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1965 Indo-Pak War: The world witnessed a clash of nerves

In the next 17 days that followed, Pakistan and India were engaged in a ferocious battle that only ended when the United Nation intervention separated them.

In clouds of dust, Pakistani tank and infantry soldiers moving forward to join the action. – Photo credits ISPR

Pakistan Army and Air Force fought aggressively, causing heavy casualties on the Indian side.

On September 7, Squadron Leader M.M. Alam of Pakistan Air Force Pilot made a huge history by shooting down five Indian Hawker Hunter fighters in air-to-air combat.

An operational tank squadron of the Pakistan army equipped with the Indian tanks (French-build AMXs) captured in the Chhamb battle out on manoeuvres. – Photo credits ISPR

Pakistani armoured and mechanised formations supported by artillery and Pakistan Air Force crossed Khem Karan area, approximately six to eight miles inside the Indian Territory on September 8, to ease pressure at the Lahore front.

Captured Indian Tank of the Poona Horse in the Battle of Chawinda (1965 war) seen with Pakistan crew. – Photo credits ISPR

Indian check posts at Sulemanki and across Rajasthan and Sindh were also captured by the Pakistani forces.

Longanewala posts now taken by Pakistan Desert Force. – Photo credits ISPR

A unit of Indian Army attacked Sialkot from the East with an armoured and three infantry divisions. When the presence of Indian forces was confirmed, Pakistani forces rushed forward to stop the onslaught on a 30-mile front.

Foreign newspaper correspondents on a visit to a Pakistani position in Khem Karan. – Photo credits ISPR

The biggest tank battle since World War II was fought on the Chwinda front. The main effort of the Indian Army was rounded, inflicting heavy troop casualties.


Before a counter-offensive by Pakistan on September 22 could be launched, United Nations asked India to declare a ceasefire.


Indian aggression was strong but Pakistan fought bravely and defeated its neighbour despite heavy personnel, material land economic losses. Pakistan Army apprehended some 20 officers, 19 junior commissioned officers, and 569 other ranks.


Heroes of the War

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti who fell in the 1965 battleground after he was fatally injured. On the left is his steel helmet resting on a rifle.

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti embraced martyrdom while commanding an artillery battalion when he was defending the BRB Canal. He resisted for five long tiring days and nights defending the Pakistani outpost. He was bravely reorganising his company and directing the gunners to shell key Indian positions. He embraced martyrdom on September 11 and was awarded Nishaan-e-Haider for his commitment and determination.


Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmad Rafiqui, a brave martyr of the 1965 war.

Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmad Rafiqui led a formation of three F-86 aircrafts against Halwara airfield on September 6. The formation was intercepted by 10 Hunter aircrafts out of which Rafiqui gunned down one. Unfortunately, his guns jammed in the air. He refused to leave the battle, ordered his second-in-command to take control and continued his engagement. His aircraft was shot down but not before letting his formation shot down three Indian aircrafts. Rafiqui was awarded Hilal-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Jurat.

Squadron Leader M.M. Alam who shot nine Indian Hunters and damaged two in air combats during the 1965 war. His bag of five planes in one bout over Sargodha is a world record.

Squadron Leader M.M. Alam was born in Kolkata on July 6, 1935. He joined PAF in 1952 and was granted commission in 1953. During the 1965 war, Squadron Leader M.M. Alam shot down two Indian aircrafts and damaged three more on September 6. On September 7, he made history by shooting down five Indian Hawker Hunter fighters in air-to-air fight, in less than 60 seconds while the first four came down within 30 seconds. For this bravery, M.M. Alam was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.



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