab (sector).

I remember the story of one Subedar Raju who was cited as having shot down two Pakistani Sabre jets with AA guns (Bofors). SOme later used to joke that there were so many aiming at the a/c and they would some how bellow somke right after pasing over his guns.

I had for a long time preserved the gun camera shots of Keelor brothers exploits.
After this victory came the death of Shastri in Tashkent and the rumors that Russinas poisoned him...

The shortage of Rice, monday fastings etc were strictly enforced by mother as if it wasr martial law...


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PostPosted: 03 Sep 2005 04:10 
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Quote:
Umrao: I remember the story of one Subedar Raju who was cited as having shot down two Pakistani Sabre jets with AA guns (Bofors). SOme later used to joke that there were so many aiming at the a/c and they would some how bellow somke right after pasing over his guns.


I heard the story of Subedar Raju too!! I was in Jallandar, close to the cantonment. There was a rumor that some 'Chata Fauji' landed in a high school ground. Boy, hundreds of folks from the neighbourhood went to kill them. Funny, that no one was afraid. One of my cousin brothers was a tanker and lost his right leg when he got out of his tank to inspect a booby trap. Both in '65 and '71, lots of civilians actually crossed the border into Puke Punjab to do some 'good' work by truck loads.


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PostPosted: 03 Sep 2005 10:37 
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AmanC wrote:
There is a error in caption in a photograph on Page 4 of Second Kashmir War. The caption says Indian flag hoisted for the first time in Dera Baba Nanak, pakistan.
Dera Baba Nanak has always been with India. Fierce fighting took place near the village in '65 and '71 for the railway-cum-road bridge on the outskirts of the town which connects it to Pakistan.


Boss, I have made the change. Thanks for pointing out that error. Much appreciated.


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PostPosted: 03 Sep 2005 17:37 
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Prem wrote:
Quote:
Both in '65 and '71, lots of civilians actually crossed the border into Puke Punjab to do some 'good' work by truck loads.


Prem, sorry for being dense, but could you elaborate on this please?


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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2005 13:08 
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Prem must be refering to the looters. In 65, we took all care to return the occupied territory spick and span. The Pakistanis on the other hand, cleaned out everything, for example, all the rails, sleepers, signals even the kankar rock ballast on the khemkaran railway track. So in the next war, the army looked the other way....the looting was only prevalent in the 71 War.


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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2005 19:10 
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Friends, I'm doing a series on the 40th anniversary of the war for Hindustan Times in Chandigarh. We began on Sept 2 and so far 2 articles have appeared. But I'm afraid they are not available on net.
:cry:


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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2005 20:42 
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September 6th, of course, will mark 40 years since the Indian Army crossed the border - sending Ayub Khan into a panic and opening a new front.


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 12:36 
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BBC news site has a 'today in history' section running today

1965 India - Pakistan war

worth a read, particularly for the gov't spokesman says ... comments


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 18:58 
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Rediff has started a feature on the 1965 War

Image


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 19:00 
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Quote:
1965 decided fate of the subcontinent

September 06, 2005


Though the 1965 Indo-Pak war was only a medium-scale, limited war that lasted less than three weeks, it resulted in the Tashkent Agreement that brought about exchange of territories occupied by both sides.

It is largely seen as a stalemate in Pakistan and the rest of the world, but the 1965 war generated very significant consequences that decided the fate of the Indian subcontinent.

The Pakistani leadership carefully planned the war. It was meant to lead to a massive uprising in Kashmir engineered by sending in Pakistani infiltrators. Further, by clandestinely raising a second armoured division of relatively sophisticated Patton tanks, Pakistan aimed at a breakthrough in Punjab against the weak and obsolete Indian armour and wanted to cut off Jammu and Kashmir from India.

Field Marshal Ayub Khan also was planning to demonstrate -- in the wake of the Indian Army's debacle at Sela-Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh in November 1962 -- that one Pakistani was equal to 10 Indians in terms of military prowess.

His conviction was that the Hindu, when struck a timely and decisive blow, would not be able to stand up. His confidant Altaf Gauhar has recorded this in Ayub Khan's biography.
:twisted:
Pakistan had China's support. When Islamabad appealed for support, Beijing did try to apply pressure on New Delhi by delivering a not very credible ultimatum to India.

The Americans were well informed about the possibility of Pakistani infiltration into Kashmir and the subsequent offensive months in advance, as has been recorded by the then Central Investigative Agency operative in India, Duane Claridge, in his book A Man for All Seasons.

