The Pak Offensive

The Raiders

Initially, approximately 2000 raiders entered Jammu and Kashmir from September to October 1947. Gradually their numbers increased further to about 4000 as mutinous soldiers from State forces, some ex servicemen from the Pakistan Army and local Muslim volunteers joined them. While they were natural warriors and had been brought up fighting the British in the harsh frontier terrain, they were not trained in the methods of a regular army. They fought as individuals, hardly took orders from anyone and fought in their own groups and clans. They were good guerrilla fighters but could neither attack prepared defences nor withstand organised attacks supported by air and arty.

The tribesmen came to Kashmir partially to avenge the purported massacre of Kashmiri Muslims but mostly for loot and plunder. They moved in old lorries and trucks, which were loaded with the loot. They did not leave their lorries and were thus confined to the roads.

Operation GULMARG

By the middle of October, the economic blockade had stifled the State's economy and paralysed its administration. Civil strife and turmoil were effectively engineered in the South and South-Western borders of the State by instigating the Muslim population inhabiting these areas. Armed raids engineered on the State forces garrisons had effectively neutralized their military capabilities and had also succeeded in drawing the reserves, located in Srinagar, away from the valley.

The main attack was planned and launched by the Army Headquarters of Pakistan and was called 'Operation Gulmarg'. The British C-in-C of the Pakistan Army personally signed orders, within a few days of Pakistan's coming into existence. The main forces consisted of tribals from North West Frontier and were organized into units of about 1,000 each, called Lashkar, under the command of their respective Chiefs, called Maliks. Pakistan Army personnel too joined these tribals. Each Lashkar was provided with an army Major, a Captain and ten JCOs. The entire force was to be commanded by Major General Akbar Khan, who was given the code name 'Tariq'. The plan envisaged six Lashkars to advance along the main road from Muzaffarabad to Srinagar via Domel, Uri and Baramula. Two Lashkars each were to make subsidiary moves from Hajipir Pass to Gulmarg and Tithwal to Handwara, Sopore and Bandipur, with the twin objectives of securing large chunks of territory, as also to protect the flanks of the main column. The D-day for Operation Gulmarg was fixed as 22 October 1947 . 7 Infantry Division of Pakistan Army which was to concentrate in Murree-Abbotabad by 21 October 1947 was ordered to be ready to move into J&K territory to back up the Lashkars and consolidate their hold on the valley.

On 22 October 1947 , Domel was captured. The next morning, the enemy in large numbers swarmed Uri. Having withstood the attack for the whole day and seeing the enemy by-passing Uri, the next defensive position was taken at Mahura by late night. The raiders entered Baramula on the night of 25 October 1947.

With the acceptance of the signed Instrument of Accession by the Governor General, during the night of 26th October, 1947, the State of Jammu and Kashmir became an integral part of India.