Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

conflict=Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
partof=the Indo-Pakistani Wars
caption=Clockwise from top: Indian troops march off captured Pakistani SSG Commandos who had parachuted into India; Indian fighter jet attacking Pakistani train station; Burning Pakistani M48 Patton Tank; Pakistani F-86 Sabres on bombing run over India; Pakistan Army attacking Indian front-lines.
casus=Pakistan backed guerillas' infiltration into Jammu & Kashmir, India
date=August - September 23, 1965
place=Indian subcontinent
result=Tashkent Declaration


commander1=Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri
Harbakhsh Singh
commander2=Ayub Khan
Musa Khan
casualties1=3,264 killed [ Official Government of India Statement giving numbers of KIA - Parliament of India Website] ]
8,623 wounded
(July to ceasefire)
casualties2=4,000 - 8,000 killed/ captured [ [ Kashmiris didn’t back Pakistan in 1965: Gohar] The Tribune June 2, 2005] [ Opinion: The Way it was 4: extracts from Brig (Retd) ZA Khan's book] May 1998, Defence Journal] [ Ayub misled nation in ’65 war: Nur Khan] 8 September, 2005 Khaleej Times]
(July to September 6)3,800 killed [ [ Library of Congress Country Studies] ]
(September 6 - 22)

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between India and Pakistan. This conflict became known as the Second Kashmir War fought by India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, the first having been fought in 1947. The war began following the failure of Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.

Much of the war was fought by the countries' land forces in Kashmir and along the International Border between India and Pakistan. This war saw the largest amassing of troops in Kashmir since the Partition of India in 1947, a number that was overshadowed only during the 2001-2002 military standoff between India and Pakistan. Most of the battles were fought by opposing infantry and armored units, with substantial backing from air forces. Many details of this war, like those of other Indo-Pakistani Wars, remain unclear and many media reports have been riddled with media biases.

Pre-war escalation

Since Partition of India in 1947, Pakistan and India remained in contention over several issues. Although the Kashmir conflict was the predominant issue dividing the nations, other border disputes existed, most notably over the Rann of Kutch, a barren region in the Indian state of Gujarat. When Junagadh, a former princely state, had been integrated into India, its borders, especially in the marshlands to the west, remained ambiguous.

On March 20, 1965, and again in April 1965, fighting broke out between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch. Initially involving border police from both nations, the disputed area soon witnessed intermittent skirmishes between the countries' armed forces. In June 1965, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson successfully persuaded both countries to end hostilities and set up a tribunal to resolve the dispute. The verdict, which came later in 1968, saw Pakistan awarded 350 square miles (900 km²) of the Rann of Kutch, as against its original claim of 3500 square miles.Bhushan, Bharat. [ "Tulbul, Sir Creek and Siachen: Competitive Methodologies"] . South Asian Journal. March 2005, Encyclopedia Britannica and [ Open Forum - UNIDIR] ]

After its success in the Rann of Kutch, Pakistan, under the leadership of General Ayub Khan, believed the Indian Army would be unable to defend itself against a quick military campaign in the disputed territory of Kashmir as the Indian military had suffered a loss to China in 1962. "Indo-Pakistan War of 1965"] .] Pakistan believed that the population of Kashmir was generally discontented with Indian rule and that a resistance movement could be ignited by a few infiltrating saboteurs. Pakistan attempted to ignite the resistance movement by means of a covert infiltration, codenamed Operation Gibraltar.Amin, Agha Humayun. Maj (Retd). [ "Grand Slam — A Battle of Lost Opportunities"] . Defence Journal. September 2000] The Pakistani infiltrators were soon discovered, however, their presence reported by local Kashmiris, and the operation ended in a complete failure.

Pakistan claimed to have been concerned by attempts of India to absorb Kashmir - a state internationally recognised as "disputed", into the Indian Union. The basis for this claim was Articles 356 and 357 of the Indian Constitution that allow the President of India to declare President's Rule in the disputed state.

The war

On August 15, 1965, Indian forces crossed the ceasefire line and launched an attack on the region referred to by the disputants as either "Azad Kashmir" or "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir". Pakistani reports cite this attack as unprovoked, [ "The Lahore Offensive"] . 1 June 2003] while Indian reports cite the attack as a response to massive armed infiltrations of Kashmir by Pakistan.Chakravorty, BC. [ "The Indo-Pak War, 1965"] . History Division, Ministry of Defence. Government of India. 1992]

Initially, the Indian Army met with considerable success, capturing three important mountain positions after a prolonged artillery barrage. By the end of August, however, both sides had experienced successes; Pakistan had made progress in areas such as Tithwal, Uri and Punch and India had captured the Haji Pir Pass, eight kilometers inside Pakistani-administered territory. "A Country Study: India"] . Library of Congress. Government of the United States. September 1995]

On September 1, 1965, Pakistan launched a counterattack, called "Operation Grand Slam", with the objective to capture the vital town of Akhnoor in Jammu, which would sever communications and cut off supply routes to Indian troops. Attacking with an overwhelming ratio of troops and technically superior tanks, Pakistan initially progressed against Indian forces, who were caught unprepared and suffered heavy losses. India responded by calling in its air force to blunt the Pakistani attack. The next day, Pakistan retaliated, its air force attacked Indian forces and air bases in both Kashmir and Punjab. Although Operation Grand Slam ultimately failed, as the Pakistan Army was unable to capture Akhnoor, it became one of the turning points in the war when India decided to relieve pressure on its troops in Kashmir by attacking Pakistan further south.

India crossed the International Border on the Western front on September 6, marking an official beginning of the war. On September 6, the 15th Infantry Division of the Indian Army, under World War II veteran Major General Prasad, battled a massive counterattack by Pakistan near the west bank of the Ichogil Canal (BRB Canal), which was a "de facto" border of India and Pakistan. The General's entourage itself was ambushed and he was forced to flee his vehicle. A second, this time successful, attempt to cross the Ichhogil Canal was made over the bridge in the village of Barki, just east of Lahore. These developments brought the Indian Army within the range of Lahore International Airport. As a result, the United States requested a temporary ceasefire to allow it to evacuate its citizens in Lahore.

One unit of the Jat Regiment, 3 Jat, had also crossed the Ichogil canal and captured [Brigadier Desmond E Hayde, "The Battle of Dograi and Batapore", Natraj Publishers, New Delhi, 2006] the town of Batapore (Jallo Mur to Pakistan) on the west side of the canal. The same day, a counter offensive consisting of an armored division and infantry division supported by Pakistan Air Force Sabres forced the Indian 15th Division to withdraw to its starting point. Although 3 Jat suffered minimal casualties, the bulk of the damage being taken by ammunition and stores vehicles, the higher commanders had no information of 3 Jat's capture of Batapore and misleading information led to the command to withdraw from Batapore and Dograi to Ghosal-Dial. This move brought extreme disappointment [ [ The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Opinions ] ] to Lt-Col Desmond Hayde, CO of 3 Jat. Dograi was eventually recaptured by 3 Jat on 21 September, for the second time but after a much harder battle due to Pakistani reinforcements.

On the days following September 9, both nations' premiere formations were routed in unequal battles. India's 1st Armored Division, labelled the "pride of the Indian Army", launched an offensive towards Sialkot. The Division divided itself into two prongs, came under heavy Pakistani tank fire at Taroah and was forced to withdraw. Similarly, Pakistan's pride, the 1st Armored Division, pushed an offensive towards Khemkaran, with the intent to capture Amritsar (a major city in Punjab, India) and the bridge on River Beas to Jalandhar. The Pakistani 1st Armored Division never made it past Khem Karan, however, and by the end of September 10 lay disintegrated by the defences of the Indian 4th Mountain Division at what is now known as the Battle of "Asal Uttar" (lit. meaning - "Real Answer", or more appropriate English equivalent - "Fitting Response"). The area became known as 'Patton Nagar' (Patton Town) as Pakistan lost or abandoned nearly 100 mostly US-made Patton tanks.

The war was heading for a stalemate, with both nations holding territory of the other. The Indian army suffered 3,000 battlefield deaths, while Pakistan suffered no less than 3,800. The Indian army was in possession of 710 mile² (1,840 km²) of Pakistani territory and the Pakistan army held 210 mile² (545 km²) of Indian territory. The territory occupied by India was mainly in the fertile Sialkot, Lahore and Kashmir sectors, [The Story of My Struggle By Tajammal Hussain Malik 1991, Jang Publishers, pp 78] while Pakistani land gains were primarily in deserts opposite Sindh and in Chumb, in the northern sector. [Khaki Shadows by General K.M. Arif, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-579396-X, 2001]

Aerial warfare

:"See Main articles: Aerial warfare in 1965 India Pakistan War.
Indian and Pakistan accounts on the air war."

