Pakistan over the years have become a country of people fed with Lies, Propaganda and Conspiracy Theories. The education which they receive in schools/madrasas totally represents the mind set of a defeated Army General who will tell his troops that we lost the war, not because we were weak, But the other guys were strong and conspired, above all its their Fault that we LOST! Pakistan and Pakistanis are taught some False Glory about their history which starts from Advent of Islam ends at Mughal era, the selective History issue is known to the Pakistanis as well and is a matter of debate in pakistan. Pakistan makes its already naive and gullible Awam believe that they are the protectors of muslim world, which surely is not the case, as we all know how US Drones are bombing pakistan day in day out, similarly with complete dependence on US funds to run its already defunct Economy; only a naive person can think pakistan as an iota of power after faring miserably in all wars. Glorification of False victories is something they love to force into their already emotional Awam, which over a period of time has lost all objectivity and any scope of being debated with!
Now In a war scenario, how do u define a Victory:
1) The enemy surrenders (pakistan proudly did that in 1971)
2) You thwart enemy offensive/infiltration with teeth (already achieved in Kargil and 1965)
3) The Country/Army which captures the maximum land (that was the case almost all wars including in 1947)
Now the comparative analysis of 1965 below, clearly shows India conquered more fertile and prosperous land of pakistan, while pakistan sneaked into Thar and Kutch.
Casualties : 3,000 Indian soldiers 3,800 Pakistani soldiers
Combat flying effort: 4,073+ combat sorties 2,279 combat sorties
Aircraft lost: 35 IAF (official), 73 PAF.Other sources based on the Official Indian Armed Forces History put actual IAF losses at 30 including 19 accidents (non combat sortie rate is not known) and PAF's combat losses alone at 43. 19 PAF, 104 IAF 20 PAF, Pakistan claims India rejected neutral arbitration. (Singh, Pushpindar (1991). Fiza ya, Psyche of the Pakistan Air Force. Himalayan Books. ISBN 81-7002-038-7. )
Land area won: 1,500 mi2 (3,885 km2) of Pakistani territory 250 mi˛ (648 km˛) of Indian territory, Some neutral claims India held 710 mi˛(1,1840 km˛) of Pakistani territory and Pakistan held 210 mi˛(545 km˛) of Indian territory
Conclusion: India had captured more land, which it had to return to Pakistan after the war. This proves the fact that India won and pakistani propaganda machinery Failed miserably (again) with its defeatist notion of 1 pakistani equivalent to 10 Indians; even defeat after defeat.
Regarding the 1965 war, the descriptions by the then British HC, many other local and foreign knowledgeable people, and most recently by Lt-Gen Mehmood Ahmad (The Illusion of Victory, 1965 War) gave the impression which I mentioned. I do hope I am wrong and Mr Hussein is correct, as there is a universal conception that we have not won a single war.
Today, over a hundred and fifty million Pakistanis celebrate the 42nd Defense of Pakistan Day. It was 6th of September 1965 when Pakistans armed forces faced off against Indias in the first full-scale war between the two countries. Much to the credit of the brave men (and women) in uniform that dayand for next 2-3 weeks following thatthe enemy attack on the City of Lahore was repulsed and the General J. N. Chaudharys dream of having his drink at Lahore Gymkhana on the evening of September the 6th was squashed.
Tomorrow, the country celebrates the Airforce Day to pay tribute to the defenders of the countrys air space. PAFs performance during the 1965 War was truly remarkable given the comparative state of balance between the two airforces. It managed to shoot down 110 of Indias aircrafts while itself incurring the loss of only 18 of its own. Not only did PAF establish itself as a qualitatively superior airforce in the 1965 War but also established its credentials as one of the best airforces of the world.
While much has been written, by official and unofficial quarters, on the history of the 1965 War and a lot more continues to be written every year, there are several gross misconceptions about this event in Pakistans history that need to be tackled with and addressed. In Pakistan, ever since (or soon after) its creation in 1947, the writing of history has been an almost exclusive domain of the establishment whereby an official doctrine or mythology is often disseminated to ensure a homogeneity of thought and conformity of actions.
