50th anniversary of 1965 Indo-Pak War

cobra commando

Tharki regiment
Senior Member
Oct 3, 2009
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After few sorties by the IAF against East Pakistan on 7 Sept a political embargo was imposed on further attacks in the East. This remained in force despite continued PAF strikes in East on 7 Sept, 10 Sept and 14 Sept.

"The performance of the Army did not match that of the PAF (Pakistani Air Force) mainly because the leadership was not as professional. They had planned the 'Operation Gibralter' (infiltration into J&K) 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 victim of Indian aggression."

Air Marshal (Retd) Nur Khan quoted in 'Dawn' – Karachi. 6 Sep, 2005

It took 40 years for Air Marshal (Retd) Nur Khan – Chief of the PAF during 1965 war to state the truth about the genesis of 1965 war.

"Since the 1965 adventure, Pakistan's generals have maintained a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in public relations about military matters." According to this virtual SOP, "The Pakistani military wins every war it fights and Pakistan's generals make no mistakes. Any blame for failure lies either with civilians or the Americans".

Hussain Haqqani-former Pakistani Ambassador in Sri Lanka-quoting Brig AR Siddiqui-former Head of Pakistan's Military PR. The Indian Express – New Delhi 10 Jun, 2004

Both above quotes are true – but spoken nearly after four decades of 1965 war.

George K Tanham made similar observation in a study on the IAF for the Rand Corporation. "It is not clear why the IAF decided to withhold nearly half of its air force against possible Chinese attack, since one advantage of air power is its ability to move quickly."

Another most blatant lie perpetrated by the PAF and believed by nearly everyone because of intense propaganda, was that 'PAF defeated IAF during the 1965 war'. And 'PAF ensured better close air support to Pak Army compared with IAF's close air support to Indian Army.'

The architect of this blatant misinformation was none other than PAF Air Chief Nur Khan. This article will prove the hollowness of above claims and bring out the true performance of the IAF. It is not that IAF did not make mistakes – it did. Most importantly it did not hide its mistakes. The truth was that it recovered quickly from initial setback in the war and outdid the PAF in every department. However, it appears that PAF's well crafted propaganda unfortunately impacted on the perception of even the best analysts leading them to fall prey to PAF's misinformation. We will cover this story in two parts – first the Battle for Air Superiority and the side that achieved it; the second part will cover support to the respective armies by both the Air Forces and which was better.
The Battle of Air Superiority

In the war between India and Pakistan in 1965 air superiority was never contested, air power was largely restricted to ground support and the air war came to an early halt as a result of shortage of spares and weapons imposed by international embargo.

Tony Mason1

On the eve of 1965 war, IAF had 466 combat aircraft against 203 of the PAF.2 PAF had 16 aircraft in East Pakistan and the rest in West. Against this IAF had deployed 176 aircraft in the East to take care of the Chinese and East Pakistani threat. Thus, IAF had 290 aircraft facing West Pakistan. Numerically this gave IAF a superiority of 1.4:1 against PAF in the West and 11:1 in the East.

On 6th Sept PAF launched pre-emptive attack against four IAF air bases and three radar stations, i.e. Pathankot, Adhampur, Halwara, Jamnagar airfields and radar stations at Amritsar, Firozpur and Jamnagar. PAF's attack over Pathankot met with great success. PAF claimed to have destroyed 7 MiG-21s, 5 Mysteres, and 2 Packet transport aircraft. IAF admitted to losing 2 MiG-21s, 6 Mysteres, 1 Packet, 1 Gnat as destroyed and damage to 2 Gnats and 1 Mystere. These aircraft were destroyed because they were not sufficiently dispersed and camouflaged. Some of them had just landed back after operational sorties and were being refuelled.

One may like to explain it away as an unkind hand of fate. In the East, PAF attacked Kalaikunda air base. PAF claimed destroying 14 Canberra, 1 x Packet and damage to 4 Canberra and 3 Hunters.3 IAF admitted loss of 4 Canberra and 4 Vampires. This happened because Kalaikunda did not have any dispersal facilities. Here the aircraft had to operate from a large apron.

On the morning of 7 Sept, having absorbed the PAF pre-emptive the previous day, IAF launched a total of 33 sorties spread over ten hours for this all important battle of air superiority! George K Tanham observed, "Given the importance of the target (Sargodha) the careful planning and practice, and approximately 300 aircraft available to the IAF, this attack was surprisingly small and lightly pressed."4 The 1.4:1 superiority of the IAF in the West in fact was further diluted because the PAF aircraft had greater fighting capability.

This was true, especially because of its Sidewinder missile capability of Sabres and Star fighters. Though, it was known that only 25 percent Sabres were missile capable, but to every IAF pilot who would have seen a Sabre in air, it would have been prudent to consider it Sidewinder capable.

Pushpinder Singh an Indian military historian stated that PAF had lost 12 percent of its strength by 8 Sept and, hence, went on defensive.5 Nur Khan, the PAF Chief, himself agreed that this was the PAF's chosen strategy considering the asymmetry with the IAF and India being far more self-reliant for war waging material compared to Pakistan.

Nur Khan claimed air superiority for PAF by the end of 6th Sept, the first proper day of air war itself. He went on to claim air supremacy by the end of 8th Sept. No other Air Chief has made such hollow claim either before or after. What actually transpired was a half-hearted counter air battle by fighters of both sides on 7 Sept. In the face of heavy attrition both sides stopped using fighters by daylight, for counter air battle.6 Both the air forces preferred the option of night bombing utilising Canberra bomber. Canberra bombing though causing occasional damage and serving to harass the personnel was ineffective in winning the battle of air superiority. But it was persisted with since night interception capability was rather limited. "In 1965, night interception proved most frustrating for the PAF when often the F-104s failed to locate low flying IAF Canberras. Streaming tactics used by IAF with multi-pronged attacks and constant changes in altitude and heading strained PAF".7

After few sorties by the IAF against East Pakistan on 7 Sept a political embargo was imposed on further attacks in the East. This remained in force despite continued PAF strikes in East on 7 Sept, 10 Sept and 14 Sept.

On the Indian side MiG-21s (T–74) had recently been inducted and were not yet night capable for interception. Night flying of Gnat aircraft was limited due to poor cockpit lighting. The night fighter Vampires were already obsolete. Therefore, for all practical purposes, both the air forces having gone at each other on 6th and 7th Sept, gave up any further fighter effort as they had suffered unsustainable attrition.8 The exception being a four Mystere fighters strike over Pasroor on 12 Sept by the IAF.9 During the limited air superiority battle IAF suffered an attrition rate of 20 percent whereas PAF suffered 12.5 percent attrition.10

The Pak Air Chief continued to express strange notions of air superiority. The PAF, barring the night attacks by the Canberras, totally gave up its forays into Indian territory. It concentrated on air defence of PAF airbases and certain amount of support to its army coming under attack at Lahore and Sialkot. Whereas at Khem Karan where Pak armour had launched its major offensive, Indian troops of 3 Cavalry and 4 Div did not come under any air attack. If PAF had achieved air supremacy as claimed, it could have decimated Indian Army's opposition to its major armour thrust – which some claimed was to isolate Amritsar by capturing Beas Bridges. Pak lost 108 tanks here, quite a few in working condition. Nevertheless, Nur Khan claimed air supremacy over Pak air space, even though it was the IAF which attacked Pak armour and its supplies. IAF fighters continued to operate over Pak territory and air space.

In 1965 the only two offensives of the Pak Army were at Chhamb and Khem Karan. In both these sectors PAF did not win the air battle. At Chhamb both air forces continued to operate, with IAF halting Pak advance well short of Akhnoor. Therefore, the PAF could not claim air superiority here. At Khem Karan it was the IAF, which was more active. At Lahore, on the critical day of 6th Sept where Indian Army had launched an offensive PAF had an upper hand. During the rest of the war majority of the PAF air support sorties for Pak Army were over its own territory whereas majority of IAF's air support sorties were over Pak territory. So actually IAF had the favourable air situation over the battle area of concern during most of the war. In their respective territories both air forces were by and large free to operate. On the balance it was the IAF, which had greater control of air than the PAF. Of course IAF lost more number of aircrafts, a result of its larger number of offensive sorties over enemy territory, but its attrition rate was lesser than that of the PAF's. A causative analysis of IAF & PAF losses provides a better perspective rather than relying just on numbers.

It is true that IAF lost 36 aircraft destroyed and 17 damaged on ground due to enemy air strikes. These losses can be attributed to failure in proper dispersal and camouflage of aircraft and is not indicative of IAF's performance during the further course of air war. This loss accounted for 8 percent depletion of IAF which implied that IAF was still a potent fighting force.

Let us consider the air-to-air kills. These need further subdivision i.e., the loss of strike aircraft and loss of pure air defence aircraft. No doubt both these types can engage in air combat albeit with varying degree of maneuverability. But a strike aircraft with heavy configuration with armament load and fuel tanks is no match for a similar fighter in air defence configuration. Of the total air to air losses, IAF's losses were 18 aircraft in strike role and 4 in air defence role. This is indicative of greater offensive forays by the IAF compared to the PAF. Even in pure air-to-air battle, the score is even, despite PAF's advantage of fighting over its own territory, with air-to-air missiles and better radar cover and control.

