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

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
Operation Gibraltar. .

This is also known as the second Indo-Pakistani conflict (1965) and it was also fought over Kashmir and started without a formal declaration of war. The war began in August 5, 1965 and was ended Sept 22, 1965.The war was initiated by Pakistan who, since the defeat of India by China in 1962, had come to believe that Indian military would be unable or unwilling to defend against a quick military campaign in Kashmir, and also the Pakistani government was becoming increasingly alarmed by Indian efforts to integrate Kashmir within India.

On August 5, 1965 between 26,000 and 33,000 Pakistani soldiers crossed the Line of Control dressed as Kashmiri locals headed for various areas within Kashmir. Indian forces, tipped off by the local populace, crossed the cease fire line on August 15.The initial battle mainly involved the Air Force of both the countries.
Unfortunately the battle was indecisive. By Sept 22 both sides had agreed to a UN mandated cease-fire ending the war that had by that point reached a stalemate.

Indo-Pakistan War of 1965

The War of 1971
This is the third war between India and Pakistan that took place between November 22 (when the Indians began providing active artillery support to the seperatists) and Dec 17, 1971.The origin is considered different from the previous conflict and is considered as a direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

The Pakistani failure to accommodate demands for autonomy in East Pakistan in 1970 led to secessionist demands in 1971. In March 1971, Pakistan’s armed forces launched a fierce campaign to suppress the resistance movement that had emerged but encountered unexpected mass defections among East Pakistani soldiers and police. The Pakistani forces regrouped and reasserted their authority over most of East Pakistan by May. As a result of these military actions, thousands of East Pakistanis died at the hands of the Pakistani army. Resistance fighters and nearly 10 million refugees fled to sanctuary in West Bengal, the adjacent Indian state.

By midsummer, the Indian leadership, in the absence of a political solution to the East Pakistan crisis, had fashioned a strategy designed to assist the establishment of the independent nation of Bangladesh. As part of this strategy, in August 1971, India signed a twenty-year Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation with the Soviet Union. One of the treaty’s clauses implied that each nation was expected to come to the assistance of the other in the event of a threat to national security such as that occurring in the 1965 war with Pakistan. Simultaneously, India organized, trained, and provided sanctuary to the Mukti Bahini (meaning Liberation Force in Bengali), the East Pakistani armed resistance fighters.
On December 3, 1971, Pakistan launched an air attack in the western sector on a number of Indian airfields to which the Indian air force retaliated the next day and quickly achieved air superiority. In the meantime, the Indian navy effectively blockaded East Pakistan. Dhaka fell to combined Indian and Mukti Bahini forces on December 16, bringing a quick end to the war.

On the evening of December 3, the Pakistani army launched ground operations in Kashmir and Punjab. It also started an armored operation in Rajasthan. The major Indian counteroffensive came in the Sialkot-Shakargarh area south and west of Chhamb. There, two Pakistani tank regiments, equipped with United States-made Patton tanks, confronted the Indian First Armored Corps, which had British Centurion tanks. In what proved to be the largest tank battle of the war, both sides suffered considerable casualties.

The Instrument of Surrender of Pakistani forces stationed in East Pakistan was signed at Ramna Race Course in Dhaka on 16 December 1971, by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, General Officer Commanding-in-chief of Eastern Command of the Indian Army and Lieutenant General A. A. K. Niazi, Commander of Pakistani forces in East Pakistan. India took approximately 90,000 prisoners of war, including Pakistani soldiers and their East Pakistani civilian supporters.

Indo-Pakistan War of 1971

Indo Pak War of 1971 – Some Not-so-public Facts

Three Indian blunders in the 1971 war


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