Victory Day: 1965 War Revisited

(Sajjad Shaukat, )

September 20 is observed as the Victory Day; Pakistan won this day the 1965 war which India imposed on September 6, 1965.

In 2015, the Indian governmentwhile celebrating the golden jubilee propagated about afalse victory claiming that it was India not Pakistan that won the 1965 war. Indian celebrations began on August 28, 2015 and went on until 22 September – the day Pakistan and India agreed upon a UN-sponsored ceasefire, requested by India. Islamabad is quite justified in relation to celebrations because the world acknowledge that it defeated India. None other but Indian military leadership itself admitted that India faced humiliating defeat at the hands of Pakistan. In his book “The Duels of the Himalayan Eagle: The First Indo-Pak Air War”, Air Marshal (retd) Bharat Kumar of IAF admitted the Indian defeat in 1965.

On 6 September 1965, India started the war and its forces crossed the international border at Lahore front to which Pakistan Armed Forces quickly responded. An Indian Regiment crossed the BRB canal and captured the town of Batapore (Jallo Mur). The same day, a counter offensive by Pakistan forced the 15 Indian Division to withdraw to its starting point. Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed played a key role in this battle.

On the Sialkot front, a number of Pakistan Army soldiers sacrificed their lives to stop the advancement of Indian tanks. The war witnessed some of the largest tank battles since World War II; it was fought at Chawinda, Sialkot sector and resulted into a victory by Pakistan. Over 120 Indian tanks got destroyed by Pakistani forces.

Regarding aerial warfare PAF emerged victorious as it destroyed over 100 Indian aircraft either on the ground or in the air, and damaged more than 10. Pakistan’s Squadron Leader M MAlam set a new world record while shooting down on 7 September five Indian aircraft in less than 60 seconds over Sargodha. Flight Lieutenant Yunus Hussain fought singly against six enemy aircraft and shot down two IAFHunter jets. On 6 September, while attacking Halwara airfield, his small formation was intercepted by a large number of enemy. Although his aircraft was hit, yet he refused to break off the engagement by disregarding his personal safety and therefore he embraced martyrdom.

The role of Pakistan Navy in the war is also appreciable. Securing Pakistan’s coastlines, it played a pivotal role in defeating India. The successful Operation Dawarka was launched by Pakistan on September 7. The Indian Navy had harboured its warships in Mumbai, making Pakistan unable to attack. Ghazi, Pakistan’s only submarine, successfully attacked heavy ships of the Indian Navy and claimed victory.Despite a surprise attack,both qualitative and numerical superiority, Pakistan Armed Forces not only recaptured Indian territories but also took Khem Karan from Indian forces including various regions of Rajastan, Sindh, and Chumb in Kashmir. Indian defeat was owing to its soldiers’ demoralization.

This year, the day comes at a time when Pakistan military is facing multiple threats of grave nature externally and internally. Since August 5, 2019 when Indian government revoked articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOK), Indian fanatic government of the ruling party BJP led by the extremist Prime Minister Modi continued lockdown there. Implementing the ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu Nationalism), Indian rulers also issued domicile certificates to more than 400000 non-Kashmiris and also martyred many people by accelerated firing at the stones-pelting Kashmiris.

Notably, Pakistan Armed Forces, especially, Pakistan Army and Rangers have been boldly responding to India’s unprovoked shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir.Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa repeatedly stated that Pakistan Armed Forces are fully ready to meet any prospective aggression or invasion by India. Very tension escalated rapidly between the two countries on February 27, 2019 in the aftermath of the false flag terror attack of Pulwama, when in response to the Indian pre-emptive air strike near the town of Balakot-Pakistan’s sector of Kashmir, PAF shot down two IAF fighter jets and launched aerial strikes at six targets in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Pak Army also captured an Indian pilot.The truth about India’s surgical strikes exposed, when the then Indian India’s External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj demitted that no Pakistani soldier or citizen died in the air strike in Balakot.

As regards internal challenges, by imbibing the same spirit of the 1965 war, Pakistan’s military, during the successful military operations have killed manyterrorists through ground offensive. Country’s primarily intelligence agency ISI also recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from the possession of the terrorists. Thus, they have effectively broken the backbone of the foreign-supported terrorists. Peace has been restored in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Karachi, including other regions.Nevertheless, during the 1965 war, the whole nation showed solidarity with Pakistan Armed Forces and the air of the country was full of anthems and patriotic songs, particularly in Noor Jahan’s voice which prompted every soldier to fight harder. Nonetheless, there were a lot of national heroes like Brigadier Ahsan Rasheed, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, SQN LDR M. M. Alam, SqnLdrSarfarazRafiqui, etc., most recognized, many unsung, we remember them always and particularly on September 20, marking the Victory Day.

So, unlike Indian false claim of victory by the Modi government, Pakistan won that war. In fact, when Indians were at the edge of loss, some of their officials went to the USA and requested for ceasefire, because they did not want further loss. India’s Prime Minister Shastri suffered a fatal heart attack soon after the declaration of the ceasefire through Tashkent Declaration.It is mentionable that the “Official History of the 1965 War”, drafted by the Ministry of Defence of India 1992 realised Indian miscalculations. According to it, on 22 September when the Security Council Security 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.

In these terms, the Victory Day is celebrated every year as Pakistan Armed Forces and the entire nation stood united in 1965 for the defense of the homeland against India which had threatened the territorial integrity of the country through an all-out war.

(SajjadShaukat is author of“Invisible Balance of Power”)

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