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Eight-year gap between brigadier Ďselloutí and war

New Delhi, May 31: Gohar Ayub Khan wanted to cut short this interview because he was in a hurry to leave for a dinner with L.K. Advani.

In this conversation over the phone with The Telegraph, he says from Islamabad that his father accessed the Indian Armyís battle plans for the 1965 war from the brigadier who headed the Directorate of Military Operations (DMO) in 1957.

Q. In 1965, the DMO was headed by a brigadier. Brigadier (later Lt General) N.C. Rawlley from February to May 1965 and Brigadier (later Major General) Narinder Singh from May 1965 to January 1966. Who was it'

Gohar Ayub Khan: The war plans ' the offensive and defensive components ' were available to the Pakistani army when my father (General Mohammed Ayub Khan) was the commander-in-chief of the Pakistani army just before 1958.

Q: When was he the C-in-C'

GAK: From 1951 to 1958

Q: When did he get the plan'

GAK: Just before he gave up the post.

Q: In 1958'

GAK: Just before.

Q: In 1957'

GAK: Yes

Q: Who was it'

GAK: In my book, I will give the year he passed out of the Indian Military Academy and his date of commissioning.

Q: Who was it' Is he surviving'

GAK: I believe so. I canít give you more than that.

Q: Who is publishing your book' What is it called'

GAK: Oxford University Press, in December. Iím calling it Glimpses into the Corridors of Power.

Q: Why are you raking this up after 40 years'

GAK: I was ADC to my father when he was commander-in-chief and later when he was chief martial law administrator. I have been Speaker of the National Assembly and foreign minister. Now I am not in active politics. My son and wife are. So my friends ask me what Iím doing now and I say Iím writing a book. My father kept diaries from August 1966 to December 1972. It is not my intention to stir a hornetís nest.

Q: But you are talking of 1957'

GAK: He mentions it in the diaries.

Q: Then how do you explain the reverses the Pakistani army took' There were gains and losses on both sides. GAK: Where' Let me give you the example of the battle in the Sialkot sector. The Indian Armyís 1st Armoured Division thought they will break in. But Pakistanís 6 Armoured Division was waiting and chewed up the Indians. It was grinding. You should get someone to ask a question in your Parliament on what the number of Indian casualties were.

Q: Can plans drawn in 1957 hold good in 1965' India fought the China war in 1962.

GAK: Indian plans were drawn up years before 1965. Some of the plans were still followed. These plans, I have just told you, were offensive and defensive and were used in 1965. I have just given you an example.

Q: But Pakistan still took reverses'

GAK: Where, I say! Our navy went up and down patrolling the Indian coast. The Vikrant could not leave port. An Indian Air Force fighter pilot surrendered his aircraft by landing in Pakistan!

Q: Who was the brigadier'

GAK: You will know.

Q: Why are you digging this up when India and Pakistan are talking peace'

GAK: I am writing a book. No other purpose. Excuse me, I am rushing to a dinner with your Mr Advani, canít keep him waiting.

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