The American military and political establishment had concluded that in case of a war, Pakistan would win.
:-P
The Pentagon and Harvard University played a war game at the Institute of Defence Analysis, Washington, DC, in March 1965. The war game and its results were available in a book, Crisis Game by Sidney Giffin, by the spring of 1965.

The total failure of the Kashmir uprising, the complete destruction of the Pakistani Patton Armoured division at Khem Karan in Punjab and the Pakistan Army running out of ammunition and being saved from total humiliation through the UN ceasefire constitute a turning point in the history of India-Pakistan relations.

Having engineered the war and seen it result in a disaster, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto turned against his benefactor Ayub Khan and blamed him for the Tashkent Agreement. His propaganda was that Ayub Khan threw away a military victory.

The Pakistani people were not informed about the failure of Operation Gibraltar, the attempted infiltration into Kashmir and thereafter of Operation Grand Slam, the attack on Jammu. The Indian counterattack in the Lahore sector was depicted as Indian aggression. The decimation of the Pakistani armoured division by a poorly armed Indian armoured brigade through superior tactics at Khem Karan was also not told to the Pakistani people.

But all these attempts at obfuscation did not deceive a leader like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, considered the father of Bangladesh. When the question was raised about the security of what was then East Pakistan vis-à-vis India in case of another war, Bhutto, as foreign minister, implied in his answer that Pakistan depended on Beijing to ensure the security of that part of its territory.

That led Rahman to ask for greater autonomy from Islamabad and to formulate his six points which became the basis for the subsequent secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

The 1965 war also led to an embargo of US arms supplies to Pakistan. Islamabad's use of American arms against India was against the assurances given by President Dwight Eisenhower to Jawaharlal Nehru that in case Pakistan used US-supplied arms against India, necessary corrective action would follow.

Though the US bureaucracy and the Pentagon were prepared to look the other way if Pakistan had won the war, they found it difficult to overlook the miserable performance of Pakistani armour at Khem Karan. Pakistan therefore turned to China and France for re-equipment of its forces. After 1965, China became the foremost supplier of arms to Pakistan.

From Bhutto's death cell testimony, it also becomes clear that Pakistan initiated its discussions with China on acquiring nuclear weapon technology around 1965. Bhutto talked of completing his 11-year-long negotiations successfully in 1976. It would not be incorrect to say that the Chinese-Pakistani strategy of containing India began in the aftermath of 1965 war.

Pakistan drew correct lessons from the failure of Operation Gibraltar when the Kashmiris did not rise against India in consequence to large-scale infiltration of Pakistani commandos into the Kashmir valley. They bided their time and in the late 1980s trained disaffected Kashmiris, who crossed over into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, in arms and infiltrated them back.

That this strategy too did not wholly succeed is a different story but it did begin the prolonged proxy war against India in Kashmir.

Pakistan also discovered it was not difficult to run rings around the conditions of American arms supplies and hide things from US inspection teams. They were able to covertly raise a second armoured division in 1965. Unfortunately for them it did not give them the victory in Punjab they expected. The second armoured division met its defeat at Khem Karan.

Pakistan used this experience of getting around US procedures in the 1980s to divert American arms -- meant for Afghans fighting Soviet forces -- to arm the various jihadi militias and to install the Taliban regime in Kabul.

On the Indian side too, the 1965 war led to significant results. The Indian Army failed to assess intelligence effectively in respect of construction of aqueducts under the Ichogil canal (that runs from India to Lahore) and on Pakistan covertly raising a second armoured division. Thus, the external and internal intelligence collection and reporting were bifurcated. A dedicated external intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing -- was created.

An ill-advised reorganisation proposal in respect of Indian armour – increasing light armour and reducing medium armour –- strongly espoused by General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri before the war, was given up. The Indo-Soviet arms supply relationship got reinforced and the Soviet Union became the sole supplier of arms for India.

Though it is not much written about, India intensified its support to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his Awami League in their demands for greater economy from Islamabad.

The 1965 war demonstrated that the 1962 debacle was not a reflection on the Indian Army but was the result of inadequacies in a few top inexperienced generals. It also proved that Indian unity was solid while Pakistan was vulnerable to divisive forces.
It brought out that American short-term Cold War calculations overrode Washington's commitment to democracy.

