Chamba Sector How did the Pakistani army occupy Indian territory in the war of 1971?

On the morning of December 3, 1971, before leaving for the next front, I wrote the last six-word letter to my father. “Pray. Ghazi or Shaheed.”

This is to say of Brigadier (retd) Waqar Durrani of Chamba who was part of the Pakistan Army contingent that crossed the Line of Control (LOC) on December 7, 1971, 50 years ago and covered 127 sq km of Chamba sector. The territory was taken away from India.

Although fighting was going on during this time and a large part of Pakistan was separated from it and became Bangladesh, but Waqar Durrani considers the victory of Chamba as an important battle.

Waqar Durrani says that it was only a few weeks ago that he was sent to this front as a lieutenant.

Speaking to VOA, he said that exactly 50 years later, a visit to this area seems like a dream come true. It seems that I am still a 20-year-old lieutenant and I am instructing the soldiers of my 30-member platoon about the operation.

Pointing a few yards away from his position, he said that in view of the increasing progress of the Pakistani army, the Indian army dropped a bomb weighing hundreds of kilograms on the Pakistani battalion headquarters on December 6, but no casualties were reported. ۔

According to Waqar Durrani, the Pakistani army conquered the Chamb area on December 7, but he is still saddened by the loss of six of his soldiers who were killed in this battle.

Brigadier (retd) Waqar Durrani

He added that the Pakistani army had earlier reached Akhnoor in 1965 by snatching the Chamb sector and Jodian area and had snatched an area of ​​237 sq km from India. Had to

In 1971, the Pakistani army again advanced in the area and recaptured 127 sq km from India.

The question is that resistance was taking place in East Pakistan but how did the fight on the Line of Control start in West Pakistan?

According to military officials, the Indian military was openly helping the separatists to fan the flames of insurgency in East Pakistan, so Pakistan wanted to divert their attention by heating up another front.

Highlighting the strategic importance of Chhamb sector, Brigadier Commander Arsalan Mirza said that all the lines of communication from here to Kashmir like road infrastructure etc. are very close.

According to him, if Pakistan had reached Akhnoor in the 1971 war, it could have cut the Indian line of communication which would have paved the way for entry into Jammu.

At a time when the country was divided and the nation was sad but the residents of Chhamb sector were happy with their small success.


Syed Zulfiqar Ahmed, a resident of Chhamb Sector, also known as Iftikharabad after General Iftikhar Janjua, said that after this victory, the locals got freedom. They have their own houses and lands here. And breathing in the open air. He added that tensions between the two countries were affecting the civilian population.

Speaking to VOA, he said that in the event of a shelling, they would have to leave their livestock, homes and even standing crops and move to safer places.

According to Syed Zulfiqar, the land here is fertile. The lush green trees add to the beauty of the place. Wheat, rice and vegetables are the hallmarks of this region.

Pointing to the other side of the Line of Control, he said that the Toi River divides the two sides while the area on the other side is called Palawala.

According to Syed Zulfiqar, after the ceasefire, the situation is better now. There are small bunkers in every house. “However, life here is always uncertain,” he said, taking a deep breath.

According to Brigadier Arsalan Mirza, in 1971, 1500-2000 soldiers of the Pakistan Army lost their lives on the Chamba front. He said that since the Indian Army was intervening in East Pakistan at that time, Pakistan had opened a front in West Pakistan as part of its defense policy.

The Pakistani army had taken several Indian soldiers prisoners of war after fighting in Chhamb sector. (File photo)

The Pakistani army had taken several Indian soldiers prisoners of war after fighting in Chhamb sector. (File photo)

Dr. Huma Baqai, a professor at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi, says that no victory in war is small or big. Therefore, the emergence of Bangladesh and the occupation of any part of India by Pakistan are two things to look at from different perspectives.

However, Lieutenant General (retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi, a senior officer in the Pakistan Army, said that the unit or brigade that was part of the operation, if it celebrates this battle as a golden jubilee, is definitely entitled to it. However, neither the army nor the nation as a whole can celebrate victory in this battle.

According to him, the 1971 war was a huge defeat for Pakistan as a whole in which East Pakistan was separated from West Pakistan which now exists on the world map as an independent country like Bangladesh.

On the other hand, Arsalan Mirza proudly says that in the 1971 war, if Pakistan snatched any territory from India, it is the Chhamb sector of Kashmir which is still under Pakistan's occupation.

He further said that unfortunately due to the tragedy of East Pakistan all the victories of West Pakistan were suppressed.

. (tagsToTranslate) News (t) Pakistan (t) pakistan (t) india (t) bangladesh (t) War (t) East Pakistan (t) 1971

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