There are two more factors we need to consider, seemingly minor but crucial in air warfare. PAF seemed to have better intelligence of our deployments, and redeployments. They also seemed to know, the time of our aircraft getting airborne from various bases. This enabled the numerically inferior PAF to utilise its resources far better. In our case, lack of accurate intelligence entailed flying that many more sorties for similar effect. There were instances of attack on airfields devoid of PAF deployment resulting in wastage of strike potential. PAF's humane intelligence capability was significant.

A very daring and innovative idea of the PAF with regard to use of commandos to destroy IAF's aircraft on ground, where fighter aircraft are always most vulnerable. It was definitely a maverick idea full of surprise but fortunately for the IAF it failed due to insufficient planning, training and last minute coordination between the PAF and the commandos. As the war balloon went up Pakistan launched the commandos without adequate preparation, therefore, this novel idea, failed miserably before it could inflict physical damage. Out of 180 commandos dropped around Halwara, Adhampur and Pathankot only 11 managed to escape back.12 Rest were either killed or captured. Such operations are either spectacular success or catastrophic failure. In the case of Pakistan though many termed it a failure, it nevertheless had an adverse impact on IAF's operation and did reduce the IAF's potential.

Of the total air to air losses, IAFs losses were 18 aircraft in strike role and 4 in air defence role. This is indicative of greater offensive forays by the IAF compared to the PAF.

As a security measure against commandos attacks, the fighter squadrons of Mysteres at Adhampur and Pathankot were relocated on many nights to Palam and Ambala. No 7 and 27 Squadrons of Halwara used to land at Hindon (Delhi) for the night halt.13 Another reason for this relocation was the more frequent PAF Canberra's night attacks. This daily relocation apart from creating administrative problems reduced the potential of the sorties generated. On one occasion, Adhampur even witnessed its own Mysteres strafing the grassy area within the airfield, presuming that the commandos were hiding there.

A well-known attribute of airpower is its rapid mobility. An air force can redeploy its combat squadrons from one theatre to another very rapidly. In fact this is what precisely the PAF did on 6th Sept by moving 12 Sabres and six-T-33s from Mauripur (Karachi) to Sargodha for their well crafted pre-emptive plan against the IAF.14 But IAF by resorting to rigid deployments in the face of over exaggerated threat from China had forsaken the tremendous advantage of numbers. George K Tanham made similar observation in a study on the IAF for the Rand Corporation. "It is not clear why the IAF decided to withhold nearly half of its air force against possible Chinese attack, since one advantage of air power is its ability to move quickly."15 This is not all.

After few sorties by the IAF against East Pakistan on 7 Sept a political embargo was imposed on further attacks in the East. This remained in force despite continued PAF strikes in East on 7 Sept, 10 Sept and 14 Sept.16 Though initially the political executive gave clear direction, but gradually it began to control air operations. One can infer this from the fact that to use the IAF on 1st Sept Defence Minister's clearance was required. In the East, the Defence Minister forbade IAF operations after 7th. Even in West, attack on Peshawar was cleared only on 12th Sept.17

Despite above factors, overall IAF had a better control of air. Thus it is IAF and not PAF which won the battle of air superiority in 1965 Indo-Pak war. An elaboration of Psychological Operations by PAF follows as a further proof.
Psychological Operations (Psy Ops)

PAF realised the importance and played psy ops game in the most spectacular manner whereas, IAF and the Indian Government neglected it. As a result the IAF was discredited in the air war. The truth was far from what was projected by the PAF. Since PAF was at its exalted best and the IAF at its nadir in psy ops in the 1965 war, it will be instructive to examine this aspect in greater details.

One good place to start this examination is review of General Mohammad Musa's book "My Version – Indo-Pak War of 1965". General Musa was the Pakistani Army Chief during this war. His book of less than 100 pages has lot of quotations of western correspondents mostly in praise of Pak armed forces and denigrating Indian performance. One of them alleges that the Indian Government did not permit foreign correspondents within 100 miles of the front. So when Pakistan was currying favours with the journalists by going out of their way, PAF Air Chief Nur Khan, went one step further.

To quote Brig AR Siddiqui – Editor Pak Defence Journal, "After the war Air Mshl Nur Khan made a full-length feature film with defence funds titled – 'No Greater Glory' in English and 'Kasam Us Waqt Ki' in Urdu. Released in end 1969 both movies flopped badly. Subsequently the Air Mshl hired the services of a British journalist John Fricker"¦The Air Mshl stole the limelight in the narrative as well as the visuals." This in the issue of No 7-8, 1994. John Fricker, was an aviation and military reporter for the magazine 'Aeroplane'.

