JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Battle of Haji Pir: The Army’s Glory in 1965

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  • July 2015
    Volume: 
    9
    Issue: 
    3
    Focus

    In 1965, Pakistan attempted infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), with Operation Gibralter, followed by a planned capture of Akhnoor Bridge under Operation Grand Slam. While Operation Gibraltar was bold from the point of view of multi-directional infiltration, it was largely based on the utopian dream of President Ayub Khan and Foreign Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, ignoring the ground realities that J&K’s population would not support it. The Indian reaction was swift and included the epic capture of the strategic Haji Pir Pass at a height of 2,637 metres (m) on the formidable Pir Panjal Range that divided the Srinagar valley from the Jammu region. The pass has been a constant source of problems since Pakistan-trained militants have been sneaking into the Kashmir Valley, Poonch and Rajouri districts. Ironically, the Haji Pir Pass, captured through a heroic and daring action, had to be returned to Pakistan under the Tashkent Agreement.

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