Defense Day: Pakistan’s Armed Forces’ Readiness to Respond India’s Invasion
The 6th of September is celebrated every year as the Defense Day by every Pakistani, as on this very day, Pakistan’s courageous Armed Forces and the entire nation stood united in 1965 for the defense of the homeland against India which had threatened the territorial integrity of the beloved country through an all-out war.This very day has come at a time when Pakistan is facing multiple threats of grave nature externally and internally, which are worrying all the citizens.
Externally, Pakistan is facing Indian aggressive designs. In this regard, Indian extremist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government ended special status of the Jummu and Kashmir on August 5, this year, while scrapping articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution in a malicious attempt to turn Muslim majority into minority in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Indian forces have continued lockdown and curfew in the IOK and also martyred many people by accelerated firing at the stones-pelting Kashmiris who are protesting against Indian illegal actions. Pakistan’s forces, especially, Pak Army and Rangers have been responding to India’s unprovoked firing at the Line of Control (LoC) boldly inside Pakistani side of Kashmir.
Tensions further increased on August 16, this year when Indian Defence Rajnath Singh threatened Pakistan with nuclear war. In response, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan also gave similar reply.Besides, Premier Khan and Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa repeatedly said that Pakistan’s Armed Forces are fully ready to meet any prospective aggression or invasion by India. For this purpose, country’s Armed Forces are on high alert. On August 7, 2019, unity was witnessed by the ruling party PTI, the opposition parties-PPI, PML-N and the religious parties when the joint session of the parliament unanimously passed resolution in condemnation of “India’s unilateral and illegal move to scrap Kashmir’s special status”, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions—“deployment of additional troops and atrocities in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.
Earlier, addressing the joint session of the parliament, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated: “India’s decision to end special status of Occupied Kashmir will have repercussions globally…This may lead to incidents like Pulwama [attack], for which India will blame Pakistan. This will lead to problems in Azad Kashmir. If they attack us, we will retaliate…Where is the end to this?…All parties will lose that war. A conventional war between two nuclear armed nations will have global consequences”. He also reiterated it in his recent statements.
It is mentionable that the two neighbouring countries have already waged three wars on the Kahsmir issue, while the case of fourth war cannot be ruled out in wake of war-hysteria created by the India Premier Modi inside India against Pakistan.
Military thinkers agree that although the physical force will determine the type and scale of war, yet it is the ‘will to fight’ or ‘moral force’ which determines the outcome of war. Clausewitz puts it this way, “One might say that the physical force seems little more than the wooden hilt, while moral factors are the precious metal, the real weapon.”
In his book, “Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945”, Creveld identifies the elements of ‘moral force’, whom he calls “fighting power, the willingness to fight and the readiness, if necessary, to die”. The greater these elements, the less vulnerable an armed force will be to demoralization. ‘Moral force’, then, is the crucial factor in determining the combat power of any belligerent.
During the 1965 war such elements like will to fight and ‘moral force’ have been more found in the personnel of Pakistan’s Armed Forces then those of India.
When, on September 6, 1965, India started the war, and its forces crossed the international border, on the western front in Lahore, Pakistan’s Armed Forces quickly responded. Indian Regiment had also crossed the BRB canal and captured the town of Batapore (Jallo Mur). The same day, a counter offensive by Pakistanis soldiers, consisting of an armoured division and infantry division forced the Indian 15th Division to withdraw to its starting point. In this context, the huge credit goes to the all men of Pak Army, who were deployed in the Lahore areas of Wahgah, Burki etc. Without bothering for their lives, they fought bravely. Among them, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti played a huge role in the outcome of the Lahore battles and was martyred.
In case of Sialkot, several soldiers of the Pak Army sacrificed their lives to stop advancement of Indian tanks. The 1965 war witnessed some of the largest tank battles since World War II, and was fought at Chawinda in Sialkot sector—The Battle of Chawinda resulted into victory of Pakistan whose armoured forces destroyed 120 tanks of India.
Regarding aerial warfare between Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Indian Air Force (IAF), the latter emerged as victorious in the I965 war because, at the cost of their personal safety, the personnel of PAF defeated India. During that war, PAF had destroyed 100 Indian aircraft on ground and in the air, while damaged more than 10—not counting the undermined losses inflicted by PAF’s night bombing. In this respect, Squadron Leader M. M. Alam set new records in history of air warfare on 7th September by defending Pakistan’s airspace, and shot down five Indian aircraft in less than sixty seconds at Sargodha.
Let us take the example of Flight Lieutenant Yunus Hussain who fought in air battles fearlessly. During one such engagement, he fought singly against 6 enemy aircraft and shot down 2 Hunters. On 6 September, while attacking Halwara airfield, his small formation was intercepted by a large number of enemy, and although his aircraft was hit, he refused to break off the engagement by disregarding his personal safety, and was martyred.
The role of Pakistan Navy in the Indo-Pak war of 1965 is also appreciable. Securing Pakistan’s coasts, it played a vital role in defeating India. The Operation Dawarka marked was launched by Pakistan on September 7. Indian town of Dwarka was chosen to be a target of the attack. The Pakistani operation was successful and its warships harboured in Bombay, making the Indian Navy unable to sortie. In this context, Ghazi, the only submarine successfully attacked heavy ships of the Indian Navy, aiding Operation Dwarka.
However, there were many national heroes like Brigadier Ahsan Rashid, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, SQN LDR M. M. Alam, SQN LDR Sarfaraz Ahmed Rafiqui etc. who fought courageously with the Indian forces.
In fact, it was due to the ‘moral force’ that despite Indian surprise invasion in 1965 and the qualitative and numerical superiority over Pakistan, while showing courage, and by sacrificing their lives, the Pakistani forces not only recaptured the territories from India, but also took Khem Karan from Indian forces, including various regions of Rajastan, Sindh, and Chumb in Kashmir. Indian defeat was owing to demoralization of its soldiers.
As regards internal challenges, by imbibing the same spirit of the 1965 war, Pakistan’s Armed Forces, during the successful military operations, Zarb-e-Azb, Radd-ul-Fasaad and Operation Khyber 4 have killed many terrorists through ground offensive and many of them surrendered before the Army. And during street to street fighting, without bothering for their lives, and by air-dropping commandos at the risky places, our forces made a great headway in disrupting the militant’s supply routes and links.
Pakistan’s Armed Forces and country’s primarily intelligence agency ISI have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists. Peace has been restored in Balochistan and Karachi, including other vulnerable regions.
At this crucial time, Pakistan is facing multi-faceted crises and challenges like corruption, soaring prices, energy-shortage, unemployment, crimes, lack of health facilities, and dependence upon the US-led developed countries, IMF and World Bank for financial aid. So, internally, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have been facing a different war courageously, while enemy is also different, which still employs subversive activities of various kinds.
At this critical moment, this significant day emphasizes that our political leaders must pledge that they will not support their parties at the cost of the country. In order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, our political leaders, media and human rights groups must remain united.
Nonetheless, the Defense Day demands that by imbibing the spirit of 1965 war, the entire nation must stand with Pakistan’s Armed Forces which are thwarting the nefarious designs of the country’s enemies, and are ready to respond India’s any prospective misadventure or invasion.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations