JAMMU: The role of Kashmiris in the 1965 war was highlighted and appreciated today by a top army officer who felt that even now a silent majority of the people of the Valley is for India and only a "few" speak about Pakistan.
"Hats off to the people of Kashmir," Major General S Narain, General officer Commanding (GoC), Tiger Division, said in Jammu while talking about how Kashmiris fought against Pakistan during the war whose 50th anniversary is being commemorated.
He said Pakistan initially wanted to give it the color of "uprising" in Kashmir as it had pushed in a large number of intruders but its plans failed.
"...there are a few 'noisy' people who speak about Pakistan, but a silent majority is with India," he said at a function organised jointly by Jammu University and Army.
The GoC said Pakistan's 1965 war was a "misadventure" as they underestimated India's strength following the 1962 war.
"The misadventure by Pakistan was carried out keeping in view various wrong assessments (by Pakistan). First, Pakistan thought that Indian Army had not recovered from the defeat of 1962 from China. They also thought that they had better equipment as compared to India," the army officer said.
He said Pakistan had never thought that India would open up the front along International Border (IB) as it had believed that the war would be restricted to Line of Control (LoC) and Rann of Kutch.
"Pakistan also wanted to test its newly-acquired Patton Tanks and Khemkaran sector proved to be the grave of those tanks, where over 400 tanks were either destroyed or captured by us," he said.
Major General Narain noted that Pakistan Army also suffered a major blow when Indian Army captured Haji Peer pass in Uri sector of Kashmir.
The 1965 war transformed in a big way the Indian Army which at that time was recovering from the defeat of 1962. "This army, a few years later, made 90,000 troops of Pakistan to surrender (in 1971), "which resulted in the creation of a new country called Bangladesh", he said.
He said the 1965 war also changed diplomatic scenario of the country and gave more importance to India-Russia ties.
After the death of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, India under the leadership of Lal Bahadur Shastri was being seen as a weak country, which later proved wrong, Major General Narain said.
He said the Indian Point of view was also acknowledged by the United Nations which declared Pakistan as an aggressor and said that India acted in its defence.
Silent Majority in Kashmir With India: Army Commander