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Posted at: Dec 9, 2017, 1:58 AM; last updated: Dec 9, 2017, 8:50 PM (IST)

’65 war with Pak was a draw: Capt

’65 war with Pak was a draw: Capt
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh speaks at the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8

“As far as 1965 war is concerned, we made little territorial gains. Pakistan occupied some area in Kutch and we made some gains in north Punjab. It was a draw. We didn’t have ammunition to last beyond a week. After that we would have been throwing stones at each other. It was even,” said Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh at the Military Lit Fest today.

He was replying to a question in a session with military historians on whether India won the 1965 war with Pakistan. Islamabad claims victory in the war and commemorates it as defence day every September 6.

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However, Lt Gen TS Shergill, who was also part of the session, said the Indian military did not allow Pakistan to achieve its war objectives. “India secured Kashmir and destroyed their war machines, which they acquired from the US. India didn’t allow them to acquire any territory. They wanted to reach up to the Beas,” he said and described the war as victory for India.

On not making the Henderson-Brooks report on the Indo-China 1962 war public, Capt Amarinder said: “The Henderson-Brooks report is being hidden to save political skin. It is a bad decision.”

Commenting on India’s forward policy that led to war with China, he added: “We provoked Chinese. Forward policy was wrong. What was the system? Then defence minister Krishna Menon was shifting battalions. Corps Commander was just obeying orders... 4 Div was building houses in Ambala before going for the war. They didn’t have training. It was unfortunate.”

On writing military history, the Punjab CM said when he wrote about the battle of Rezang La, which took place during the Indo-China war in 1962, he took seven survivors to the actual battlefield and asked them to narrate the story. “I asked them to take their positions and narrate about it. Different version came out... I even took my 2 Sikh to Poonch... History has a habit of changing. Things are added by interested parties.”

Capt Amarinder has authored seven books on military history so far.

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