The war saw the Indian Air Force and the Pakistani Air Force engaged in full scale combat for the first time since independence. Though the two forces had previously faced off in the First Kashmir War during the late 1940s, that engagement was limited in scale compared to the 1965 conflict.

The two countries have made contradictory claims of combat losses during the war and hardly any neutral sources have verified the claims of either country. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) claimed it shot down 104 IAF planes, losing only 19 in the process. The Indian Air Force (IAF) claimed it shot down 73 PAF planes, losing only 35 itself. According to Indian figures, the overall attrition rate was 2.16% for Pakistan Air Force and 1.49% for IAF. [ [ Book Review] ] India also pointed out that, despite PAF claims of losing only a squadron of combat craft, Pakistan sought to acquire additional aircraft from Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and China within 10 days of the beginning war.

Pakistan's main strike force comprised the U.S. made F-86 Sabre jets, which claimed a fair share of Indian planes, though remaining vulnerable to the diminutive Folland Gnat, nicknamed "Sabre Slayer". [Please see the main article Sabre Slayer for the complete list on this issue including sources.] The F-104 Starfighter of the PAF was by far the fastest fighter plane operating in the subcontinent at that time. Unlike the PAF, whose planes largely consisted of American craft, the IAF flew an assortment of planes, from Vampires to Hawker Hunters, many of which were outdated in comparison to PAF planes. This gave an edge to the PAF to achieve some of the historic dog fight records.

Tank battles

The 1965 war witnessed some of the largest tank battles since World War II. At the beginning of the war, the Pakistani Army had both a numerical advantage in tanks, as well as better equipment overall. [ [ A history of the Pakistan Army] - Defence Journal, Pakistan] Pakistani armour was largely American-made; it consisted mainly of Patton M-47 and M-48 tanks, but also included many M4 Sherman tanks, some M24 Chaffee light tanks and M36 Jackson tank destroyers, equipped with 90 mm guns. [ [ 90mm M36 GUN MOTOR CARRIAGE “Jackson”] "Post W.W.II, the M36 was employed by the US Army in Korea and was distributed to friendly nations including France, where it was used in Indo-China (Vietnam), Pakistan.."] The bulk of India's tank fleet were older M4 Sherman tanks; some were up-gunned with the French high velocity CN 75 50 guns and could hold their own, whilst some older models were still equipped with the inferior 75 mm M3 L/40 gun. Besides the M4 tanks, India fielded the British-made Centurion Tank Mk 7, with the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun, and the AMX-13, PT-76, and M3 Stuart light tanks. Pakistan fielded a greater number and more modern artillery; its guns out-ranged those of the Indian artillery, according to Pakistan's Major General T.H. Malik. [ [ The Battle for Ravi-Sutlej Corridor 1965 A Strategic and Operational Analysis] Major A.H. Amin, December 30, 2001 Orbat]

Despite the qualitative and numerical superiority of Pakistani armour,The Widening Gulf: Asian Nationalism and American Policy By Selig Seidenman Harrison Published 1978Free Press, pp 269] Pakistan was outfought on the battlefield by India, which made progress into the Lahore-Sialkot sector, whilst halting Pakistan's counteroffensive on Amritsar.The Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation: Lessons from South Asia By Devin T. Hagerty Page 70 Published by MIT Press] By the end of the war, Pakistan's newer and more potent Patton tanks proved to be too sophisticated in Pakistani hands;India and Japan: The Emerging Balance of Power in Asia By Columbia University East Asian Institute, Stanley J. Heginbotham, William Howard Wriggins. By Columbia University East Asian Institute, Published 1971, pp 254] they were sometimes employed in a faulty manner, such as charging prepared defenses during the defeat of Pakistan's 1st Armored Division at Assal Uttar.

India's tank formations experienced mixed results. India's attack at the Battle of Chawinda, led by its 1st Armored Division and supporting units, was turned back. One true winner to emerge was India's Centurion battle tank, with its 105 mm gun and heavy armor, which proved superior to the overly complex Pattons and their exaggerated reputations.