Fricker was commissioned by the PAF Air Chief to write a book on PAF which Fricker did and titled it, "Battle for Pakistan – The Air War of 1965". The book got published only in 1979, fourteen years later. One wonders why so late? It is alleged that Fricker had difficulty in finding anyone to publish it. Since the book was not published earlier Fricker wrote an article titled, "30 Seconds Over Sargodha" and it was published in the 'Aeroplane' magazine. In this article it was claimed that a Pakistani pilot Squadron Leader Mohammad Alam shot down five Hunters in 30 seconds over Sargodha. The author came across this article in 1975 as a Flying Officer in a fighter squadron. My query to my boss, was forwarded to the Air HQ and was replied. The reply classified the claim as false. As per the IAF, the PAF did shoot down two Hunters on 7 Sept. The third Hunter in a different formation was lost later when its engine malfunctioned. But Air HQ did not deem it fit to contradict Frickers claim in public. It was left to Shri Pushpinder Singh to refute Frickers claim in Vayu III/1988.

"Battle for Pakistan" is a book eulogising PAF and its erstwhile Air Chief Nur Khan. The author, though supposed to be a military aviation reporter, quotes claims of Nur Khan which are preposterous and defy all experiences and lessons of air power history till then. To illustrate, some pronouncements of the book are listed below with comments:

Air Superiority. PAF won air superiority within two hours of its pre-emptive on the evening of 6 Sept.

Comment. At the end of 6th Sept PAF had claimed destruction of about 16-18 aircraft. India admitted to losing 14 aircraft while shooting down three Sabres on 6th out of the 16 Sabres that came for attacks and two more in Chhamb earlier. IAF still had 452 aircraft left. So the claim of air superiority is nonsense and bogus.

Air Supremacy. PAF won air supremacy at the end of 8th Sept that is within 48 hours.

Comment. Air supremacy implies inability of opposing air force to fly and cause any interference whatsoever. IAF flew more than 3000 sorties after 8th Sept and also shot down 10 PAF aircraft also after 8th Sept. Hence, this claim too is unsustainable. That fact that PAF continued to fly 70 sorties of air defence per day for rest of the war to guard against IAF strikes proves the point amply. PAF and Pakistan pursued their propaganda war in extreme crass ways.

To a reader less informed on the complexities of the air war the propaganda churned out might have seemed true. More so when the other party was not coming out of its side of the story. For instance Air Cmde Jamal Hussain writing in Pakistan's Defence Journal of Apr 2 claims 'Excellence in Air Combat – PAF's Forte'. He states that both in 1965 and 1971 war PAF achieved a kill ratio of over 2:1 in air combat missions over its adversary. What he does not tell the reader is that PAF fighters in air defence configuration were attacking the IAF's strike aircraft heavily laden for strike mission. If this is considered then 2:1 ratio is actually incorrect. Again what he does not tell the reader is that PAF's air defence aircraft were shot up by IAF's strike aircraft like HF-24, SU-7 and Hunters quite a few times in 1971 war. Even in 65 War Hunters shot down 7 Sabres. While talking of air-to-air kills and PAF's propaganda that PAF pilots were very good in air combat, it is worth mentioning an important point regarding guns carried in fighters of the IAF and the PAF. The F-86 Sabre had six guns of .5 inch Calibre.

The Sabre was a very stable design, permitting steady aiming easily whereas Gnat had two 30 mm Aden cannons. It's cannons jammed quite often due to minor variations in the links holding the rounds. There were many instances of Gnats on tail of Sabres but with their cannons jammed. In 1971 this problem was resolved to quite an extent, but not altogether eliminated. Even Hunters on few occasions suffered from jammed cannons. Some of the recorded occasions where Sabre kills were missed being:

4 Sep 65 – Chhamb, Sqn Ldr J Greene, Flt Lt AJS Sandhu, and Flt Lt Manna Murdeshwar behind 3 Sabres – all had jammed guns.
10 Sep 65 – Flt Lt V Kapila and Harry Sidhu – gun stopping during combat with Sabres with Gnats behind Sabres.

In this department of psy ops India as well as the IAF has always been found wanting in all its wars. DR Mankekar described it aptly ""¦whoever was responsible for the public relations fiasco in the twenty-two day war (1965 war) – and they are all passing the buck from one to another – was largely responsible for the bad press that this war got abroad."18

IAF defeated PAF in 1965 War � Indian Defence Review


Regular Member
Apr 6, 2009
Operation Dwarka, was a naval operation commenced by the Pakistan Navy on a Indian coastal town of Dwarka on 7 September 1965

The mission objectives of Operation Dwaraka was
- To draw heavy enemy units out of Bombay for the submarine PNS Ghazi to attack.
- To destroy the lighthouse/radar installation at Dwarka.
- To lower Indian morale.
- To divert Indian Air Force effort away from the north.

The Primary target was to make IN lure outside the Mumbai Harbour and respond to the attack, So that PNS Ghazi could engage and sink the dispatched fleet. But the IN didnt react and decided to stay in the harbour.
The Shelling on Dwaraka done minimum damage, With only the Railway Guest House suffering some minor damages. Most of the shells fall miles away from the Town.
The radar installation was shelled during the bombardment but neither the radar was damaged nor were any casualties reported.

