Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. The conflict began following Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against Indian rule. India retaliated by launching a full-scale military attack on West Pakistan; the seventeen-day war caused thousands of casualties on both sides and witnessed the largest engagement of armored vehicles and the largest tank battle since World War II. Hostilities between the two countries ended after a United Nations-mandated ceasefire was declared following diplomatic intervention by the Soviet Union and the United States, the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration. Much of the war was fought by the countries' land forces in Kashmir and along the border between India and Pakistan; this war saw the largest amassing of troops in Kashmir since the Partition of British India in 1947, a number, overshadowed only during the 2001–2002 military standoff between India and Pakistan.
Most of the battles were fought by opposing infantry and armoured units, with substantial backing from air forces, naval operations. Many details of this war, like those of other Indo-Pakistani Wars, remain unclear. India had the upper hand over Pakistan. Although the two countries fought to a standoff, the conflict is seen as a strategic and political defeat for Pakistan, as it had neither succeeded in fomenting insurrection in Kashmir nor had it been able to gain meaningful support at an international level. Internationally, the war was viewed in the context of the greater Cold War, resulted in a significant geopolitical shift in the subcontinent. Before the war, the United States and the United Kingdom had been major material allies of both India and Pakistan, as their primary suppliers of military hardware and foreign developmental aid. During and after the conflict, both India and Pakistan felt betrayed by the perceived lack of support by the western powers for their respective positions.
As a consequence and Pakistan developed closer relationships with the Soviet Union and China, respectively. The perceived negative stance of the western powers during the conflict, during the 1971 war, has continued to affect relations between the West and the subcontinent. In spite of improved relations with the U. S. and Britain since the end of the Cold War, the conflict generated a deep distrust of both countries within the subcontinent which to an extent lingers to this day. Since the Partition of British India in 1947, Pakistan and India remained in contention over several issues. Although the Kashmir conflict was the predominant issue dividing the nations, other border disputes existed, most notably over the Rann of Kutch, a barren region in the Indian state of Gujarat; the issue first arose in 1956. Pakistani patrols began patrolling in territory controlled by India in January 1965, followed by attacks by both countries on each other's posts on 8 April 1965. Involving border police from both nations, the disputed area soon witnessed intermittent skirmishes between the countries' armed forces.
In June 1965, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson persuaded both countries to end hostilities and set up a tribunal to resolve the dispute. The verdict, which came in 1968, saw Pakistan awarded 350 square miles of the Rann of Kutch, as against its original claim of 3,500 square miles. After its success in the Rann of Kutch, under the leadership of General Ayub Khan, believed the Indian Army would be unable to defend itself against a quick military campaign in the disputed territory of Kashmir as the Indian military had suffered a loss to China in 1962 in the Sino-Indian War. Pakistan believed that the population of Kashmir was discontented with Indian rule and that a resistance movement could be ignited by a few infiltrating saboteurs. Pakistan attempted to ignite the resistance movement by means of a covert infiltration, codenamed Operation Gibraltar; the Pakistani infiltrators were soon discovered, their presence reported by local Kashmiris, the operation ended unsuccessfully. On 5 August 1965 between 26,000 and 33,000 Pakistani soldiers crossed the Line of Control dressed as Kashmiri locals headed for various areas within Kashmir.