Naval hostilities

The navies of India and Pakistan did not play a prominent role in the war of 1965, although Pakistani accounts dispute this.South Asia's Nuclear Security Dilemma: India, Pakistan, and China By Lowell Dittmer, pp 77 "] On September 7, a flotilla of the Pakistani Navy carried out a small scale bombardment of the Indian coastal town and radar station of Dwarka, which was 200 miles (300 km) south of the Pakistani port of Karachi. Codenamed Operation Dwarka, it did not fulfill its primary objective of disabling the radar station and there was no immediate retaliatory response from India. Later, some of the Indian fleet sailed from Bombay to Dwarka to patrol the area and deter further bombardment. Foreign authors have noted that the "insignificant bombardment" [India's Quest for Security: defence policies, 1947-1965 By Lorne John Kavic, , 1967, University of California Press, pp 190] of the town was a "limited engagement, with no strategic value."

According to some Pakistani sources, one submarine, PNS Ghazi, kept the Indian Navy's aircraft carrier INS Vikrant besieged in Bombay throughout the war. Indian sources claim that it was not their intention to get into a naval conflict with Pakistan, and wished to restrict the war to a land-based conflict. [ [ THE INDIAN END OF THE TELESCOPE India and Its Navy] by Vice Admiral Gulab Hiranandani, Indian Navy (Retired), Naval War College Review, Spring 2002, Vol. LV, No. 2] Moreover, they note that the Vikrant was in dry dock in the process of refitting. Some Pakistani defence writers have also discounted claims that the Indian Navy was bottled up in Bombay by a single submarine, instead stating that 75% of the Indian Navy was under maintenance in harbour. [ [ Iqbal F Quadir] - Pakistan's Defence Journal] There were, however, unconfirmed reports of underwater attacks near Bombay by the Indian Navy against what they suspected were American-supplied Pakistani submarines.

Covert operations

The Pakistan Army launched a number of covert operations to infiltrate and sabotage Indian airbases. [ Defence Journal: SSG in the 1965 War] ] On September 7, 1965, the Special Services Group (SSG) commandos were parachuted into enemy territory. According to Chief of Army Staff General Musa Khan, about 135 commandos were airdropped at three Indian airfields(Halwara, Pathankot and Adampur). The daring attempt proved to be an "unmitigated disaster". Only 22 commandos returned to Pakistan as planned, 93 were taken prisoner (including one of the Commanders of the operations, Major Khalid Butt), and 20 were killed in encounters with the army, police or civilians [ [ Pak Def - SSG Regiment] ] The reason for the failure of the commando mission is attributed to the failure to provided maps, proper briefings and adequate planning or preparation [ The Fighter Gap] by Shoab Alam Khan in Defence Journal]

Despite failing to sabotage the airfields, Pakistan sources claim that the commando mission affected some planned Indian operations. As the Indian 14th Division was diverted to hunt for paratroopers, the Pakistan Air Force found the road filled with transport, and destroyed many vehicles. [ [ Defence Journal: The Way it was] Extracts from Pakistan Army Brigadier (Retd) ZA Khan's book]

India responded to the covert activity by announcing rewards for captured Pakistani spies or paratroopers. [ [,9171,842104-9,00.html Ending the Suspense] September 17, 1965, TIME magazine] Meanwhile, in Pakistan, rumors spread that India had retaliated with its own covert operations, sending commandos deep into Pakistan territory, but these rumors were later determined to be unfounded. [ [ Remembering Our Warriors Brig (Retd) Shamim Yasin Manto S.I.(M), S.Bt, Q&A session: ("How would you assess the failures and successes of the SSG in the 1965 War?")] February 2002, Defence Journal]


India and Pakistan make widely divergent claims about the damage they inflicted on each other and the amount of damage suffered by them. The following summarizes each nation's claims.

There have been few neutral assessments of the damages of the war; some of the neutral assessments are mentioned below:-

*According to the United States Library of Congress Country Studies:

The war was militarily inconclusive; each side held prisoners and some territory belonging to the other. Losses were relatively heavy--on the Pakistani side, twenty aircraft, 200 tanks, and 3,800 troops. Pakistan's army had been able to withstand Indian pressure, but a continuation of the fighting would only have led to further losses and ultimate defeat for Pakistan. Most Pakistanis, schooled in the belief of their own martial prowess, refused to accept the possibility of their country's military defeat by "Hindu India" and were, instead, quick to blame their failure to attain their military aims on what they considered to be the ineptitude of Ayub Khan and his government. [ [ United states Library of Congress Country Studies.] ]

*TIME magazine analyzing the conflict, [ [,9171,834413-2,00.html Silent Guns, Wary Combatants] , October 1, 1965, TIME Magazine] reported that India held 690 Mi2 of Pakistan territory while Pakistan held 250 Mi2 of Indian territory in Kashmir and Rajasthan, but had lost half its armour.

