In Pictures: 53 Years of Op Gibraltar and the 1965 Indo-Pak War
(On the anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, The Quint is republishing this photo story from its archives. It was originally published on 28 August 2015.)
Operation Gibraltar was the codename given to a covert operation by the Pakistan Army to infiltrate Kashmir and engineer a revolt against the Indian government. The local population, however, refused to give any support and in many instances handed over the infiltrators to Indian troops.
Writing for Rediff, Brigadier Shaukat Qadir (retd), who served in the Pakistan Air Force during the 1965 war, admits internal politics may have prompted the Ayub Khan government to commit the disastrous blunder.
Pakistan undertook Operation Gibraltar, without preparing the grounds for it, or seeking guarantees of local support, or even attempting to assess the mood of the Kashmiri people. They only relied on the assessment offered by some adventurous element of Kashmiris from Azad Kashmir without verifying this assessment.
In retaliation to Operation Gibraltar, India launched assaults on several posts that were held by the Pakistan Army. “Since Gibraltar had been planned to succeed”, Brigadier Shaukat Qadir writes “there were no contingencies catering for its failure, another inexplicable oversight, since all militaries personnel are taught to consider all possibilities, and be prepared for the one they have not thought of. It was in this environment that Operation Grand Slam was launched to set things right.”
Pakistan’s Operation Grand Slam was initially a success. A four-phased operation, it entailed the capture of Chamb, the crossing of river Tawi, capture of Akhnoor, and finally severing lines of communication.