It also highlighted that the US establishment had very wrong assessments about the Indian leadership, the Indian Army and India's ability to survive as a Union and grow into a major power.
:twisted:
The legendary K Subrahmanyam is the doyen of India's strategic thinkers.



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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 19:26 
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From Dawn http://www.dawn.com/2005/09/06/nat2.htm


Nur Khan reminisces ’65 war


By Our Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Sept 5: Air Marshal (retired) Nur Khan, the man who led the airforce achieve complete superiority over the three times bigger Indian airforce on the very first day of the 1965 war, had all but resigned the post the very day that he took command of Pakistan Air Force on July 23, 1965.

“Rumours about an impending operation were rife but the army had not shared the plans with other forces,” Air Marshal Nur Khan said. Sharing his memoirs with Dawn on the 40th anniversary of 1965 war, Air Marshal Khan said that he was the most disturbed man on the day, instead of feeling proud.

Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan while handing over the command to Nur Khan had not briefed him about any impending war because he was not aware of it himself. So, in order to double check, Nur Khan called on the then Commander-in-Chief, General Musa Khan.

Under his searching questions Gen Musa wilted and with a sheepish smile admitted that something was afoot. Nur Khan’s immediate reaction was that this would mean war. But, Gen Musa said you need not to worry as according to him Indians would not retaliate. Then he directed a still highly skeptical Nur Khan to Lt-Gen Akhtar Hasan Malik, GOC Kashmir, the man in-charge of “Operation Gibraltar” for further details. The long and short of his discussion with Gen Malik was, “don’t worry, because the plan to send in some 800,000 infiltrators inside the occupied territory to throw out the Indian troops with the help of the local population”, was so designed that the Indians would not be able retaliate and therefore the airforce need not get into war-time mode.

A still incredulous Nur Khan was shocked when on further inquiry he found that except for a small coterie of top generals, very few in the armed forces knew about “Operation Gibraltar”. He asked himself how good, intelligent and professional people like Musa and Malik could be so naive, so irresponsible.

For the air marshal, it was unbelievable. Even the then Lahore garrison commander had not been taken into confidence. And Governor of West Pakistan, Malik Amir Mohammad Khan of Kalabagh did not know what was afoot and had gone to Murree for vacations.

It was at this point that he felt like resigning and going home. But then he thought such a rash move would further undermine the country’s interests and, therefore, kept his cool and went about counting his chickens — the entire airforce was too young and too inexperienced to be called anything else then — and gearing up his service for the D-day.

The miracle that the PAF achieved on September 6, to a large extent, is attributed to Nur Khan’s leadership. He led his force from up front and set personal example by going on some highly risky sorties himself. But then no commander, no matter how daring and how professional, can win a battle if his troops are not fully geared to face such challenges and that too within 43 days of change in command.

The full credit for turning the PAF into a highly professional and dedicated fighting machine goes to Air Marshal Asghar Khan who was given charge of the service in 1957. Thank God, unlike the other service no darbari or sifarishi was given the job. And by the time he left on July 23, 1965, Asghar Khan had turned the PAF into a well-oiled, highly professional and dedicated fighting machine and had trained them on the then best US made fighters, bombers and transport planes. Those who flew those machines and those who maintained them on ground worked like a team, and each one of the PAF member performed beyond the call of duty to make a miracle.

The PAF performance had crucially allowed the Army to operate without interference from the Indian airforce.

The performance of the Army did not match that of the PAF mainly because the leadership was not as professional. They had planned the ‘Operation Gibraltar’ for self-glory rather than in the national interest. It was a wrong war. And they misled the nation with a big lie that India rather than Pakistan had provoked the war and that we were the victims of Indian aggression”, Air Marshal Khan said.

When on the second day of war President Gen Ayub wanted to know how we were faring, Musa informed him that the Army had run out of even ammunition. That was the extent of preparation in the Army. And the information had shocked Gen Ayub so much that it could have triggered his heart ailment, which overtook him a couple of years later.

This in short is Nur Khan’s version of 1965 war, which he calls an unnecessary war and says that President Ayub for whom he has the greatest regard should have held his senior generals accountable for the debacle and himself resigned.

This would have held the hands of the adventurers who followed Gen Ayub. Since the 1965 war was based on a big lie and was presented to the nation a great victory, the Army came to believe its own fiction and has used since, Ayub as its role model and therefore has continued to fight unwanted wars — the 1971 war and the Kargil fiasco in 1999, he said.