According to the Pakistanis, The Operation was a huge success and they celebrate 8 September as "Victory Day" for Pakistan Navy. :p

Questions - Was there any radar installations in Dwaraka?. Did IAF did any bombing missions on karachi during 1965 War?

Lions Of Punjab

Regular Member
Apr 21, 2013
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A dazzling display of drills by the Indian Air Force at the Gateway of India, Mumbai on 11th March marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The event, which was organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, was part of various functions organised across the country to commemorate the war anniversary. An Air Warrior Drill Team of 13 people, which has been specially selected for the task, was also part of the event. Photos: Paul Noronha

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Maulana Rockullah
Senior Member
Aug 12, 2009
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Why it’s important to remember the 1965 war between India and Pakistan

Although the period of June-July every year is normally regarded as the time when the 1999 Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan is remembered and discussed, 2015 is perhaps the right time to understand the genesis of the war that Pakistan initiated and lost half a century ago.

Several factors, not the least the belief among some of Ayub Khan’s hawkish advisers that the general population in Kashmir valley was ready to rise in revolt against India, led Ayub to go along with, what later turned out to be a militarily unsound operational plan. Pakistan’s Military Intelligence and the Foreign Ministry (headed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) were of the view that from late 1964 onwards, there was a surge in anti-India feelings in the Kashmir valley and the people would be more than willing to welcome Pakistani intervention.

Newspaper reports of the time suggest that the shelling and firing across the CFL (Ceasefire Line, as the Line of Control or LoC was then known), intrusions and other provocative activities increased manifold between January and July 1965. The Army recorded some 1800 such activities in that period as compared to just about 522 in the same period in 1964. In June and July 1965, there were at least half a dozen firing incidents daily across the CFL. The ceasefire violations preceded what was to be one of the largest infiltrations planned and executed by Pakistan — much larger in scope than that in Kargil in 1999.

There is consensus among various personal accounts of the 1965 war and newspaper reports of that period that the scheme of infiltration was planned in Pak-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the overall command of Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik, the then GoC of Pakistan’s 12 Division. All the four sector commanders under Major General Malik were made responsible for organising, training and launching of infiltrators groups from their areas of responsibility. These groups, numbering some 30,000 men, were named the Gibraltar Force. The aim of Operation Gibraltar was clearly laid down – to ‘create large-scale disturbances in Indian-held Kashmir which would force India to take major political and military steps to meet the situation..’

However, the Pakistan army’s Commander-in-Chief Mohammad Musa was not entirely convinced about Operation Gibraltar. In a telling comment, General Musa wrote: “The policy-makers thwarted the professional assessment and advice on matters having grave military implications because of their miscalculation of the politico-strategic situation and the over-ambitiousness of a few individuals involved in decision-making who were prompted by their desire to achieve some quick and spectacular results in Kashmir by clandestine operations.” Musa was mainly talking about Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had prevailed upon President Mohammad Ayub, that the time was ripe to wrest Kashmir from India once and for all. Fifty years on, it is difficult to believe that the Pakistani Army — currently considered as the ‘deep state’ and perhaps the final arbiter of the nation’s destiny — could have been overruled by a politician like Bhutto.

There were other factors too that contributed to Pakistan’s swagger that time. One, Pakistan was confident that China, its new found ally and friend would make a threatening move against India, if only to keep some of its newly raised formations in the East from being moved into Kashmir. Two, Pakistan’s army was convinced that the modern arms and platforms supplied by the United States were far superior to the Indian army’s World War II vintage armoury, giving it a distinct advantage in any possible conflict.

In 1954, America agreed to arm up to five divisions of the Pakistani Army with the latest weapons and supply modern fighter jets. A Pakistani author has cited how the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) received a massive boost from America. According to one estimate, between 1956 and 1964 Pakistan was supplied with 100 F-86 Sabre jets, one squadron of F-104 Star Fighters, 30 B-57 bombers and four C-130 transport aircrafts, allowing it to narrow the gap with India. In 1965, the Pakistani Army’s armour strength was superior to that of the Indian Army.

The London-based IISS handbook on Military Balance (1965) revealed that Pakistan had 765 tanks in all, against India’s 720 in 1965. Pakistan had nine regiments of the latest Patton tanks supplied by the US, nine regiments of Shermans and three Regiments of Chaffees. India, on the other hand was saddled with right regiments of Shermans, four regiments of Centurians and two regiments of AMX-XIIIs. Pakistan’s artillery too was far superior in quality compared to India’s. While it had one heavy regiment of 155 mm guns and eight-inch Howitzers, India was mostly doing with 120 mm mortars and one heavy regiment of 7.2 inch guns.