Cut off from U.S. and British arms supplies, denied Russian aid, and severely mauled by the larger Indian armed forces, Pakistan could continue the fight only by teaming up with Red China and turning its back on the U.N. ... India, by contrast, is still the big gainer in the war. Shastri had united the nation as never before.

*An excerpt from Stanley Wolpert's "India", [ [] "India" by Stanley Wolpert. Published: University of California Press, 1990] summarizing the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, is as follows:

In three weeks the second IndoPak War ended in what appeared to be a draw when the embargo placed by Washington on U.S. ammunition and replacements for both armies forced cessation of conflict before either side won a clear victory. India, however, was in a position to inflict grave damage to, if not capture, Pakistan's capital of the Punjab when the cease-fire was called, and controlled Kashmir's strategic Uri-Poonch bulge, much to Ayub's chagrin.

*Dennis Kux's "India and the United States estranged democracies" also provides a summary of the war. [ "India and the United States estranged democracies", 1941-1991, ISBN 1-4289-8189-6, DIANE Publishing, Pg 238]

Although both sides lost heavily in men and materiel, and neither gained a decisive military advantage, India had the better of the war. New Delhi achieved its basic goal of thwarting Pakistan's attempt to seize Kashmir by force. Pakistan gained nothing from a conflict which it had instigated.


On September 22, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution that called for an unconditional ceasefire from both nations. The war ended the following day.

The Soviet Union, led by Premier Alexey Kosygin, hosted ceasefire negotiations in Tashkent (now in Uzbekistan), where Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Agreement, agreeing to withdraw to pre-August lines no later than February 25,1966. The ceasefire was criticized by many Pakistanis who, relying on official reports and the controlled Pakistani press, believed that the leadership had surrendered military gains. The protests led to student riots.June 10, 2005] Some recent books written by Pakistani authors, including one by ex-ISI chief titled "The Myth of 1965 Victory", [Can the ISI change its spots? By Akhtar Payami, Dawn (newspaper) October 7, 2006] allegedly exposed Pakistani fabrications about the war, but all copies of the book were bought by Pakistan Army to prevent publication because the topic was "too sensitive". [ [ Army attempts to prevent book sales by Amir Mir] Gulf News October 1, 2006 [ Musharraf buys all copies of sensitive ‘65 war] Daily News & Analysis ] [ [ Inside Story of Musharraf-Mahmood Tussle by Hassan Abbas] - (Belfer Center for International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government)]

India and Pakistan accused each other of ceasefire violations; India charged Pakistan with 585 violations in 34 days, while Pakistan countered with accusations of 450 incidents by India. [ [,9171,901761,00.html A Cease-Fire of Sorts November 5, 1965] - TIME] In addition to the expected exchange of small arms and artillery fire, India reported that Pakistan utilized the ceasefire to capture the Indian village of Chananwalla in the Fazilka sector. This village was recaptured by Indian troops on 25 December. On October 10, a B-57 Canberra on loan to the PAF was damaged by 3 SA-2 missiles fired from the IAF base at Ambala ["The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965", Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra, Manohar Publications, New Delhi, 2005] A Pakistani Army Auster was shot down on 16 December, killing one Pakistani army captain and on 2 February 1967, an AOP was shot down by IAF Hunters.

The ceasefire remained in effect until the start of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

Intelligence failures

Strategic miscalculations by both India and Pakistan ensured that the war ended in a stalemate.

Indian miscalculations

Indian military intelligence gave no warning of the impending Pakistan invasion. The Indian Army failed to recognize the presence of heavy Pakistani artillery and armaments in Chumb and suffered significant losses as a result.

The " [ Official History of the 1965 War] ", drafted by the Ministry of Defence of India in 1992, was a long suppressed document that revealed other miscalculations. According to the document, on September 22 when the Security Council was pressing for a ceasefire, the Indian Prime Minister asked commanding Gen. Chaudhuri if India could possibly win the war, were he to delay accepting the ceasefire. The general replied that most of India's frontline ammunition had been used up and the Indian Army had suffered considerable tank losses. It was determined later that only 14% of India's frontline ammunition had been fired and India held twice the number of tanks as Pakistan. By this time, the Pakistani Army had used close to 80% of its ammunition.