In each of the subsequent wars we have committed the same mistakes that we committed in 1965.

Air Marshal Khan demanded that a truth commission formed to find out why we failed in all our military adventures. It is not punishment of the failed leadership that should be the aim of the commission but sifting of facts from fiction and laying bare the follies and foibles of the irresponsible leaders in matters with grave implications for the nation. It should also point out the irregularities committed in training and promotions in the defence forces in the past so that it is not repeated in future.

Mr Khan believes that our soldiers when called upon have fought with their lives but because of bad leadership their supreme sacrifices went waste. And after every war that we began we ended up taking dictation from the enemy — at Tashkant, at Simla and lastly at Washington.

He said at present Pakistan is engaged in another war, this time in Waziristan. This war can also end up in a fiasco and politically disastrous for the federation if it is fought with the same nonchalance and unprofessionally as we did the last three wars.

He, therefore, called for an immediate change of command at the GHQ insisting that President Gen Pervez Musharraf should appoint a full-time Chief of Army Staff and restore full democracy in the country. He suggested appointment of an independent chief election commissioner in consultation with all the political parties.

“Look at India. There a religious party comes in power and nobody cries foul and it goes out of power and nobody alleges rigging. We can also do this,” he added.

And we must make unified efforts to restore the country in the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam. Turn it into a non-theocratic and truly democratic state. And all the three forces should model themselves on the lines set by Asghar Khan when he was commanding the PAF, he suggested.


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From Bhutto's death cell testimony, it also becomes clear that Pakistan initiated its discussions with China on acquiring nuclear weapon technology around 1965. Bhutto talked of completing his 11-year-long negotiations successfully in 1976. It would not be incorrect to say that the Chinese-Pakistani strategy of containing India began in the aftermath of 1965 war.

Is this information available anywhere or is this the first time quoted here.


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 20:02 
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Quote:
Having engineered the war and seen it result in a disaster, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto turned against his benefactor Ayub Khan and blamed him for the Tashkent Agreement. His propaganda was that Ayub Khan threw away a military victory.


Replace 1965 with Kargil episode
Mushy starts the war and then sends Sherif (Badmash) into exile in Dubai.

Pakis are creatures of their own bad habits


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 20:17 
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Actually guys - KSub is telling us something very important.

The US inherited the pessimistic assessment of the former British colonial administration that India's survival as a single country was not in the interests of great powers and the India was actually quite weak as a nation and few well aimed blows would bring the place down. The idea was to use Pakistan to hit India now and then - and with luck it would cause India to break up into manageable bits. Ofcourse this was not an accurate assessment - it was just general anger among the Brits at being kicked out by freedom movement - or perhaps the Brits were setting the Americans up for a hard fall (who knows.. never put it past the brits to do something like that...)

1965 proved that despite the careful buildup of Pakistan - the Pakistanis were actually thoroughly incompetent when it came to doing anything meaningful. This was probably quite clear to their instructors in the American military but not so clear to the people at Foggy Bottom and elsewhere in the establishment. The result is that the Pakistanis charged off to war with all sorts of promises and then came up short.

This forced a realization in the Americans that the Pakistanis could not be counted upon to prevail in a shooting war against the Indians. The Pakistani failure had an added problem that it actually strengthened India internally and caused it to realize that Pakistan was now being specifically fostered to militarily harass India. Those people in India who thought that the war of 1948 was an extension of the partition rioting - and that the US was a major friend of India - recieved a rude awakening. In some complex way I feel that the war of 1965 shaped India's perspective on Pakistan as a proxy for western powers - and that fed the need to liberate Bangladesh. But that was not the half of it.

Because the Pakistanis failed to defeat the Indian Army that most Americans considered equipped with old and outdated equipment - their stock dropped in American eyes and from that point on took a very limited view of the Pakistanis in the regional context. They will strictly allies of convenience - and not allies in any greater sense. This sort of thing works very well with a country like the US which relied heavily on the notion of its technology being superior to the USSRs. The Pakistanis by losing despite having high quality US arms aid - created doubt in everyone's minds about the utility of American arms and American training. Thus to preserve confidence in the superiority of the american arms and training - the Pakistanis were discredited as being poor students.

I guess that should tell you where Yeager is coming from.