Noted historian, K. K. Aziz, in his Murder of History: A Critique of History Textbooks Used in Pakistan (1998) notes that:
In Pakistani schools and colleges what is being taught as history is really national mythology, and the subjects of Social Studies and Pakistan Studies are nothing but vehicles of political indoctrination. Our children dont learn history. They are ordered to read a carefully selected collection of falsehoods, fairy tales and plain lies.
The myth and mystery around the 1965 War is no exception. One would not be surprised that a normalperhaps even average college educatedPakistani believesor is led to believethat on Sept 6th 1965, India invaded Pakistan (specifically Lahore) and that once thrust into this battle, Pakistan came out to be victorious over its archrival. Both of these facts, on close examination, are quite far from reality. True, India did attack Lahore on September 6th 1965, but it was not the one to force a war on Pakistan in the first place. It was Pakistans provocation in the form of Operation Gibralter that led India towards opening the Western front in Pakistan.
It is also true that by the end of the 3rd week of war, both countries had found themselves in a virtual military stalemate. While Pakistans armed forces had successfully defended Lahorethanks, primarily to men like Raja Aziz Bhatti who, despite the failure of leadership at the top-most levels, gave up their lives but not inch of the countrys territory, but also due to the strategic position of the BRB Canal that formed a natural defense for Lahoreall of Pakistans offensive maneuvers had come to a naught.
The Operation Gibralter that began in May-June of 1965 to take Indian territory in Kashmir and create an insurgency and popular uprising in the region was frustrated. This launched Operation Grand Slam that was aimed at cutting the Jammu-Rajouri road at Akhnur and to ultimately capture the latter. This operation was unnecessary delayed because of a change in top-military commandera change widely perceived as unwarranted at that time. Despite these delays, however, as Pakistani troops gained some territory, India launched a full-scale offensive aimed at Lahore (0530 hrs on the 6th) and Sialkot (night between 7th and 8th). The rest as they say is history.
In the ground war itself, there was a military stalemate on virtually all, northern (Kashmir), central ( Lahore), and southern, axes. At the time of the ceasefire, India held 450 square miles of Pakistans territory and Pakistan held 1600 square miles of Indian territory. General K. M. Arif, in his book Khaki Shadows, though, highlights that the Indian land gains were mainly in the fertile Sialkot and Kashmir sectors while Pakistani land gains were primarily in deserts opposite Sindh. While Pakistan came out with better numbers in terms of casualties (dead, injured, and missing) and equipment losses, it hardly was victorious as is often claimed by the establishment. Unless you define victory as being able to defend oneself during an offensive operation hardly a definition indeed.
Apart from the unfortunate myth about who actually started the war itself, another factor that has received much less attention, and for obvious reasons, is why it was started in the first place. At the time of the 1965 War, Pakistan did not really have a full-time Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. General Ayub Khan was, at best, a part-time military commander, as he was too engaged in political affairs of the country. He had chosen General Musa Khan as his full-time Chief of Army Staff but only on the basis of his loyalty to the former rather than merit, competency or professionalism. This lack of leadership and competency at the highest levels of Pakistans military during the 1965 became legendary and is well-documented.
This was also something that was consequently taken advantage of by none other that Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Bhutto was, at the time of the 1965 war, at the peak of his power as Ayubs foreign minister and a foreign policy hawk, par excellence. He single handedly molded the opinion of the foreign office and his friends at the GHQ to plan operation Gibralter. Ayub was informed about the plans but only to an extent.
Most importantly, Bhutto and his colleagues at the GHQ were able to dupe everyone who mattered into believing that capturing Kashmir was in sight, that an insurgency would immediately create an uprising, and that India would never declare full-scale war on Pakistan. Ayubs indifference to this whole affair can be estimated from the fact that the Supreme Commander was vacationing in Swat during the last week of August 1965 when Pakistani troops were dying in Kashmir.
Each one of the above assumptions was grossly incorrect and both Ayub and Pakistan paid a heavy price for it. For his part, Bhutto was able to walk away from his created mess and managed to turn the tide against Ayub and actually benefit from the situation. The 1965 War was the turning point of Ayubs career at the helm. Bhutto rode this wave of dissatisfaction with the war as well as the Tashkent Agreement to power in 1970.
