Home / Politics / Policy /  Remembering the 1965 India-Pakistan war

Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the second India-Pakistan war over Kashmir.

It followed the death of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in May 1964 and his replacement by Lal Bahadur Shastri. It also came after India’s defeat at the hands of China in the October 1962 border war. The assumption was that a relatively unstable India would not involve itself in another full-scale war.

Given these developments, India appeared vulnerable. And it would have appeared to be a perfect moment for Pakistan to make another effort to seize Kashmir.

Code-named Operation Gibraltar, Pakistan launched an attack on India that saw a group of troops crossing the line of control and then the international border. This was preceded by groups of Pakistani troops infiltrating Kashmir with a plan to mingle with a population that was restive following the arrest of Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah in May 1965 following his meeting with Chinese premier Chou En Lai in Algiers.

Shastri surprised many with his wartime leadership that saw Indian troops cross into Pakistani territory, bringing to nought Pakistan’s second attempt to snatch Kashmir by force. On the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, Mint takes a look at the war and the key developments leading up it.

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