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Economic Aspects of Indo-Pak Wars

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Economic Aspects of Indian Wars

(1965 Indo-Pak War)


Aditya Taank                              2013A4PS335H                

Under the supervision of

Mr. Shamuel Tharu


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(April, 2017)


I would like to thank Mr Shamuel Tharu for giving me such an amazing opportunity to work on a subject I’m so passionate about. Had it not been for his continuous guidance, this would have always remained a simple untapped interest.

My sincere gratitude also goes to the BITS-Pilani University, which allowed me to explore a field so different from my major.

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Birla Institute of Technology and Science-Pilani,

Hyderabad Campus


 This is to certify that the project report entitled “Economic Aspects of Indian Wars submitted by Aditya Taank(ID No. 2013A4PS335H) in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the course HSS F266, Study Oriented Project Course, embodies the work done by him under my supervision and guidance.

Date:  29/04/2017                                                                                        MENTOR

BITS- Pilani, Hyderabad Campus                                                       Mr. Shamuel Tharu

                                                                  BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus


The 22-day war between India and Pakistan in 1965, though ending in a stalemate, altered the region’s geopolitics dramatically and made the world take notice of India as a major Asian power. This report first discusses all factors leading to the conflict and then traces the war’s timeline. Also discussed are major events, players involved and personalities who pulled the strings. Later, it presents a comprehensive review of credible literature carefully chosen to present different stands on the subject. In the final section, a comprehensive review of the war’s economic impact on India is presented. It includes both the direct as well as indirect effects on the nation’s economic health.


  1. Abstract4

The context: Indian Subcontinent in 1960s 6

Major Players7

Major Personalities8

Ayub Khan 8

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 8

U Thant 8

Harold Wilson 8

Brigadier Zoru Bakshi 8

YB Chavan 9

Lal Bahadur Shastri 9

Major events 9

Pre-War Escalation 9

The 22-day war 10

Literature review11

Cost of War 14

Pre-War Situation 14

Post-War Situation 16


The context: Indian Subcontinent in 1960s

The 1965 war was more of an opportunistic conflict rather than one being motivated by an irritant or a concrete cause. A series of events dating back a decade to the 50s were responsible for giving Pakistan a false sense of comfort, that the only direction the war could take was in its favor. Hence, in order to understand the war in its full essence, it’s imperative to first discuss the prevalent geopolitical situation in the region.


Pakistan’s diplomatic standing was at an all time high owing to its close relations with the west. Since its creation, Pakistan was seen by the US as a moderate Muslim state which was an effective hedge against communist expansion. And it had cemented its alliance with the west by joining the SEATO in 1954 and the Baghdad Pact in 1955. And at the turn of the decade, Pakistan also started courting China by supporting it at the UN and resolved its border disputes by ceding Aksai-Chin in Kashmir to China. India, on the other hand, was internationally isolated being one of the founders of Non-Aligned Movement.

Pakistani Army had arguably caught up to its Indian counterpart while some estimates even pegging it as the superior one. This was a natural consequence of Pakistan’s above mentioned pacts which had stemmed from its desire to develop its military and defensive capabilities, which were substantially inferior to India in early 50s. Both the US and the UK supplied Pakistan with the latest weaponry including the state-of-the-art F-86 Sabre Jets and Patton tanks. This was in stark contrast to the Indian Army, which was saddled with outdated WW-II era hardware.

To illustrate with some numbers: ‘Military Balance’ reports that India had only 720 tanks against Pakistan’s 765 in 1965. And besides superiority in field artillery as well, Pakistan had one heavy regiment of 155 mm mortars and 8-inch Howitzers, India was mostly working with 120 mm mortars and 7.2-inch guns.

Demoralized Indian Army which had suffered humiliation at the hands of the Chinese in 1962 was another factor Pakistani saw going in its favor. At that time, the three Indian military wings were in the middle of a modernization and expansion phase and therefore not battle-ready. The troops were semi-trained by the time the war came and were led by inexperienced officers. The new raisings post-1962 created a vacuum for commanders and this resulted in sudden promotions among older units without requisite field or battle experience.



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