Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Asia: The Decrease-Fire:: Times Magazine

Friday, Oct. 08, 1965

Perhaps it should be called a decrease-fire. Whatever the word, India
and Pakistan last week demonstrated the flexibility of their own,
ten-day-old ceasefire. From Kashmir to the Sind, patrols probed at one
another, hoping to grab more high ground before the United Nations
truce could be properly policed. During the course of the week, India
charged Pakistan with 42 violations; Pakistan charged India with 26.
The most blatant:
> At Sundra, a caravansary in the salt wastes of the Thar, Pakistani irregulars were doing their laundry one morning when an Indian 3-in. mortar shell slammed into their midst. Killed: a brown goat. The Paks — camel-riding Indus Rangers and bearded Hur rifle men — ducked behind mud walls and blazed back in the best Gunga Din fashion. A strafing run by Indian Vampire jets failed to dislodge the Pakistanis —indeed, they reported, did not even disturb the vultures circling overhead.
> At Fazilka, a farm town south of Lahore, a 100-man Indian company politely asked a band of 1,000 Pakistani marauders to withdraw. At that, claimed the outraged Indians, the Pakistanis opened fire with their rifles. Out numbered 10 to 1, the Indians had no choice but to fight. They killed 59 Paks, while losing only eleven men themselves.
The stories were the same all along the frontier between the two
armies. Only the name of the violator was changed, depending on which
side was making the complaint. With only 41 U.N. observers on hand to
patrol nearly 1,000 miles of contested border, it was impossible to
tell who was the true aggressor. Clearly, both India and Pakistan had
a lot to gain — and little to lose — by trying to grab more territory
while they could. Old U.N. hands recalled that it took 123 days for
the Suez cease fire to really take effect. The Indo-Pakistani
cooling-off period was likely to take just as long — or longer.


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,842171,00.html#ixzz0uDNYofDD

No comments: