This Day in History – August 5

5 August 1965

Second Indo-Pak war begins


What happened?

The second Indo-Pak war began on 5th august 1965. This war was fought over the Kashmir issue and was initiated by Pakistan when between 26000 and 33000 Pakistani troops dressed as locals crossed over to the Indian side of the Line of Control (LOC). The war ended on 23 September 1965. This is an important event in India’s modern history and international relations for the IAS exam.

Second Indo-Pak War Background

  • On August 5, 1965, Pakistani troops masquerading as Kashmiri locals crossed the LOC with the aim of starting an insurgency among the locals against the Indian government.
  • This infiltration strategy was codenamed Operation Gibraltar. With this, Pakistan aimed to take control of Kashmir.
  • India had suffered a defeat at the hands of China in 1962 and Pakistan thought that the Indian army would not be able to defend Kashmir.
  • Operation Gibraltar was a failure since the presence of Pakistanis was reported to the Indian authorities by the locals themselves.
  • The Indian army retaliated and captured the Haji Pir Pass in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • On 1 September, Pakistan put into action its Operation Grand Slam aimed at capturing the town of Akhnoor in Jammu.
  • Although the Indian army was taken by surprise by this move, Pakistan was not able to capture Akhnoor.
  • India retaliated by attacking further south of the valley and successfully drove away the infiltrators from Kargil.
  • The international border (Radcliffe Line) was crossed by India on 6 September which marked the official beginning of the war.
  • The Indian army captured certain areas in the Lahore district of Pakistan.
  • This war, unlike the previous conflict in 1947-48, was fought on many fronts including in Rajasthan. This war also saw aerial combat between India and Pakistan for the first time.
  • This war saw action on the naval front also.
  • The war ended on 23 September 1965 after the United Nations Security Council called for an unconditional ceasefire from both India and Pakistan the previous day.
  • Both the USA and the USSR intervened diplomatically to prevent further escalation of the conflict.
  • The war was a victory for India even though Pakistan claims otherwise. Their stated aim of ‘liberating Kashmir’ did not succeed.
  • Both countries held each other’s territory after the war. India held 1840 sq.km of area while Pakistan held 540 sq.km.
  • India had 3000 military casualties while Pakistan had 3800.
  • Ceasefire negotiations were hosted by the USSR in Tashkent (now in Uzbekistan) in January 1966 which led to the Tashkent Agreement. The signatories to this agreement were Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan.
  • Shastri died in Tashkent following a heart attack.
  • This agreement compelled India and Pakistan to return the annexed areas to each other.
  • Officially the war ended in a stalemate owing to international diplomatic pressure, but India emerged as victorious considering the losses suffered by Pakistan.
  • When India agreed to the ceasefire, there was a lot of protest by the people and the military in India who believed a decisive victory could have been possible.
  • The ceasefire was in place until the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
  • The pre-war intelligence failure was partly responsible for India setting up the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW).
Also on this day
1905: Dr. Rajah Sir Muthiah Chettiar, banker, politician and philanthropist was born.

1950: Gopinath Bordoloi, freedom fighter and the architect of modern Assam passed away.

1965: Jayaprakash Narayan awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service.

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