Setting the record straight on what the 1965 War was all about, who started it, and why did it get started is not only a important constitutional right of Pakistani citizens but also is critical to learning from our own mistakes. Unfortunately, that is something that Pakistan has never been good at. General K. M. Arif in Khaki Shadows writes that in the immediate aftermath of the 1965 War Pakistan suffered a loss of a different kind Soon after the War the GHQ ordered all the formations and units of the Pakistan Army to destroy their respective war diaries and submit completed reports to this effect by a given date. This was done?Their [the war diaries'] destruction, a self-inflicted injury and an irreparable national loss, was intellectual suicide.
Clearly, the political-military nexus had an interest in ensuring that nobody should find out what actually happened during the 1965 War the former because of its incompetence and lack of leadership and the latter because of its culpability in taking Pakistan to war. While considerable second-hand material has become available since then, first hand information and accounts of the war remain a national secret whose disseminator could be charged under the Official Secrets Act. The organizational and legal paraphernalia to ensure that nobody ever learns from this tragic event in Pakistans history is complete and foolproof.
What could have happened differently if Pakistanis had actually learnt from what happened before, during, and after the 1965 War?
One, Mr. Bhutto would probably have found it difficult to ride the wave of anti-Ayub discontent as easily as he did for he was equally, if not more, culpable for what was solely blamed on Ayub Khan.
Two, Mr. Bhutto would not have found it as easy to continue to befriend army generals and exercise the kind of influence at GHQ that he did during the 1971 debacle. Perhaps Pakistan would have been intact.
Three, the army leadership would have received its fair share of blame for its professional incompetence, and preoccupation with civilian and political affairs at the expense of their military duty.
Four, Perhaps Pakistan would have learnt its lessons and Kargil-II (1965 War was, in fact, Operation Kargil-I) would not have happened. Consequently, Sharif government would not have been toppled and Musharraf would have been living a retired existence for the last 5 years.
The chain of causalities run fairly deep and dense in Pakistans history. Our inability and unwillingness to learn from our own mistakes merely reinforces these events and brings us closer to a newand more challengingdisaster every time. The 1965 War should be remembered as a day of courage and sacrifice of Pakistani peoplemost notably our men and women in uniformwho were wronged by their civilian and military leaders, but more importantly it should be remembered as a missed opportunity to learn and improve our lot.That is the test we continue to fail each year.
About the Author: Dr. Athar Osama is a public policy analyst and an amateur historian of Pakistans political and constitutional history. He also the Founder of the Understanding Pakistan Project.
CHANDIGARH: Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, who took over as Chief of Air Staff on August 1, 1964, regrets that the 1965 Indo-Pak war was "too short."
The 86-year-old Cranwell-trained Arjan Singh, who was the first officer of the Indian Air Force to don the tapes of Air Chief Marshal soon after the war, told TOI, "I was perhaps made the Air Chief Marshal for leading the air force through the war. However, the full capabilities of the IAF were not realised during the 1965 war. Unfortunately, the ceasefire was announced prematurely due to international pressure."
The 1965 war broke out barely a year after Arjan Singh had taken over the IAFâs reins at the young age of 44.
Arjan Singh, who retired in August 1969, said, "Pak Sabre jets had the capabilities to fire air-to-air missiles in 1965, but we were at a disadvantage as only a...
... few newly-acquired MiG-21s had that potential. We lost a large number of slow-flying Vampires. Had the war lasted longer, we could have inflicted greater damage on the Pakistanis."
The non-use of offensive air power by India against the Chinese in 1962 also disappointed Arjan Singh, who was conferred the five-star rank in January 2002. He said the IAF fighter aircraft were decidedly superior to the Chinese and use of air power would have given Indian soldiers a psychological advantage.
"It remains in the realm of speculation whether India could have changed the outcome of the 1962 war. But we would have certainly fared better had the IAF taken part. However, politicians did not want to widen the war by using air power,"said Arjan Singh, who held the office of Air Chief for five years, the longest for any service chief.
Arjan Singhâs first brush with the enemy came in 1940-41 when he flew the Westland Wapiti biplanes in the North Western Frontier Province against the tribals.
He said, "The Pathans were great warriors and even great friends. Though we bombed them during the day, their jirgas (elected leaders) invited us for feasts at night."
NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan, who made the sensational allegation that an India Brigadier had sold India's 1965 war plan to his country for Rs 20,000, has claimed that the official was then a director of military operations.
Khan, son of former Pakistan Commander-in-Chief and President Ayub Khan, said the plan which was "sold" between 1951 and 1958 formed the basis of his country's military campaign in the 1965 war.
Khan in an interview on CNBC made it clear that he had been told about the plan by his father and the man who allegedly sold it was director of India's military operations between 1951 and 1958.
Asked by interviewer Karan Thapar whether he agreed that only a Brigadier in the Directorate of Military Operations (DGMO) would have access to the plan, he replied "correct".
To a question whether this person headed the DGMO at that time, he said "usually you do not post two Brigadiers in one organisation."
When Thapar asked whether he was pointing his finger at five Brigadiers who served as director between 1951-58, Khan said "that would be correct."
However, Khan declined to divulge the name....
.... Of the five Brigadiers who served as directors of military operations during the period, one went on to become Army chief, one Vice Chief, a third Army Commander and two Generals.
Official records show that between 1947 and 1965, the Directorate of Military Operations was headed only by brigadier-level officers: Brigadier (now Field Marshal) Sam Manekshaw, G G Bewoor (retired as Army Chief), D C Noronha (retired as Major General), D K Palit (retired as Major General), N C Rawlley (retired as Lt General), Narinder Singh (retired as Major General).
Rawlley and Narinder Singh headed the MO after the 1962 India-China conflict and during the build-up to 1965 operations.
Of these former DMOs, only Manekshaw, Palit and Narinder Singh were then brigadiers and are around.
However, Khan declined to divulge the name. Of the five Brigadiers who served as directors of military operations during the period, one went on to become Army chief, one Vice Chief, a third Army Commander and two Generals.
Despite making major mistakes, the Indian armed forces displayed tactical superiority to hold the balance in the 1965 war
As described in âFrom Gibraltar to Grand Slamâ (IE, December 10), for Pakistanâs 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 Khanâs principal confidant and biographer, Altaf Gauhar, the envoy started by telling him: âMr President, the Indians have got you by the throat.â Khan replied: âAny hands on Pakistanâs throat would be cut off.â He still believed that on the battlefield, Pakistan âwould defeat the Hinduâ.
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. Pakistanâs greatest folly was to go on lying to its own people, telling them that the Indian invaders were being âthrown outâ. 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 wasnât 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: âThere 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.â
In any case, Pakistanâs 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 Punjabâs 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. Pakistanâs 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: âWhile 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.â Khan wanted to know, writes Gauhar, how long it would take for the battlefield to be submerged. âThe GHQ had no clue.â Ghulam Ishaq Khan, then heading the water and power authority, was of some help. âAt this juncture Ayub discovered, to his dismay, that General Nasir, the commander of the operation, had relied on old survey maps.â
âThe Khem Karan counter-offensive,â concludes Gauhar, âran aground on September 11, and with that collapsed Pakistanâs entire military strategy. For Pakistan, the war was over.â
If the massive Pakistani infiltrations into Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 1965 were codenamed Operation Gibraltar, the September 1 armoured attack on the strategic Chamb Jaurian sector (âStrange March to 1965 Warâ, IE, November 26) had a resounding codename, Grand Slam. Two important and intriguing questions about this operation, which the Indian army halted successfully, arise. The first is: How did Pakistan President Ayub Khan, who was initially reluctant to sanction even Gibraltar, later approve a much wider and highly risky military action? The answer, provided by his information secretary, confidant, biographer and alter ego, Altaf Gauhar, is simple.
Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, his trusted foreign secretary, Aziz Ahmed, and other cohorts, persuaded him that if Pakistan were to âwrestâ Kashmir from India by force, 1965 was its âlast chanceâ. It was now or never. Their arguments did seem convincing. India, they said, was âdemoralised and vulnerableâ because of the âhumiliating defeat at the hands of the Chineseâ, Jawaharlal Nehruâs death, the âpalpable weaknessâ of his successor, Lal Bahadur Shastri, (Khan, after a brief, informal summit with Shastri at Karachi airport in October 1964, had got the same impression), a virulent anti-Hindi agitation in south India and an acute food shortage across the country.
