India - Pakistan 1965
International Operation Name: not applicable
International Operation Dates: not applicable
Mandating Organization: Government of Canada
Region Name: Asia
Canadian Operation Name: (India-Pakistan – 1965)
Canadian Operation Dates: 1965/09/10 – 1965/09/23
Mission Mandate: On order, to evacuate Canadian citizens out of India and Pakistan during the 1965 War
In April 1965 Indian and Pakistani border patrols skirmished in disputed territory in the Rann of Kutch, along the southernmost point of India’s western border with Pakistan. From here, the skirmishing spread into the disputed territory of Kashmir in August. On 14 August, the first engagement between the regular forces of both nations occurred in Kashmir. After a prolonged artillery barrage the next day, India captured three strategic mountain positions.
Open conflict broke out along the whole border on 1 September when Pakistani forces attacked into the Punjab. This caught India unprepared. Both countries now began to launch air strikes, which placed the civilian population at increasing risk. Over the next weeks, a stalemate developed. The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on 20 September calling for a cease-fire. India accepted the resolution the next day, while Pakistan accepted it on 22 September. The Soviet Union sponsored peace talks that led to the Tashkent Declaration on 10 January 1966. This formally ended the war.
While the initial fighting was restricted mainly to Kashmir, the Canadian government expressed its concern and called for a cease-fire between the two parties. When the war escalated to most of the western border the Canadian government became increasingly concerned about the safety of its citizens in India and Pakistan and of a potential humanitarian problem. On 10 September, 436 Squadron was put on standby to carry medical supplies to India and evacuate Canadian nationals from the country. Two 436 Squadron Hercules were prepared at Trenton and were ready for departure for Pakistan as well on 28 September. With the cease-fire confirmed on 23 September and holding, the aircraft were stood down. Other 436 Squadron Hercules carried the Canadian Contingent to the United Nations India-Pakistan Observer Mission to the sub-continent.
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