Meanwhile, even as China-Pakistan ties were growing stronger, the American military aid continued unabated. Alarmed at the developments, India under Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and his defence minister YB Chavan (appointed by Jawaharlal Nehru in November 1962) took counter-measures to re-arm, expand and modernise the Indian military. Arms assistance from the Soviet Union was gratefully accepted. Yet, India was in no position to wage another war in 1965, having suffered a morale-shattering defeat in 1962. The three services were in the middle of a modernisation and expansion phase and therefore not fully trained or battle ready.

This was indeed one of the reasons why Ayub Khan and his ambitious Foreign Minister Bhutto were keen to press home the advantage that Pakistan seemed to enjoy in that particular period by launching an action that would free Kashmir from India’s ‘clutches.’

Moreover, the Pakistani leadership was not overly impressed by Nehru’s successor, Shastri and assessed that he was a pushover.

Economically too, Pakistan in that period was doing better than India. Politically, Sheikh Abdullah’s falling out with India was seen as an opportune moment by Pakistan, who felt that the Kashmiri population would support an instigated rebellion against India.

That Bhutto and Ayub were proved wrong, both in their assessment about the ‘loyalties’ of the Kashmiris and underestimating the strength and resilience of the Indian military, is a matter of history. After initial setbacks, the Indian Army not only thwarted the Pakistani offensive but also in September 1965, marched right into the heart of Pakistan: Lahore.

Only an UN intervention saved Pakistan the blushes. As India gears up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 victory a couple of months from now, it is important to remember Pakistan’s perfidy half a century ago.

The author is currently writing a book on the 1965 war between India and Pakistan.


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warrior monk

Regular Member
Nov 24, 2014
India’s walkout from UNSC was a turning point: Natwar

Even as the government celebrates India’s “forgotten war” with Pakistan in 1965, India’s former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh says India’s “silent diplomatic victory” at the end of the war must not be forgotten either.

According to Mr. Singh, posted at India’s permanent mission at the U.N. then, 1965 was a “turning point” for the U.N. on Kashmir, and a well-planned “walkout” from the U.N. Security Council by the Indian delegation as a protest against Pakistani Foreign Minister (and later PM) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s speech ensured Kashmir was dropped from the UNSC agenda for all practical purposes.

“As a result, there was hardly any reference to Kashmir for the next few decades at the UNSC, barring one resolution after the 1971 war. The Soviet Union helped by vetoing many of the resolutions Pakistan tried to push, and after the Simla Agreement of 1972, which committed to a bilateral resolution, the UNSC references to Kashmir ended entirely,” Mr. Singh recounted, in an exclusive interview to The Hindu on the occasion of the 1965 war’s 50th anniversary.

Just one resolution
According to the records, between 1948 and 1965 the UNSC passed 23 resolutions on Kashmir. After 1965, the U.N. body passed just one resolution (Resolution 307, December 21, 1971), calling on India and Pakistan to “respect the ceasefire line” after the Bangladesh war.

Mr. Singh said it took diplomats several years to reverse Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s “original sin” of taking the issue of Kashmir to the UNSC in 1948. “To begin with, PM Nehru should never have taken the issue to the UNSC at all, but even when the government did, it should have been listed under Chapter 7 citing Pakistani “aggression”, rather than Chapter 6 which deals with the peaceful resolution of “disputes”,” the former diplomat said

The criticism was unusual for Mr. Singh who joined the Congress after he retired, and was External Affairs Minister from 2004-2005 until he had to resign over the Volcker controversy.

Mr. Singh said that while he was a “supporter of Nehru,” India’s first Prime Minister was “a better PM than he was a Foreign Minister.”

“I think Nehru acted in good faith. But that good faith is still costing us in terms of our position at the UN. Another minefield we should have avoided was to let the Soviet Union broker the Tashkent Agreement (Ceasefire agreement, January 1966). Fortunately that didn’t become a precedent or we couldn’t have kept ‘third parties’ out of negotiations.”

‘Pakistan at it again’
Recounting his time at the United Nations (1962-1966), Mr. Singh said it is apparent that Pakistan is aiming to “internationalise” the Kashmir issue once again by repeatedly taking petitions to the U.N. In August this year, it raised the issue of firing at the LoC with U.N. officials more than once, and in a briefing to the UNSC, Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said multilateral organisations like the U.N. and the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) should play a role in resolving the “Jammu & Kashmir dispute.”

“We should be prepared for Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at the General Assembly. And if they do we should just not respond. Or send a junior officer to respond to them. Nothing pleases them more than if our PM uses the UNGA forum to respond to their PM, as our Prime Ministers have done in the past two years.” Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2013 and PM Narendra Modi in 2014 responded to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s UNGA statements on Kashmir.

