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17 - A ‘lop-sided’ umpire

Australian military observers in Kashmir, 1971–85

from Part 2 - New ambitions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 September 2019

Peter Londey
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
Rhys Crawley
Affiliation:
Australian War Memorial
David Horner
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
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Summary

On 3 December 1971, for the third time since the partition of British India in 1947, Pakistan and India went to war. In the words of the political scientist Sumit Ganguly, Pakistan’s pre-emptive air strikes on Indian air bases ‘failed miserably on all counts’. India retaliated with a combination of its own air strikes, naval bombardments, and land operations using tanks, artillery, paratroopers and six infantry divisions. The fighting, most of which took place in East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), showcased India’s military superiority over its neighbour and continued until 17 December when the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered a ceasefire. Pakistan’s President, Yahya Khan, recognising the resounding defeat of his forces, accepted the ceasefire, and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 ended.

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Chapter
Information
The Long Search for Peace
Observer Missions and Beyond, 1947–2006
, pp. 424 - 452
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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