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Lal Bahadur Shastri - the original strategist PM

Who was the first Prime Minister of India to authorize an 'across the border strike' to defend Jammu & Kashmir? The answer is [Sorry Narendra Modi fans!] Lal Bahadur Shastri whose birthday we celebrate today with Gandhiji.
In 1965, the Pakistani army hatched the Operation Gibraltar which was aimed at annexing J&K by cutting off India's neck below Jammu. Sometime late August / early September, Pakistan started advancing its troops [as usual - disguised as locals] from Gulmarg, Uri and Baramulla. When they got detected, it launches Operations Grand Slam to annex Akhnoor and then Jammu. Incidentally, Indian forces which were devastated recently (1962) during the Indo-China war could not mount an effective defence in this sector. In response, however, Lal Bahadur Shastri's government authorised advancement of Indian forces further south in Punjab cutting off the Pakistani forces advancing towards Jammu from the other side - a classic military tactic. Indian forces invaded all the way up to the borders of Lahore, even scaring the American forces stationed there who asked for time to vacate the Lahore airport. There is a long story after that, including the very celebrated battle of Asal Uttar - but the endgame was when the Indian army was in possession of 1,920 km² of Pakistani territory and the Pakistan army 550 km² of Indian territory, the Pakistani's finally got the US and USSR push India into a ceasefire agreement. It all started with one Prime Minister deciding that J&K was not a 'special' or 'disputed' state of India but an integral part of India, and so Pakistan's advancement on the Line of Control (then called the Ceasefire Line) will not remain restricted to the LoC but could be assuaged by an attack across the International Border (IB) also. On his birthday today - let's salute the decisive strategist that Shastriji was! --- Image Source: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/asal-uttar.html

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