“We must give credit to Swaran Singh [then Foreign Minister] and to the Indian decision in 1965 for ensuring Kashmir stayed out of the UNSC for several decades,” Mr. Singh said.



Regular Member
Sep 6, 2014
Other nations don't like drama and conflict, especially between two nuclear armed rivals. The rest of the world thinks, "you both got some parts of Kashmir, it was over 67 years ago, India isn't whining about the part you hold, Pakistan just let it go, it's over."

Pakistan is like a whiny child that needs attention from its parent so has to act out to get India's focus. Without the image of "Muslim Pakistan" on some glorious "Jihad to free Kashmir", what does Pakistan really have to hold itself together and create a national identity? It lacks a truly separate culture from other nations and becomes basically a "shittier India" or a "larger Afghanistan".


Senior Member
Jan 9, 2012



Regular Member
May 20, 2015
An old Indian beef: When Pakistan Navy killed a cow in Dwarka in 1965
The damage was limited because 40 of the 50 shells that were fired failed to explode.

Shortly after midnight of September 7, 1965, five Pakistani destroyers sailed just 5.8 nautical miles off the Indian temple town of Dwarka and opened fire.

Exactly a week ago, the Pakistan Army had launched its military offensive "Operation Grand Slam" across the international border. India and Pakistan were now officially at war and the Pakistan Navy wanted a piece of the action.

The flotilla of World War 2 vintage Pakistani warships lined up parallel to the coast, swiveled their gun turrets and fired 50 shells into the night sky towards the shores of Gujarat. "Operation Dwarka" as the Pakistan Navy called it, aimed at destroying a radar station that helped India monitor naval activity in the Arabian Sea. The naval bombardment lasted for four minutes. The warships turned back towards Karachi fearing aerial attack from the Indian Air Force (IAF) airbase at Jamnagar.

Also read - 1965 war: How India almost lost to Pakistan

Their shells, as documented by a naval team that visited the site the next morning, fell on the soft soil between the temple and the railway station shattering the guest house and damaging a steam engine. The only casualty of the attack was a cow which happened to be in the vicinity. The damage was limited because 40 of the 50 shells that were fired failed to explode.

Indian naval historians describe this as a nuisance raid. There was no coastal radar station at Dwarka, but such facts clearly come in the way of an exciting naval yarn. Pakistani naval accounts say the operation achieved several of its four-fold objective of drawing Indian naval units out for their submarine PNS Ghazi to attack, to destroy a radar station, to lower Indian morale and divert the IAF away from the north. The Pakistan Navy celebrates September 8 as Navy Day.

But Dwarka was not entirely undefended that night. And herein lies the bizarre twist in this tale. On September 2 the Indian Navy despatched the INS Talwar to carry out a barrier patrol off Okha to warn of the approaching Pakistan Navy. INS Talwar, a 2,600-tonne "Whitby class" frigate acquired from Great Britain just five years back was among the most modern warships in any Asian navy. Its Mark 6 twin 4.5 inch guns could belch out one tonne of steel and high explosive a minute to a range of 16km. These guns were guided by an advanced FPS-5 fire control system. The warship had secondary armaments of anti-submarine mortars and anti-aircraft guns.

Also read: Why should we remember the 1965 India-Pakistan war?

The Talwar had pulled into Okha, just 30km north of Dwarka, after developing engine trouble on September 6. It intercepted the transmissions by the Pakistan Navy fleet and sounded action stations at around 10pm after concluding that she was the target. The Talwar’s gunnery officer reported that the ship’s 4.5 inch gun mounting and fire control radar were fully tuned for combat.

The Talwar did not sail forth and seek battle. Her reluctance to engage the Pakistani flotilla could have been because the Navy’s hands were tied by a strange order from the ministry of defence in South Block. In early September, an additional secretary in the MoD sent a note on a file to Navy chief vice admiral BS Soman stating that the "Navy was not to operate north of the latitude of Porbandar, and was also not to take or initiate offensive action at sea against Pakistan forces unless forced to do so by offensive action against Pakistan forces."

The government did not want to enlarge the conflict. This restraint, which was a redux of the 1962 war with China in which prime minister Nehru fatally miscalculated by not deploying the qualitatively superior IAF.

But even this bizarre government directive did not explain the reticence of the INS Talwar and her skipper commander VA Dhareshwar. Several Indian naval officials were outraged by his conduct. In his sweeping account "War in the Indian Ocean" vice admiral MK Roy alluded to the court martial of admiral Sir John Byng of the Royal Navy who failed to take adequate action against the French fleet during the siege of Minorca. Admiral Byng was executed on the quarterdeck of the HMS Monarch in Portsmouth in 1757. Vice admiral Roy was not suggesting such an action in the Indian context. "But it should never be forgotten that it is the bounden duty of a sea officer to bring the enemy to battle." Admiral Nelson, time and again, followed this, followed by turning "a Nelson’s eye" to his superior’s orders not to engage the enemy.

