How did the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 start?


Answer by Ugam Kamat:

Minor skirmishes have continued to happen at the borders of the two nations for decades now. The disputed area in Kashmir has been the forefront reason for such border disputes. Both India and Pakistan had remained in contention over the border disputes. These minor skirmishes culminated into a full-fledged war in 1965 which is also known as the Second Kashmir War. The war of 1971 was a result of direct military confrontation between the countries in the Bangladesh Liberation War.

The war of 1965
India regained the control of the disputed area of Rann of Kutch in 1956. Pakistani patrols began patrolling in territory controlled by India in January 1965, which was followed by attacks by both countries on each other's posts on 8 April 1965. After its success in the Rann of Kutch, Pakistan, under the leadership of General Ayub Khan decided to extend this strategy in Kashmir. In his opinion, Indian Army would be unable to defend itself against a quick military campaign in the disputed territory of Kashmir as the Indian military had suffered a huge blow in the war with China in 1962. Pakistan believed that the population of Kashmir was generally discontented with Indian rule and that a resistance movement could be ignited by a few infiltrating saboteurs. Pakistan attempted to ignite the resistance movement by means of a covert infiltration, codenamed Operation Gibraltar. On 5 August 1965, between 26,000 and 33,000 Pakistani soldiers crossed the Line of Control (LOC) dressed as Kashmiri locals and headed for various areas within Kashmir. The Pakistani infiltrators were soon discovered, their presence being reported by local Kashmiris, and the operation ended unsuccessfully on the Pakistani Side.
The War of 1971
Pakistan army conducted widespred genocide against the Bengali population, aiming mainly at the Hindu community, with 10 million people fleeing their home nation and taking refuge in neighbouring Indian states. A generous Indian government created refugee camps in the states, but the extent of the inflow of refugees placed a heavy toll on the already defunct Indian Economy. As the help from International organizations proved futile, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi extended full-fledged political and military support to the Bangladesh government for the independence of the people of East Pakistan. Exiled East Pakistan army officers and members of the Indian Intelligence immediately started using these camps for recruitment and training of Mukti Bahini Guerillas.
The mood in West Pakistan had also turned increasingly jingoistic and militaristic against East Pakistan and India. By the end of September, an organised propaganda campaign, possibly orchestrated by elements within the Government of Pakistan, resulted in stickers proclaiming Crush India becoming a standard feature on the rear windows of vehicles in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Lahore and soon spread to the rest of West Pakistan. On the evening of 3 December Sunday after declaring emergency in Pakistan, at about 5:40 pm, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) launched a pre-emptive strike on eleven airfields in north-western India, including Agra, which was 300 miles (480 km) from the border. At the time of this attack the Taj Mahal was camouflaged with a forest of twigs and leaves and draped with burlap because its marble glowed like a white beacon in the moonlight. Lasting just 13 days, it is considered to be one of the shortest wars in history.
During the course of the war, Indian and Pakistani forces clashed on the eastern and western fronts. The war effectively came to an end after the Eastern Command of the Pakistani Armed Forces signed the Instrument of Surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka, marking the liberation of the new nation of Bangladesh. East Pakistan had officially seceded from Pakistan on 26 March 1971. Between 90,000 and 93,000 members of the Pakistan Armed Forces including paramilitary personnel were taken as Prisoners of War by the Indian Army. It is estimated that between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 civilians were killed in Bangladesh, and other 30,000,000 fled for their stake of life.
As it is rightly said, “War creates more problem than it solves”.

How did the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 start?


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