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 20:44 
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The PTI picks up on the Nur Khan story


A word from Pak: 1965 was wrong'
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/arti ... 222586.cms
http://ww1.mid-day.com/news/world/2005/ ... 118056.htm

..etc


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2005 21:07 
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The Nur Khan story.........

Check out the opening line of that article. Sacrilege! They scaled down from 1 TFTA Momin = 10 SDRE yindoo axiom.

And look, the FizzleYa was an innocent Virgin Airline onlee. Baaaad Baad army lie to Abduls. Stupid army went in without Golis and Phatakas. Incompetent army turn tail. But PAF virgins were "well oiled" and professional and eager for encounter onlee. PAF was on CAP and CAS 72 hours a day onlee.....

We have the usual "Politicians threw away our victoreeeeeee. BooHoo!"

And many more nuggets from the horses mouth!

He wants Democracy in TSP, eh?
Tauba Tauba, how can the Fauji Corpn make more of those pleasant, psychedelic peasant-skin lampshades if they do that? :P


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September 7th marks the 40th anniversary of the attack on Sargodha AFS. This is also the date where Squadron Leader (later ) M M Alam, PAF supposedly made his '5 Hunters in a single pass' story. This has been later disputed and proven to be untrue, from the PAF itself!

30 Seconds Over Sargodha {The Making of a Myth}


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PostPosted: 07 Sep 2005 10:53 
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http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.as ... 2005_pg3_1
VIEW: Lessons of the 1965 war


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Just got a chance to lay my hand on the book, "The Partition Omnibus". The first section, "Prelude to Partition" starts with the following by David Page:

The question had become important to me during a year spent at Edwardes College Peshawar in the mid 1960s teaching English and History for the British charity, Voluntary Service Overseas. It was just after the 1965 war between India and Pakistan and the college garden bore witness to hurried and very amteur efforts to create some kind of air raid shelter. Most of the staff and students were still talking about the days the Indian jets came over to bomb the Pakistan Airforce Headquarters. The 1965 war lasted only twenty three days and came to an end as a result of Soveit mediation, but most Pakistanis were proud that they had held their own against their much larger adversary. It was commonly boasted by my students-and by Pakistanis in general- that one Pakistani soldier was worth nine Indians; that Muslims were better fighters than Hindus-the kind of bravado that the experience of Bangladesh was later to silence.


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2005 18:21 
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1 of 4 Part series

http://us.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/08war1.htm

Wonder how come there is a Brigadier in PAF, they usually follow the same norm as the IAF (i.e., British rather than American)


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2005 20:36 
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x-posted form the TSP news and discussion thread by Harish.

Quote:
TSP Brigadier speaks on the 1965 war. First of a four part series in rediff. Let's see how many lies come out! Posting in full below.

The Rediff Special/Brigadier Shaukat Qadir (retd)
Operation Gibraltar: Battle that never was
September 08, 2005


Brigadier Shaukat Qadir (retd), who served in the Pakistan Air Force during the 1965 war, begins a four-part analysis of that war.


Today: Operation Gibraltar

Unfortunately most of our history, particularly that relating to the conduct of military operations, remains shrouded in mystery, since none of the actual details is made public. Consequently, even those like myself who possess some knowledge of the actual events need to piece these together with educated speculations to fill in the gaps. Today, 40 years after this war, the true story remains untold.

Within the military an effort has been made to detail and analyse the actual events, but even these efforts might not be the whole truth, nor have they been made public. Therefore, those who choose to read this version with skepticism might be more sensible than those who consider this an accurate version, but I will attempt to relate the events as I am aware of them. If these read like a comedy of errors, I can only suggest that occasionally truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Early the same year Pakistan army had successfully defended itself against the Indian attempted incursion in the Rann of Kutch, but that chapter was closed since the dispute had been referred for arbitration. Why therefore should Pakistan embark on a venture that might lead to war remains an unanswered question to date, particularly when we were aware that such a venture in which we were considered the aggressor would result in the severance of aid from the US, which ultimately happened?

It is a matter of historical record that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, then foreign minister, convinced Ayub Khan, the president, that the Indian response to our incursions in Kashmir would not be across the international boundary and would be confined to Kashmir.

He must have offered powerful diplomatic arguments as forcefully and articulately as he could, but despite that I find it difficult to comprehend how Ayub accepted such an argument which was militarily untenable and, while Ayub could be accused of many things, he was far from being militarily unwise.

