Pakistan has lost face time and again when it comes to match patrotism between the people of two nations. The 1965 war was testimony to this fact when Pakistan’s elite commandos could not face Indian villagers and the local police.
On September 6,1965 Indian Army crossed the Ceasefire Line (CFL) to launch an offensive in the Lahore sector of Pakistan. The swift attack caught the Pakistan Army unawares and was decisive in changing the war scenario in India’s favour.
The crossing of CFL was a counter to the offensive operation launched by Pakistan in the Akhnoor sector of Jammu. The operation gave India an edge over Pakistan in the war as the army was able to reach the periphery of Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city.
Pakistan objective in the 1965 war
The merger of Kashmir to India has always irked Pakistan. The aim of Pakistan in the war was to start an insurgency in Kashmir followed by a Pakistani armed assault. This would then become difficult for India to maintain its hold in Kashmir which eventually would lead to withdrawal of Indian forces from there.
For this Pakistan launched operation Gibraltar in August 1965. However the operation was a failure as Pakistan was not able to start an insurgency in Kashmir.
Dropping of special forces by Pakistan
Pakistan in response to India’s offensive in the Lahore sector, has planned an audacious operation of dropping special forces of its elite Special Services Group(SSG) in the Indian side of Punjab.
The aim of the operation was to capture three bases of the Indian Air Force (IAF). These bases were Pathankot, Halwara (near Ludhiana) and Adampur (near Jalandhar) which were important for India in the course of the war.
On the morning of 7th September 1965,large C-130 Hercules aircrafts were used to drop 180 commandos. The commandos were dropped in three groups of 60. Pakistan dropped its troops around 2 AM, taking darkness as a cover.
The operation was brilliantly planned but Pakistan’s track record of poor execution of operation was again visible. The commandos were intercepted by India. The group at Pathankot was the first to be discovered by villagers, followed by groups at Halwara and Adampur.
Out of the 180 commandos which were dropped, 138 were taken as Prisoners of War, 22 were killed by villagers and local police. The remaining 20 commandos managed to escape to Pakistan.
The operation was badly executed. It was a matter of disgrace for Pakistan that its elite para troopers were killed and captured at the hands of local villagers, Police and NCC cadets. Pakistan has always portrayed itself as the winner of the 1965 war while the facts speak a different story altogether.