Vice Admiral Krishnan, later the eastern naval commander during the 1971 war with Pakistan is reported to have said, "One of our frigates was at Okha. It is unfortunate that she could not sail forth and seek battle. Even if there was a mandate against the Navy participating in the war, no government could blame a warship for going into action, if attacked. An affront to our national honour is no joke and we cannot laugh it away by saying, 'All the Pakistanis did was to kill a cow.' Let us at least create a memorial to the 'unknown cow' who died with her hooves on in a battle against the Pakistan Navy."

The Indian Navy’s official history Transition to Triumph mentions that the Talwar had to be put into Okha for repairs because she had "developed leaks in her condensers resulting in a serious problem of boiler feed contamination".

One of INS Talwar’s former crew told me recently that this was a difficult problem but not entirely insurmountable. At the very least, the Talwar could have used her guns to fire at the Pakistani warships from inside the harbour.

The Talwar incident was not quickly forgotten. The earth-shaking blowback from the raid on Dwarka was felt six years later during the 1971 war, where vice admirals Roy and Krishnan played a key role. The Indian Navy cited the coastal raid to swiftly acquire missile-equipped fast attack craft from the Soviet Union. These "missile boats" as they were called, were towed by larger warships and let loose near Karachi during the December 1971 war. In two separate attacks, "Trident" and "Python", they carried out what remains the world’s most successful use of anti-ship missiles. They sank a Pakistan Navy destroyer, a minesweeper, a fleet tanker, three merchant ships and set the oil tanks at Karachi ablaze. The ghost of "Operation Dwarka" and the dead cow had finally been put to rest.



Senior Member
Mar 10, 2009
The Talwar incident was not quickly forgotten. The earth-shaking blowback from the raid on Dwarka was felt six years later during the 1971 war, where vice admirals Roy and Krishnan played a key role. The Indian Navy cited the coastal raid to swiftly acquire missile-equipped fast attack craft from the Soviet Union. These "missile boats" as they were called, were towed by larger warships and let loose near Karachi during the December 1971 war. In two separate attacks, "Trident" and "Python", they carried out what remains the world’s most successful use of anti-ship missiles. They sank a Pakistan Navy destroyer, a minesweeper, a fleet tanker, three merchant ships and set the oil tanks at Karachi ablaze. The ghost of "Operation Dwarka" and the dead cow had finally been put to rest.
Osa-class missile boat



Regular Member
Aug 25, 2015
If Pakistan ever nukes India we must not hesitate and send back a nuke to Mecca and Medina with 100 pigs tied to it.


Turning into a frog
Senior Member
Mar 30, 2009
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If Pakistan ever nukes India we must not hesitate and send back a nuke to Mecca and Medina with 100 pigs tied to it.
I would think that it will be difficult to tie pigs to a missile, don't you?


Senior Member
Jan 28, 2011
The only casualty of the attack was a cow which happened to be in the vicinity. The damage was limited because 40 of the 50 shells that were fired failed to explode.

Pakistan Navy celebrates this incredible feat as its Navy Day.:pound::pound::pound:

Man I love them silly creatures.


United States of Hindu Empire
May 29, 2009

But Pakistanis are celebrating hitting cows and donkeys as a great naval victory and calling it a win in an epic operation Dwraka. @bennedose

It is quite amusing that they can go to that extent, paddling such lies to their illiterate population.

Nation is celebrating today (September 08) the convincing and historic victory irreversibly crippling India in its plan to attack Karachi in 1965. This successful action by Pakistan Navy is known as ‘Operation Dwarka’ or ‘Operation Somnath.’ Know more about the glorious past of our Pakistan Navy in this report.
So these communal dogs came near Indian coast to hit historic Hindu temple but ended up injuring few grass grazing quadrupeds. .


Ghanta Senior Member?
Senior Member
Jan 1, 2015
Country flag
now they will discuss, kabootar , cows, dogs, suar, etc... because nothing else is left with them to discuss:p


Senior Member
Jan 28, 2011
So these communal dogs came near Indian coast to hit historic Hindu temple but ended up injuring few grass grazing quadrupeds. .
Their Islamic impotence and professional incompetence are a great source for humour in my slow days.

Indian Navy Day - Celebration of brilliance and daring of Indian sailors and officers involved in Operation Trident which crippled Pakistan Navy and burned down Karachi harbour, also host to the naval HQ.

Pakistan Navy Day - Celebration of the day when we bumbled and killed a "Hindu" cow instead of the non existent radar station. :lawl:


Senior Member
May 18, 2015
Country flag
had they really killed even a cow? the article from BR tells about only some damage to the railway station resting-room that was also unoccupied during the shelling.

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