The BJP-led Indian government is planning month-long celebrations and will reportedly be spending Rs 350 million to honour soldiers who fought the 1965 war with Pakistan to commemorate its 50th anniversary, TV channels reported last week.
According to reports, the month-long celebrations to honour the soldiers who fought the war will begin on 28 August – the day India captured the Haji Pir pass in 1965, that is now in Pakistan Administered Kashmir.
According to NDTV, the Rajpath parade will be held on 20 September, and will include, apart from a show of military might, a thrilling aerial display with commandos slithering down ropes from helicopters.
A major portion of the events planned during the “carnival” are discussions on the post-war negotiations in Tashkent.
Scroll reports that, on 1-2 September, there will be a two-day Tri-Service Seminar at which the President is likely to be the chief guest.
From 15-20 September, the Indian Army will organise a commemorative exhibition on Rajpath. The exhibition will have four arenas – the gallantry arena, the sacrifice arena, the service display arena and the war trophy arena. The Army has also planned a detailed Festival of Victory.
Then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri died during the war negotiation meetings in Tashkent.
Though internationally the war was seen as having no clear winner, many, including PM Modi, believe that India had the upper hand when the UN stepped in leading to the Tashkent declaration.
Both Pakistan and India feel like the 17-day war ended in victory. According to the Telegraph, “In official records, India captured 1,920sqkm of Pakistani territory while Pakistan captured 550sqkm of Indian territory. Yet, Pakistan celebrates September 7 each year as “Victory Day”.”
However, the Modi led-government plans to celebrate the 1965 war as an Indian victory. The celebrations will continue till 26 September.
Pakistan however, will not hold any such war commemoration. An official told the Indian Express that India’s commemoration plans, were taking a step back from reconciliation efforts that were promised by PM Modi.
“Going by the statements he made in Dhaka on the 1971 tragedy, and statements by the defence minister, such an event can only have a negative impact. We sitting in Pakistan don’t get the feeling that PM Modi is as yet ready to move from confrontation to cooperation despite the initial overtures,” he said.
Despite the extensive commemoration plans, many 1965 war veterans have said they are boycotting the celebrations over One Rank One Pension.
“We will not attend any government function till OROP in implemented,” said Major General (Retd.) Satbir Singh of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.
with PTI inputs
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