India’s victory in 1965 war ‘indisputable’: Ministers

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that the country’s victory in the 1965 India-Pakistan war was “indisputable”.

India’s victory in the 1965 war was “indisputable”, Parrikar and Jaitley said while speaking at the inauguration of a six-day exhibition showcasing that war here.

Parrikar said the 1965 India-Pakistan war was the first “major war India won hands down”.

“I feel, as a nation, this was the first major war India won… some people raise questions if it was a stalemate… I think as a nine-year-old I was of the firm opinion that India won hands down,” Parrikar said.

“India won because of the efforts of all the names you can see and the countrymen together… the country was united,” the minister said.

He lauded the holding of the exhibition and said that “a nation that remembers its history, a nation which remembers its martyrs, is a nation which develops and is secured. I feel very confident today that the country is secure in your hands”.

The minister said he could never forget the sacrifice of Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid, who sacrificed his life in the Battle of Asal Uttar, and was posthumously honoured with the country’s highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the occasion “nostalgic”, and said India secured a decisive victory in the war.

“A huge sacrifice was made and the enemy was shown its place by demonstrating the superiority of our armed forces and their professionalism in scoring this decisive win,” said Jaitley.

“I remember, as a young school boy at that time, while our armed forces were defending our borders, the whole country used to be glued in to the radio… and then, supporting emotionally and materially the armed forces.”

A commemorative coin and commemorative stamp was also released on the occasion.

Named ‘Shauryanjali’, the exhibition will be on from September 15 to 20.

The exhibition will see the recreation of major battle scenes of the war and showcase the role of various arms and services during the war.

Covering around 50,000 square metres on Rajpath, the exhibition has pavilions that showcase the role of the three armed forces, Central Reserve Police Force, media, Prasar Bharti and International Red Cross in the war.

Also on display is the gun-mounted jeep that Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid used to hunt down and destroy the Patton tanks of Pakistan.

Major battles being recreated at the venue are battles of Asal Uttar, Haji Pir, Burki, Dograi and Phillorah.

The culmination of the exhibition, a carnival ‘Indradhanush’, will see Sukhoi-30 fighter jets flying in ‘Missing Man’ formation along with Mi-17 V5 helicopters. It will be the first time apart from Republic Day parades that fighter jets will conduct the flypast over India Gate.

The Indian Air Force’s skydiving team ‘Akash Ganga’ will do a para-drop from the helicopters on India Gate lawns. The Indian Army helicopters will also perform a flypast.

A documentary film on the war would be shown during the exhibition.

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