Why Indian Army Did Not Settle For The Kashmir Issue In 1971 Or Earlier?

India delayed its intervention which allowed so called “Tribal Raiders” to reach outskirts of Srinagar . It was at the behest of Sardar Patel a timely decision was taken while Nehru was unable to respond positively to Maharaja of Kashmir, HariSingh’s appeal .


Why Indian Army Did Not Settle For The Kashmir Issue In 1971 Or Earlier?

A Pakistani journalist , Tariq Ali, gives the answer in his book , THE DUEL . Here is an except:—

“Let me tell you something,” she said. “And this is about our “generals”. After Pakistan had surrendered, General Manekshaw walked into this very office and saluted me.”

Mrs. Gandhi, like Zulfiqar Bhutto, was a good mimic, and her description was very diverting. What she then described surprised me a great deal. After the salute Manekshaw asked her whether the military high command had permission to “finish the job.”

This meant crossing the border and taking West Pakistan. Given the demoralized state of the Pakistan army, the outcome was preordained unless the Chinese and the United States entered the conflict.

“This being India,” Mrs. Gandhi continued, “I thanked the general and said the cabinet would consider the suggestion.”

She then summoned an urgent cabinet meeting. “When I reported the military request, the ministers were initially very excited and many of them were prepared to go along with it. When the meeting began, I was alone. When it ended, I had a unanimous vote for an immediate ceasefire.”

Similarly, an opportunity was missed in 1947 and 1948. In October 1947 , India delayed its intervention which allowed so called “Tribal  Raiders” to reach outskirts of Srinagar . It was at the behest of Sardar Patel a timely decision was taken while Nehru was  unable to respond positively to Maharaja of Kashmir, HariSingh’s appeal .

Please also note , what did Fd Marshal,  SHFJ Manekshaw, tell PREM SHANKAR JHA, the author of “Rival version of History”?  He was a Lt Col in October 1947 and posted in Army HQ .  Talking of the meeting in which JL Nehru , under the influence of Lord Mountbatten , the Governor General, was dilly dallying Indian intervention in Kashmir. This was inspite of the Instrument of accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh , Manekshaw says that Nehru talked about ethics, moralities, International peace and God knows what all, at which Patel got annoyed, who said , “ Jawahar Lal , Do you want Kashmir or Not ?” .  Before Nehru could reply , Patel turned to Lt Col Manekshaw, who was present in the meeting and  said, “ you have your orders and go ahead “. It is then Indian Army’s first unit 1 Sikh was despatched by air to Srinagar , before Raiders could reach the Srinagar Airport —- they were barely a few KMs away . And thus Kashmir valley was saved from falling into Pakistan hands .

Again in 1948, when Lt Col Sher Jung Thapa of J& K state forces was holding Skardu Fort till April 1948 with Dogra troops against Pakistan , NO reinforcements were sent to him. If it was done , Gilgit - Baltistan would have been with India . He held the fort for six months before  he ran out of rations and ammunution.

Once again in 1986-87, a well planned Operation “ TRIDENT” to capture Gilgit -Baltistan was aborted at the behest of a young PM , Sh Rajiv Gandhi because then Pakistan ambassador complained to Rajiv Gandhi . Pakistan was caught napping—- and India missed a golden chance . Most analysts say that aborted Op Trident  led to Kargil-99 by Pakistan . India had amassed troops in Ladakh in the garb of an exercise in Ladakh . Operation was planned at the behest of MOS for Defence, Arun Nehru and Army Chief. But Rajiv Gandhi disallowed the execution .

Question arises as to Why Nehru - Gandhi family was not keen to take back POK ? Was it because of Abdulla family influence over it ?


(Col. Rajinder Kushwaha is an ex-NDA, commissioned into 3 Bihar. He is a battle-hardened veteran who served in  ’71 War & has operated extensively in various insurgency environs across the country. He is a renowned author, and a highly respected defence & national security expert writing for several reputed publications such as  ‘Defence and Security Alert’ (DSA), the ‘Indian Defence Review’ (IDR) among others. You can reach him on Twitter: @RajeeKushwaha, Email ID: [email protected])

(Views expressed are the authors own, and do not reflect the editorial policy of 'Mission Victory India')

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