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The Glorious Seventeen Days September 1965 War


"Like her war with China on the NEFA and Ladakh borders, India's Rann of Kutch adventure against Pakistan also turned out to be a fiasco.

Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri announced his intention to "choose a front of our liking".

The actual start of Indian action against Azad Kashmir was made by an attack on HajiPir and Bharat Gali on August 25, followed by a bigger attack two days later in which half of the defenders were wiped out.

The Pakistan Air Force could not make any mistake in this behalf, and was prepared to meet any eventuality; it had in fact, already been flying CAP (Combat Air Patrol) missions.

On August 31, 1965 - the day when it was decided to use Pakistan Army in support of Azad Kashmir forces - Wg. Cdr. Muhammad Anwar Shamim who was the Officer Commanding of the Fighter Wing PAF Base Sargodha, addressed his fighter pilots. There was clear evidence, he told them, that India would throw its Air Force into the conflict. The Government of Pakistan did not want extension of the conflict, and desired to keep the PAF out of the war operations as far as possible; in spite of desperate calls from the Azad Kashmir forces in the Poonch sector, Air Force had not been used.

The pilots were under instructions to shoot down enemy aircraft only inside Pakistan territory.

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