At the same time, the votaries of war with India told Khan that the expansion and modernisation of
the Indian armed forces was in full swing. Once it was completed, the balance of power would shift back in Indiaâs favour, and Pakistanâs âlast opportunity would be lostâ. The clinching argument of Bhutto and company was that âfear of China would deter Indiaâ from extending the war beyond Kashmir. This took care of Khanâs prime concern. He had once confided to some advisors: âWhile winning Kashmir, I donât want to lose Pakistan.â
As Gauhar records, it was around this time that a sand-model presentation was made to Khan at Murree where he suddenly put his finger on Akhnoor on the map and asked, âWhy donât you go for the jugular?â The point was well taken because Pakistanâs occupation of Akhnoor would have cut the Kashmir Valley from the rest of India. Khan then embarked on the standard Pakistani self-delusion: The Hindus could not fight. âHindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows at the right time and right place. Such an opportunity should therefore be sought and exploitedâ.
When Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik, GOC of the 12th Division of the Pakistan army and the author of Gibraltar, said that occupation of Akhnoor would require more manpower and money than he had been given, the president agreed to provide both, and told all concerned to go ahead with Grand Slam. That is where the second question comes in.
From day one, Malik was commanding Operation Gibraltar, and he was also expected to command the attack on Chamb Jaurian. But at the last minute, there was a change. The command was handed to the swashbuckling Major General Yahya Khan who was later general and army chief, and, later still, president of Pakistan. Many Pakistanis are still asking why.
In his two books, Jawan to General and My Version, the then commander-in-chief of the Pakistan army, General Mohammad Musa Khan, has stated candidly that from the beginning, he was opposed to Operation Gibraltar because he knew it wouldnât work. No preparatory work had been done among
the Kashmiri people, and even the âpresident of Azad Kashmirâ, K.H. Khurshid, was not consulted. When the latter learnt belatedly what was afoot, he protested and landed in prison for his troubles. By this time, Musa detested Malik, and therefore took the earliest opportunity to remove him. He insists, however, that he would have appointed a different commander of Grand Slam anyhow.
Musa does not say so, but Gauhar categorically does, that the crowning irony was that while Khan was sanctioning Grand Slam he âdid not know that Gibraltar had already failedâ. It is noteworthy that Khanâs Man Friday recorded this long after his subjectâs death. In August-September 1965, he never told his president the truth. On the contrary, his own propaganda machine churned out fairy tales about the exploits of the Mujahideen in Kashmir and the bravery of Pakistani troops âmarching to Srinagarâ. Consequently, the Pakistani public was confident about the imminent âliberationâ of Kashmir, and IndiaÂs defeat. Evidently, the Bhutto-Ahmed line had full sway because no one was taking any notice of Shastriâs public warnings that India would fight the war âat a time and place of its own choosingâ.
It must be added that Shastri had spoken out well after telling the army and air chiefs, General J.N. Chaudhuri and Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh, to prepare to be in Lahore before any Pakistani soldier reached anywhere near Srinagar.
At first light on September 6, reality struck Pakistan like lightning when Shastri did exactly what he had said he would. He sent the Indian army in Pakistani Punjabâs heartland in the direction of the prized city of Lahore. In Gauharâs memorable phrase in his biography of his boss, âWhen India attacked Pakistan, the most surprised person was Ayub Khan.â âAyubâs surprise,â he adds, âwas shared by the commander-in-chief of the army. Ayub was now facing the moment of truthâ.
Here, diverting from the narrative a little, let me underscore a historical conundrum. Origins of too many wars remain disputed till today. The 1965 India-Pakistan war has the unique distinction that there is utter confusion about when exactly it began. For Pakistan, it did only on September 6 of that year, and the Pakistanis observe this date as âDefence of Pakistan Dayâ each year. For us in India, the war started on September 1, with Pakistanâs attack on Chamb-Jaurian. In all our writings, we call it a 22-day war.
It is a different matter, however, that in all the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the demand on both countries was to âwithdraw their forces to the positions they had occupied on August 5 (the day Pakistani infiltrations into Kashmir were first detected)â. And this is precisely the basis of the Shastri-Khan agreement in Tashkent on January 10, 1966.