Correct interpretation of September war
Abdul Zahoor Khan Marwat
The nation recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war with great fervour and enthusiasm. It was a moment to be savoured as the country, which had come into being only 18 years before the war, stood up to a much larger enemy and repulsed violent incursions both on the ground and in the air with determination and strong and unshakable commitment. Initiative and resilience by the Pakistan armed forces were the hallmarks of the day and were recognised all over the world.
Therefore, assertion by certain Pakistani historians that Pakistan was defeated in the September war came out of the blue and shocked all and sundry. Needless to say, such claims as the nation celebrated the golden jubilee of the war were not only wretched but also in an extremely bad taste. They were absolutely farce and untrue.
One may ask these historians how they would interpret the strong resistance put up by the Pakistan Army in the face of the invading mighty force and repulsing the Indian advance. Was it not a victory that the objectives sought by the enemy were thwarted, the attack stalled and the enemy forces forced to retreat? Was saving Lahore and Sialkot not a great feat in the face of a mighty ground offensive from the east? Who had stalled the Indian tanks and armoured columns as they rumbled forward, certainly a no mean achievement?
At the same time, what would these historians say about the successes of the Pakistan Air Force, which like the army was greatly outnumbered by the cunning enemy? Did the Pakistan Air Force not win the air war imposed on the country?
Did the air force not create records in aerial combat, which are still remembered and cherished? Did the PAF not obliterate dozens of enemy aircraft in blitzkrieg strikes on Indian air bases? Also, was the attack on Dwarka by the navy had no significance? Not to mention the boundless spirit shown the Pakistani nation. Was the spontaneous enthusiasm shown by the people of the country for their armed forces not contagious and shared by millions? Was the reaction of the people defeatist in the face of the attack by Indian forces?
The answers to these fundamental questions are known to all Pakistanis perhaps except for some historians whose myopic and false premise about Pakistanís defeat in 1965 is genuinely sad and romance with history fairly biased.