SEPT 06 has been decided to be observed in a comprehensive way. It will also be observed as a Youm-i-Shuhada and every relative will be visited and their services will be lauded. Civil Military Shuhada will be honoured. It is a very laudable change. It brings in fresh air in otherwise depression prevailing in the society. Sept 06 has great significance in the history of Pakistan. It was the day Pakistan managed to avert Indian plans to capture Lahore. Indian leadership was so sure of walkover that the media in India published Lahore Gymkhana having drinks. This all was destroyed by the valiant armed forces of. Pakistan Air Force and Heavy Artillery laid a carpet of fire on the advancing Indian troops, on Wahga, Badian and Kasur sectors. I had the privilege firing on Badian Kasur axis with Heay Artillery, later were given the title of ranis. There was a deafening roar. This shattered the Indians as was later revealed by the Prisoners of war.
The Radio speech by President of Pakistan FM Ayub Khan had electrifying impact. Whole nation rose as solid rock. Young and old were volunteers to fight the enemy. Tensions with India had commenced with skirmishes in run of kachh in April 1965. Later Pakistan’s small force in the sector wrote a new history of valour. First time number of officers were awarded Sitara Jurat. Whole nation learnt about valour of young officers. Large Indian tracts were captured which were reverted after run of kachh Agreement. Troops earlier moved to frontal positions returned to peace locations in July 1965. But tensions did not abate. By August operations in Kashmir had commenced triggering newest wave of tensions. It quickly made India mad Elephant. Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shastri threatened Pakistan with Attack on time and at a place of India’s choosing. Sep 6 1965, they attacked in Lahore Sector while engaging in other sectors. What followed as narrated above complete destruction of their Attacking forces and with it Indian dream to capture Lahore. Pakistan’s small but professionally trained forces written a new history in the military warfare at land, air and sea.
Thus Sept 06 carries a momentous place in the history of Pakistan. It shattered Indian dreams to capture Lahore, it also opened a new chapter in the India Pakistan war in the third, forth and now fifth generation. Indians realised they can never win against Pakistan frontally. They laid a foundation of a vile scheme to stab Pakistan in the back. By 1967 Agartala conspiracy was unearthed. Mujib and other East Pakistani members of armed forces were subverted. When the conspiracy leaked out, Mujib and Co conspiracy accused were arrested, our vile politicians got them released in the name of democracy. By 1968 RAW was raised as super intelligence agency by India under KAO and was tasked to subvert East Pakistan. East Pakistan politicians fell pray and 1970 elections in East Pakistan were fully rigged to make sure Awami League victory. Awami League once achieved victory in elections embarked on a plan of action which was to create Bangladesh Desh , fully supported by India . I was the incharge of Noakhli District and fully know the extent of rigging carried out. I had a small force and helpless. It is a greatest fallacy that elections were fair.
Bhuttos craving for power closed the doors of any political settlement. Resulting into civil disobedience and later plunging East Pakistan in to Civil war. Indian created Mukti Bahani with covert support of Indian regular army and paralysed East Pakistan. A small force of Division Plus was totally insufficient, though reinforced by partial two divisions to deal with and protect East Pakistan. Military Junta’s actions also made Pakistan isolated internationally and by December Pakistan was standing at cross road of its history. It was again on Sep 6 1971, India commenced incursion in Jessore and Agartala Sectors culminated in to full fledged war on December 4 , 1971. Pakistani rank and file again fought with superb courage against heavy odds against a force Eleven times superior (Quote Manakshah), fully backed by full component of Indian Air Force and Navy. Thus the debacle of 1971.
It is over four decades the war continues in one form and other, before Kargil it was Sichin occupation, water piracy by violation of Indus Water Treaty, thrice move of Indian forces to international border to launch aggression a la 1965. Sabotage, subversion, support to TTP, collaborations with hostile agencies, and Afghan intelligence to destabilise Pakistan. Sabotaging Kalabagh Dam through subversion as part of water war. Pakistan lost over seventy thousand lives and more than double injured in this invisible war and loss over 200 billions. Though Pakistan Defence forces has broken the back of terrorism and state of Pakistan is now tower of strength in the region, whereas since year 2000 many countries around stand destroyed and in the grip of terrorism. However, the battle goes on till peace in Afghanistan, settlement of Kashmir issue and ending water war. Unfortunately BJP hawks think they can achieve their objectives without crossing red line in nuclear environment. Luckily people of Pakistan in 2018 elected a party with objective to end corruption, bring back values of simple living as corruption and crime has nexus.
—The writer, a retired Brigadier, is decorated veteran of 65 & 71 wars and a defence analyst based in Lahore.