Air Chief Marshal (retd) P.C. Lal, who was the Vice Chief of Air Staff during the conflict, points to the lack of coordination between the IAF and the Indian army. Neither side revealed its battle plans to the other. The battle plans drafted by the Ministry of Defence and General Chaudhari, did not specify a role for the Indian Air Force in the order of battle. This attitude of Gen. Chaudhari was referred to by ACM Lal as the "Supremo Syndrome", a patronizing attitude sometimes attributed to the Indian army towards the other branches of the Indian Military.

Pakistani miscalculations

The Pakistani Army's failures started with the supposition that a generally discontented Kashmiri people, given the opportunity provided by the Pakistani advance, would revolt against their Indian rulers, bringing about a swift and decisive surrender of Kashmir. The Kashmiri people, however, did not revolt. Instead, the Indian Army was provided with enough information to learn of Operation Gibraltar and the fact that the Army was battling not insurgents, as they had initially supposed, but Pakistani Army regulars.

The Pakistani Army also failed to recognize that the Indian policy makers would order an attack on the southern sector in order to open a second theater of conflict. Pakistan was forced to dedicate troops to the southern sector to protect Sialkot and Lahore instead using them to support penetrating into Kashmir.

"Operation Grand Slam", which was launched by Pakistan to capture Akhnoor, a town north-east of Jammu and a key region for communications between Kashmir and the rest of India, was also a failure. Many Pakistani commentators criticized the Ayub Khan administration for being indecisive during Operation Grand Slam. These critics claim that the operation failed because Ayub Khan knew the importance of Akhnur to India (having called it India's "jugular vein") and did not want to capture it and drive the two nations into an all-out war. Despite progress being made in Akhnur, General Ayub Khan relieved the commanding Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik and replaced him with Gen. Yahya Khan. A 24-hour lull ensued the replacement, which allowed the Indian army to regroup in Akhnur and successfully oppose a lackluster attack headed by General Yahya Khan. "The enemy came to our rescue", asserted the Indian Chief of Staff of the Western Command. Later, Akhtar Hussain Malik criticized Ayub Khan for planning Operation Gibraltar, which was doomed to fail, and for relieving him of his command at a crucial moment in the war. Malik threatened to expose the truth about the war and the army's failure, but later dropped the idea for fear of being banned. [ [ Musharraf, the ‘poor man’s Ataturk’ By Khalid Hasan] September 19, 2004 Daily Times]

Some authors have noted that Pakistan might have been emboldened by a war game - conducted in March 1965, at the Institute of Defence Analysis, USA. The exercise concluded that, in the event of a war with India, Pakistan would win. [The Crisis Game: Simulating International Conflict by Sidney F. Giffin] [ [ 1965 decided fate of the subcontinent] [ Kashmir By Susmit Kumar, Ph.D.] ] Other authors like Stephen Philip Cohen, have consistently commented that the Pakistan Army had "acquired an exaggerated view of the weakness of both India and the Indian military... the 1965 war was a shock".cite book | author=Stephen Philip Cohen | title=The Idea of Pakistan | publisher=Brookings Institution Press | year=2004|id=ISBN 0-8157-1502-1 Pages 103, 73-74]

Pakistani Air Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of PAF during the war, Nur Khan, later said that the Pakistan Army, and not India, should be blamed for starting the war. [ [ Noor Khan for early end to army rule] - Pakistan Daily The Nation] [ [,curpg-3.cms A word from Pak: 1965 was 'wrong'] The Times of India September 6, 2005] ] However propaganda in Pakistan about the war continued; the war was not rationally analyzed in Pakistan, [ [ Editorial: The army and the people] Daily Times June 1, 2007] [ [ The Pakistan Army From 1965 to 1971 "Analysis and reappraisal after the 1965 War"] by Maj (Retd) Agha Humayun Amin] with most of the blame being heaped on the leadership and little importance given to intelligence failures that persisted until the debacle of the 1971 war, when Pakistan was comprehensively defeated and dismembered by India, leading to the creation of Bangladesh.

Involvement of other nations

The United States of America, which had previously supplied military equipment to India and Pakistan, imposed an embargo against further supplies to both countries once the war had started. The US was apprehensive that military equipment that it had provided to be used in a battle against communism, would instead be used by the countries to fight one another. The American embargo especially affected Pakistan since the majority of its equipment was provided by America. This would cause Pakistan to believe that it could not continue the war beyond September. [ [ CCC] ]

Following imposition of the American embargo, other NATO allies (including the UK) discontinued providing military equipment to the nations.

