10 January 1966
On 10 January 1966, India and Pakistan signed the Tashkent Declaration to bring peace in the wake of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
India and Pakistan fought four wars over the state of Jammu and Kashmir since independence.
The first Indo-Pakistani war also known as the First Kashmir War was fought just after independence in 1947-48. This resulted in the establishment of the Line of Control (LOC) as the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.
In April 1965, Pakistan launched Operation Gibraltar in an attempt to capture Kashmir by force. This led to an all out war in August 1965. It continued until September that year until the two major superpowers of the day, USA and the USSR intervened through diplomatic channels.
Under the auspices of the USSR, a meeting was held at Tashkent, USSR (now in Uzbekistan) from 4th to 10th January 1966 in order to create a more lasting peace accord between India and Pakistan.
The meeting was held between the Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and the Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan. The Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin acted as the moderator.
According to the Declaration, the following points were to be followed by both countries:
- India and Pakistan agreed to pull back their forces to their pre-conflict positions (positions held prior to 5 August 1965) by 25 February 1966.
- They also agreed not to interfere in the internal matters of each other. They agreed to discourage propaganda against each other and encourage friendly discourse.
- Both governments agreed to observe the Vienna Convention of 1961 on diplomatic discourse and agreed to return their respective High Commissions to their posts.
- They agreed to restore economic cooperation and trade as before. They also agreed to maintain friendly neighbourly relations with each other.
Although viewed as a success at that time, the Indo-Pakistani problem still persists. The Kashmir issue is yet to be resolved and fighting continues along the border.
The Tashkent Declaration was criticised in India because of the omission of a no-war pact.
Shastri died mysteriously in Tashkent after signing the agreement. It was reported that he died of a heart attack but there have been conspiracy theories on his death speculating that he was assassinated.
Also on January 10:
1886: Birth of John Mathai, noted Economist and Independent India’s first railway minister.
1920: India became a member of the League of Nations.
1959: American civil rights activist Martin Luther King arrived in New Delhi.
See more ‘This Day in History’ articles here.
Also, read for more information on UPSC Preparation: