Second Indo-Pakistani War

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Second Indo-Pakistani War
date August – 23. September 1965
place India
exit Armistice, no territorial changes
Parties to the conflict

IndiaIndia India

PakistanPakistan Pakistan
Supported by: Iran
Iran 1964Iran 


Lal Bahadur Shastri
Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri

Muhammed Ayub Khan
Muhammad Musa
Syed Mohammad Ahsan

Map of Kashmir

The Second Indo-Pakistani War , also known as the Second Kashmir War , was fought from August to September 1965 between the South Asian states of India and Pakistan around the Kashmir region claimed by both sides . From April to July 1965, it was preceded by a few skirmishes over the likewise controversial wetland of the Rann von Kachchh in the southern section of the Indian-Pakistani border. The war ended with the restoration of the pre-war status ( status quo ante bellum ).


In view of US support in the form of arms deliveries, the better technical equipment of the Pakistani armed forces and the defeat of India in the Indo-Chinese War of 1962, Pakistan believed it could exploit one of India's alleged weaknesses to resolve the unexplained since 1947 and the First Indo-Pakistani War Cashmere question to decide for yourself. The situation was exacerbated by the progressive integration of Jammu and Kashmir as an Indian federal state.

Initially, however, border disputes in the barren and almost deserted salt marshland of the Rann von Kachchh, where, among other things, oil reserves were suspected, led to military conflicts. The unresolved border goes back to a dispute between the former princely state of Kachchh , which joined India in 1947, and the former British-Indian province of Sindh , now one of the provinces of Pakistan. Since the salt marsh is almost completely flooded in the monsoon season , the British colonial administration demanded that the border be moved to the middle of the lake, as is the international practice for waters. However, Kachchh categorically refused. The unresolved border issue was passed on to India and Pakistan.

War in the Rann of Kachchh

From January 1965, there were isolated skirmishes between the border guards of the two states in the Rann von Kachchh , which in April expanded into a regionally limited war. Pakistan was able to hold its own in several skirmishes that left at least 450 dead. A truce brokered by British Prime Minister Harold Wilson ended the dispute on July 1, 1965. Great Britain also brokered the negotiations on the new border from 1966. In 1968, Pakistan was awarded a 900 km² share in the Rann von Kachchh, far less than the originally requested 3500 km² .

In view of the successes, General Muhammed Ayub Khan's military regime felt strong enough to militarily decide the Kashmir issue in his favor. The war in the Rann von Kachchh is therefore sometimes seen as a Pakistani attempt to test the Indian defensive strength.

War in Kashmir

In the summer of 1965, pro-Pakistani mujahideen penetrated the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir , presumably at the instigation of the Pakistani government . General Ayub Khan set in a plan known as "Operation Gibraltar" to infiltrate the Indian part of Kashmir and a revolt of the Muslim population. From August 5th, there was fighting between the Mujahideen and Indian security forces. The situation escalated, so that on August 15, Indian troops crossed the 1949 armistice line in Kashmir and advanced into the Pakistani-administered part of the region. While India was able to record land gains in the Pakistani part - the capture of the Hajipir pass was of particular importance - Pakistan succeeded in gaining a foothold in the region around Tithwal , Uri and Punch west of Srinagar . The Indian army suffered heavy casualties because it overlooked the presence of Pakistani artillery and tank units in Chumb .

War in Punjab

After air strikes on both sides in the first days of September and a major Pakistani attack on Kashmir, India officially declared war on September 6 and crossed the internationally recognized state border near Lahore in order to launch a major offensive on the fertile plains of Punjab and the second largest city in the neighboring country. Pakistan turned to its most important ally, the United States , then to the friendly People's Republic of China , which then made threats to India. The United States supplied arms to both sides during the war.

When Indian troops took the railway line from Sialkot to Pasrur and advanced in the direction of the Grand Trunk Road , on September 14, 1965, near the Pakistani city of Chawinda, a six-day battle broke out, with over 200 tanks on each side than the previous one largest tank battle since the end of the Second World War applies. After heavy losses on both sides of the war in mid-September on a rail- Patt come down situation. India was clearly numerically superior, but Pakistan had better technical equipment. Meanwhile, at the instigation of the neutral powers USA and Soviet Union , the United Nations endeavored to end the war in view of the risk of the PRC possibly entering the war. On September 20, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire. Both warring parties accepted the proposal so that the ceasefire could come into effect on September 23. The number of losses is controversial, as the official figures from both sides differ widely. Neutral estimates assume 3800 deaths on the Pakistani and 3000 on the Indian side.


At a conference initiated by Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin from January 4 to 10, 1966 in Tashkent (today Uzbekistan ), India's Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Muhammed Ayub Khan agreed in the declaration of Tashkent on the restoration of the pre-war state. The territories occupied during the war, according to US sources around 1840 km² of Pakistani territory through India and 545 km² of Indian territory through Pakistan, were canceled. By February 25, all troops had been withdrawn. However, the future status of the Kashmir claimed by both parties remained unclear. In addition, India and Pakistan were now more closely involved in the power strategy considerations of the Cold War .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Volker Pabst: Biggest tank battle since 1945. Fifty years ago the second Indo-Pakistani war ended. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, September 22, 2015, p. 7.
  2. Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
  3. Wars of the World: Second Kashmir War 1965 ( Memento from July 28, 2012 in the Internet Archive )


  • Mohammed Musa Khan: My Version: India-Pakistan War 1965. Wajidalis, 1983

Web links