Both before and during the war, China had been a major military associate of Pakistan and had invariably admonished India, with whom it had fought a war in 1962. There were also reports of Chinese troop movements on the Indian border to support Pakistan. [ [ Pakistan and India Play With Nuclear Fire By Jonathan Power] The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research] As such, India agreed to the UN mandate in order to avoid a war on both borders.

India's participation in the Non-Aligned Movement yielded little support from its members. Pakistan, however, gained assistance from countries of Asia with large Islamic populations, including Turkey, Iran and Indonesia. The USSR was more neutral than most other nations during the war and even invited both nations to talks that it would host in Tashkent. [ [ Story of Pakistan] ] [Asymmetric Conflicts By T. V. Paul Cambridge University Press 1994 ISBN 0521466210, pp119]

Consequences of the war


The war had created a tense state of affairs in its aftermath. Though the war was indecisive, Pakistan suffered much heavier material and personnel casualties compared to India. Many war historians believe that had the war continued, with growing loss and decreasing supplies, Pakistan would have been eventually defeated. India's decision to declare ceasefire with Pakistan caused some outrage among the Indian populace, who believed they had the upper hand.

India continued to increase its defense spending after the war. The Indian Military, which was already undergoing rapid expansions, made improvements in command and control to address some shortcomings. Partly as a result of the inefficient information gathering preceding the war, India established the Research and Analysis Wing for external espionage and intelligence.

India viewed the American policy during the war as biased, since Pakistan had started the war but the US did little to restrain Pakistan. [Title: India and the United States estranged democracies, 1941-1991, ISBN 1-4289-8189-6, DIANE Publishing] After the war, India slowly started aligning with the Soviet Union, both politically and militarily. This would be cemented formally years later before the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

In light of the failures of the previous war against the Chinese, the performance in this war was viewed as a "politico-strategic" victory in India. The Indian premier, Shastri was hailed as a hero in India. [ [ The 1965 war with Pakistan] - Encyclopædia Britannica]


At the conclusion of the war, many Pakistanis considered the performance of their military to be positive. September 6 is celebrated as 'Defence Day' in Pakistan, in commemoration of the successful defence of Lahore against the Indian army. The performance of the Pakistani Air Force, in particular, was praised.

The myth of a mobile, hard hitting Pakistan Army, however, was badly dented in the war, as critical breakthroughs were not made. [ [ Pakistan And Its Three Wars by Vice Adm (Retd) Iqbal F Quadir] - Defence Journal, Pakistan] Several Pakistani writers criticized the military's ill-founded belief that their "Martial Race" of soldiers could defeat India in the war. [Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat Richard H. Shultz, Andrea Dew: "The Martial Races Theory had firm adherents in Pakistan and this factor played a major role in the under-estimation of the Indian Army by Pakistani soldiers as well as civilian decision makers in 1965."] [ [ An Analysis The Sepoy Rebellion of 1857-59 by AH Amin] "The army officers of that period were convinced that they were a martial race and the Hindus of Indian Army were cowards. This myth was largely disproved in 1965"] Moreover, Pakistan had lost more ground than it had gained during the war and, more importantly, failed to achieve its goal of occupying Kashmir; this result has been viewed by many impartial observers as a defeat for Pakistan. [ [ Profile of Pakistan] - U.S. Department of State, [ Failure of U.S.'s Pakistan Policy] - Interview with Steve Coll] [ [ Speech of Bill McCollum] in United States House of Representatives September 12, 1994] [South Asia in World Politics By Devin T. Hagerty, 2005 Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0-7425-2587-2, pp 26]

Many high ranking Pakistani officials and military experts later criticized the faulty planning of Operation Gibraltar that ultimately led to the war. The Tashkent declaration was also criticized in Pakistan, though few citizens realised the gravity of the situation that existed at the end of the war.

