Let’s talk peace

On June 30, 1965, the United Nations brokered a ceasefire between India and Pakistan.

Updated - June 30, 2017 02:53 pm IST

Published - June 30, 2017 02:45 pm IST

IN DISCUSSION: Indian Army officers talk to United Nations officials.

IN DISCUSSION: Indian Army officers talk to United Nations officials.

India got its freedom from the British on August 15, 1947. A new country, Pakistan was carved out of India, on August 14, 1947. But, despite the partition, India’s troubles did not end. Pakistan continued to assert its dominance over Kashmir and the Rann of Kutch, a salt desert around 3,000 km long. India and Pakistan shared a border from the Karakoram Mountain Range in the north, through the plains of the Punjab and Rajasthan in the southwest and the desert region of Sind. The border then dipped into the marshlands of the Rann of Kutch. Though Kutch is a desert for most parts of the year, it turns into a marshland during the monsoons and the water flows in through the Saraswati. Though the river had stopped flowing a dispute arose between India and Pakistan.

Background: In January 1965, Pakistani guards began patrolling areas controlled by India. Pakistani tanks entered the Rann of Kutch and despite protests by the U.S. By mid-February Pakistani forces dug themselves in around Kanjarkot, and India responded by moving large forces into the disputed territory.

On the battle field: The Pakistanis moved forcefully and seemed to be in a militarily superior position. The Indian Army was mainly on the defensive. Pakistan watched the Indian side for a month-and-a-half before entering this territory on April 19. There were many sporadic outbursts. Both armies were fully mobilised. In June 1965, Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of Britain persuaded the countries to end the dispute. According to this verdict Pakistan got only 330 sq miles of the Rann of Kutch as opposed to the 3500 square miles they had claimed. And on June 30, the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire between India and Pakistan. President Ayub of Pakistan issued a statement on an additional agreement signed by India and Pakistan withdrawing troops from both sides of the border.

Consequences: A Pakistan judgement gave a pro Pakistan verdict as opposed to the US response. This eventually led to Pakistan moving ahead and they crossed the Line Of Control in Kashmir in August leading to the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

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