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'Ayub ordered secret operation without telling PAF, Navy'

August 02, 2005 20:53 IST

Without taking Pakistan's air force and navy into confidence, former military ruler Ayub Khan launched a secret operation in 1965 to send infiltrators into Jammu and Kashmir on the 'mistaken notion' that India would not go to war on all fronts, according to an ex-air force chief.

The top decision-makers of Pakistan in 1965 were 'mistakenly self-assured' that the theatre of operations would be restricted only to Kashmir, former chief of air staff, air marshal Nur Khan, said.

"The army too was not prepared that there could be a war. They had not taken the air force into confidence at all that they needed their help or the PAF should be ready. Navy was not told about it," Khan, 82 who was head of the PAF at that time, said in an interview to 'Dawn'.

"The earliest when the infiltrators started going into Kashmir was by August 6. When the Indians came to know about it in mid-August they were surprised and thought something big was coming up. Kashmir was under pressure and in trying to defend that area it escalated into a war," he said.

Khan said the PAF and navy were not taken into confidence by the top army command as they secretly started to send infiltrators into Kashmir, an operation which finally led to a Pakistan-India war in 1965.

Also read: Remembering a war

He said the decision to send infiltrators into Kashmir in 1965 was taken by the then President, field marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Gen Muhammad Musa Khan and the divisional commander with some in cabinet and the foreign ministry also being on board.

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