Political leaders were also criticized. Following the advice of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's foreign minister, Ayub Khan had raised very high expectations among the people of Pakistan about the superiority - if not invincibility - of its armed forces, [ [ Dr. Ahmad Faruqui] ] but Pakistan's inability to attain its military aims during the war, created a political liability for Ayub.cite book | author=Hassan Abbas | title=Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror | publisher=M.E. Sharpe | year=2004|id=ISBN 0-7656-1497-9, pp52 ] The defeat of its Kashmiri ambitions in the war led to the army's invincibility being challenged by an increasingly vocal opposition. [ [ BBC] ] And with the war creating a huge financial burden, Pakistan's economy, which had witnessed rapid progress in the early 60s, took a severe beating. [ [ Embassy of Pakistan] ] [ [ Second opinion: The insidious logic of war Khaled Ahmed’s Urdu Press Review] Daily Times June 3, 2002]

Pakistan was surprised by the lack of support by the United States, an ally with whom the country had signed an Agreement of Cooperation. USA declared its neutrality in the war by cutting off military supplies to both sides, leading Islamabad to believe that they were "betrayed" by the United States. [ [Economic Sanctions and American Diplomacy By Richard N. Haass, 1998, Council on Foreign Relations, ISBN 0876092121 pp172] After the war, Pakistan would increasingly look towards China as a major source of military hardware and political support.

Another negative consequence of the war was the growing resentment against the Pakistani government in East Pakistan(present day Bangladesh), particularly for West Pakistan's obsession with Kashmir. [Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age By Peter Paret, 1986, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198200978 pp802] Bengali leaders accused the central government of not providing adequate security for East Pakistan during the conflict, even though large sums of money were taken from the east to finance the war for Kashmir. [cite book | author=Rounaq Jahan | title=Pakistan: Failure in National Integration | publisher=Columbia University Press | year=1972 | id=ISBN 0-231-03625-6 Pg 166-167] In fact, despite some Pakistan Air Force attacks being launched from bases in East Pakistan during the war, India did not retaliate in that sector, [ [ Reflections on two military presidents By M.P. Bhandara] December 25, 2005, Dawn] although East Pakistan was defended only by an understrenghted infantry division (14 Division), sixteen planes and no tanks. [ [ The Pakistan Army From 1965 to 1971 "Yahya Khan as Army Chief-1966-1971"] by Maj (Retd) Agha Humayun Amin] Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was critical of the disparity in military resources deployed in East and West Pakistan, calling for greater autonomy for East Pakistan, which ultimately led to the Bangladesh Liberation war and another war between India and Pakistan in 1971.

Further reading

* "An Army Its Role and Rule (A History or the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil 1947-1999), Muhammad Ayub ISBN 0-8059-9594-3
* "India-Pakistan war, 1965" Hari Ram Gupta
* "Die to live: A selection of short stories based on the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war" Muhammad Ismail Siddiqui.
* "The war with Pakistan: A pictorial narration of the fifty days which rocked the sub-continent" Dewan Berindranath
* "First & Further reflections on the second Kashmir War" (South Asia series) - 2 books by Louis Dupree.
* "The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965" P.V.S.Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra, [ [ Samir Chopra's Home Page ] ] Manohar Publishers
* "War Dispatches" Lt. General Harbaksh Singh, Lancer International
* "Indian Army after Independence" Maj K C Praval, Lancer International
* "Battle for Pakistan" John Fricker, Ian Allan
* "The Indo-Pakistan Conflict" Russell Brines
* "India Pakistan 1965 War: Role of Tanks" Lt Col Bhupinder Singh, Publisher Unknown.
* "The First Round: Indo-Pakistan War 1965" by M Asghar Khan



Sources and external links

* [ - WTF - Indo-Pak war of ‘65. Why did we go to war?]
* [ IAF Combat Kills - 1965 war] ,(Center for Indian Military History)
*cite book | author=Mohammed Musa Khan | title= My Version: India-Pakistan War 1965 | publisher=Wajidalis | year=1983 | id=
* [ United States Library of Congress Country Studies - India]
* [ Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the 1965 War with Pakistan]
* [ Story of Pakistan]
* [ Indo-Pakistan War 1965]
* [ Pakistan Columnist AH Amin analyzes the war.]
* [ Grand Slam - A Battle of lost Opportunities, Maj (Retd) Agha Humayun Amin] — very detailed roll of events and analysis
* [ A Critical Look at the 1965 Operations, Air Chief Marshall (retd) PC Lal] — dispassionate analysis
* [ The India-Pakistan War, 1965: 40 Years On] - From
* [ Lessons of the 1965 War from Daily Times (Pakistan)]
* [ Pak Army's Kargil like disaster of 1965 - South Asia Tribune]
* [ Spirit of ’65 & the parallels with today - Ayaz Amir]
* [ Pakistan Army version of the War] -
* [ Air Commodore Syed Sajjad Haider on 1965 war and surrounding events]

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