In remembrance of 1965 War

Courtesy:- Shamsa Ishfaq

The Pakistani nation will be celebrating 47th Defence Day of Pakistan on 6th September with enthusiasm. The defence day marked the September 1965 War and the valiant defence put up by the armed forces against Indian aggression. It was during 1965 War with India when Pakistan armed forces and its people proved that it’s not the size that matters but the courage and devotion to duty and cause.

Forty-seven years back on September 6, Indian army crossed the Wagah border and moved towards Lahore, despite assurances at international forums that it would not cross international borders. This attack touched off the second Indo-Pakistan war. It was the moment when Pakistan Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan stood united in defence of the country and presented exemplary display of chivalry, courage and gallantry against their enemy. In the war of 1965 especially our brave and fearless Armed Forces exhibited exemplary discipline and spirit of sacrifice in defending their homeland making their nation proud.

The valiant sons of Pakistan Army took hold of the grounds and showed extraordinary tales of heroism. A fierce tank battle the biggest after the World War II was fought at Chawinda in Sialkot sector.

The Navy took an offensive and silenced the Indian Navy by an attack on their port at Dwareka. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was exceptionally prompt and of exemplary help to the ground forces. In ‘65 war, the PAF inflicted a humiliating defeat on the enemy and struck hard its rival and kept it reeling under tactics of shock and unpredictability. Thus, the outnumbered PAF emerged triumphant over a four times larger force, its air defence controllers, engineers, logisticians hands just as much the heroes as its pilots.

The Times of India has acquired a copy of the official history of the 1965 war, finalized by Indian Defence Ministry in 1992 after years of research, but suppressed ever since. Contemporary accounts, generated by a jingoistic press, saw the war as a spectacular victory on almost every front. But the truth that could not be hidden despite the best efforts of the official historians is that the war was, in the words of one of its most distinguished commanders, Lt. Gen Harbakhsh Singh, “A catalogue of lost victories”.

The 1965 presented a true picture of Napoleon’s famous saying that there are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. During the war foreign journalists’ observations given below are also a proof of this awesome combination of sword and spirit of the Pakistani nation.

On September 15, 1965 American broadcasting Corporation’s Roy Malone reported that ‘I have been a journalist now for twenty years and want to go on record that I have never seen a more confident and victorious group of soldiers than those fighting for Pakistan, right now.’

On September 17, Time Magazine reported that, “Pakistan’s small highly trained army is more than a match for the Indians.”

According to the London Daily Mirror of September 1965 “India is being soundly beaten by a nation which is outnumbered by four and a half to one in population and three to one in size of armed forces.”

This day is important to us as a nation because India’s imposed war on Pakistan was fought by us as a nation united in its resolve and determination to halt and beat-back Indian multi-dimensional attacks. During the war every citizen of the country was united behind the government. The national priorities were clear and unambiguous in those days, any danger to the country called for unity and unstinted support to the government and the armed forces.

There was no question of any political party or leader taking advantage of the war to rebuke the government for political or personal gains. Lahore — the heart of Pakistan — had earned a place of distinction the moment the war started in 1965. At one hand it became the target of enemy attacks, boasts and propaganda claims and on the other hand its citizens became participants in Pakistan’s counter-offensive in that theatre. At that time only that mattered was an enemy out there at the borders, which had to be checked not only by the soldiers at the battlefront but also by a fully supportive population. With the nation’s support the armed forces of Pakistan repulsed India’s naked aggression across the international border and made her pay a price for it by capturing four times more territory than India and forcing her to accept a ceasefire, return to the negotiating table and to vacate each others’ territory.

After September 1965 war with India, Pakistan emerged as a strong and self-confident nation, proud of itself and its armed forces. It was certainly a day to be remembered by future generations of soldiers and civilians. Our soldiers laid their lives for a better future of our country. A better future is achieved by a better nation, and a better nation never forgets its history. Many of our brave sons of soil gave up their lives so that we could live and hold our heads high whenever we speak of our country! The whole Pakistani nation is proud of them. On this Defence Day, we salute our national heroes of 1965 and promise to exhibit the spirit of September 6, 1965 and make the country a tolerant, developed, progressive, enlightened and democratic Islamic welfare state, as envisaged by its founding fathers.


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