Secondly, the undertaking of guerrilla operations necessitate special conditions, not only must the terrain be suitable, which it was, but there must be guaranteed local support, without which guerrilla operations are not sustainable. Preferably there should be a preliminary reconnaissance and liaison which sets the ground for such an operation.

For some obscure reason, Pakistan undertook Operation Gibraltar, without preparing the grounds for it, or seeking guarantees of local support, or even attempting to assess the mood of the Kashmiri people. They only relied on the assessment offered by some adventurous element of Kashmiris from Azad Kashmir without verifying this assessment. One cannot but wonder why? What was the reason for such haste, even if such an adventure was to be undertaken? I am afraid that I can only speculate an answer to that question.

1965 witnessed a number of events. First, two of Ayub's sons kidnapped the daughter of the IG Police. This was more than even the ever loyal Nawab of Kalabagh could bear and, when Ayub prevented him from taking any action, he resigned.

1965 was also the year that Ayub contested the elections against Fatima Jinnah. Personally speaking, her election to office would have been disastrous and, in my opinion, Ayub would have won any way.

Nonetheless, not only did two of his sons open fire on demonstrators in Karachi killing 30-odd people and wounding many more, but it was commonly accepted that the elections had been rigged. There were also a number of other incidents that began to come to light in this period, relating to Ayub's nepotism.

As a consequence of all these events, Ayub had lost a lot of political ground. Perhaps he felt that by becoming the liberator of Kashmir he would redeem himself in the eyes of the people, or that through such a venture he hoped to unite the people, for there is little doubt that there has never been greater unity in the country than in the period of the war and immediately after.

Whatever his reasons, Pakistan went into Operation Gibraltar without any preliminary preparations and undertook a guerrilla operation inside Indian held Kashmir with a large number of regular soldiers, some SSG elements and a smattering of irregulars, expecting to be welcomed by the local population and raise them up in arms against the Indian government.

They were destined to be rudely disillusioned.

Far from rising up in arms, the local population denied any support and, in many instances handed over the infiltrators to Indian troops. An act for which they should not be held to blame in any way, since by then they were reconciled to staying within the Indian Union and Pakistan had made no preparations for such a venture.


It was to take another 24 years for them to rise indigenously against the Indian Union. Gibraltar soon became a disaster. The majority of the infiltrators were captured by the Indian troops, though some managed to ex-filtrate.

In 1965, the division responsible for the defense of Kashmir and Northern Areas had about 400 miles to defend and was stretched thin on the ground. Gibraltar necessitated the release of more troops for infiltration, since acclimatization was a major consideration and these were the only troops acclimatized to operate in the inhospitable terrain of Kashmir.

The failure of Gibraltar was followed by a number of Indian assaults on various posts held by the Pakistan army which fell to the Indians. Major General Akhtar Malik, the divisional commander, was an intelligent and bold commander who led from the front.

However, in this situation there was little that he could do; stretched thin on ground, with little or no reserves, with a front of 400 miles to cover, he could not even reach the localities under attack, let alone influence events in any way. Since Gibraltar had been planned to succeed, there were no contingencies catering for its failure, another inexplicable oversight, since all militaries are taught to consider all possibilities and be prepared for the one they have not thought of. It was in this environment that Operation Grand Slam was launched to set things right.


Qadir wonders what prompted Ayub to launch the twin operations. A clue might be found in an article in Foreign Affairs written by Ayub Khan in May 1964(or 63?) where he whines about the US aid to India would reduce the Indian window of vulnerability as it modernizes its military. Please go thru the back issues to find this and a couple of articles by J.L. Nehru in 1963 and Mrs G in 1977. I am still looking for the landmark article that Nehru wrote in Foreign Affiars in 1939 outlining the FP of an independent India.
The international response to the Rann of Kutch episode in early 1965 confirmed their chances of prying Kashmir. At that time the UK stepped in and forced arbitration. So it was a case of TSP winning either way- on ground or in arbitration panel.


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2005 21:23 
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http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstor ... sid=147597

The year was 1965
Forty years down the line, these men of honour recollect a war that changed the course of history.
Jaskiran Kaur & Sheveta Aggarwal

---------------------------------------------------

On a different note, shaukat qadir was from the Pak Army. I guess REdiff made a typo


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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2005 23:31 
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Will it be proper to say that Gen. Choudhary almost belw the war for us (retreat till Beas!! Give me a break) and it was Gen Harbax Singh who carried the day for us in 1965.

rgds,
fanne


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