Indian forces, tipped off by the local populace, crossed the cease fire line on 15 August. The Indian Army met with considerable success, capturing three important mountain positions after a prolonged artillery barrage. By the end of August, both sides had relative progress. On 1 September 1965, Pakistan launched a counterattack, called Operation Grand Slam, with the objective to capture the vital town of Akhnoor in Jammu, which would sever communications and cut off supply routes to Indian troops. Ayub Khan calculated that "Hindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows at the right time and place" although by this time Operation Gibraltar had failed and India had captured the Haji Pir Pass. At 3:30 hours, on 1 September 1965, the entire Chhamb area came under massive artillery bombardment. Pakistan had launched operation Grand Slam and India's Army Headquarter was taken by surprise. Attacking with an overwhelming ratio of troops and technically superior tanks, Pakistan made gains against Indian forces, who were caught unprepared and suffered heav
The Tashkent Declaration was a peace agreement between India and Pakistan signed on 10 January 1966 that resolved the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. Peace had been achieved on 23 September by the intervention of the external powers who pushed the two nations to cease fire, afraid the conflict could escalate and draw in other powers; the war between India and Pakistan in 1965 was an escalation of the small scale and irregular fighting from April 1965 to September 1965 between both countries. It was over control of the resources and population of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a sore point between both countries since Partition in 1947. A meeting was held in Tashkent in the Uzbek SSR, USSR from 4–10 January 1966 to try to create a more permanent settlement; the Soviets, represented by Premier Alexei Kosygin, moderated between Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan. The Tashkent conference, under United Nations and Soviet pressure, compelled India and Pakistan to abide by their previous treaty obligations and accept Status quo ante bellum – to give away the captured regions of each other and return to the 1949 ceasefire line in Kashmir.
The conference was viewed as a great success and the declaration, released was hoped to be a framework for lasting peace. The declaration stated that Indian and Pakistani forces would pull back to their pre-conflict positions, pre-August lines, no than 25 February 1966, the nations would not interfere in each other's internal affairs and diplomatic relations would be restored, there would be an orderly transfer of prisoners of war, the two leaders would work towards improving bilateral relations; the agreement was criticized in India because it did not contain a no-war pact or any renunciation of guerrilla warfare in Kashmir. After signing the agreement, Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri died mysteriously in Tashkent. Shastri's sudden death has led to persistent conspiracy theories; the Indian government has refused to declassify a report on his death claiming that this could harm foreign relations, cause disruption in the country and cause a breach of parliamentary privileges. In accordance with the Tashkent Declaration, talks at the ministerial level were held on 1 and 2 March 1966.
Despite the fact that these talks were unproductive, diplomatic exchange continued throughout the spring and summer. No result was achieved out of these talks, as there was a difference of opinion over the Kashmir issue. Euphoria had built up during the 1965 war, which had led to the development of a public perception in Pakistan that they were going to win the war. News of the Tashkent Declaration shocked the people of Pakistan who were expecting something different. Things further worsened as Ayub Khan refused to comment and went into seclusion instead of announcing the reasons for signing the agreement. Demonstrations and rioting erupted at various places throughout Pakistan. In order to dispel the anger and misgivings of the people, Ayub Khan decided to lay the matter before the people by addressing the nation on 14 January, 1966, it was the difference over Tashkent Declaration, which led to the removal of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from Ayub’s government, who on launched his own party, called the Pakistan People’s Party.
Although Ayub Khan was able to satisfy the misgivings of the people, the Tashkent Declaration damaged his image and was one of the factors that led to his downfall. Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 Shimla Agreement Full text of Tashkent Declaration, UN Peacemaker All peace agreement for India, UN Peacemaker All peace agreements for Pakistan, UN Peacemaker
The M4 Sherman Medium Tank, M4, was the most used medium tank by the United States and Western Allies in World War II. The M4 Sherman proved to be reliable cheap to produce, available in great numbers. Thousands were distributed through the Lend-Lease program to the British Commonwealth and Soviet Union; the tank was named by the British for the American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman. The M4 Sherman evolved from the M3 Medium Tank, which had its main armament in a side sponson mount; the M4 retained much of the previous mechanical design, but put the main 75 mm gun in a traversing turret. One feature, a one-axis gyrostabilizer, was not precise enough to allow firing when moving but did help keep the reticle on target, so that when the tank did stop to fire, the gun would be aimed in the right direction; the designers stressed mechanical reliability, ease of production and maintenance, standardization of parts and ammunition in a limited number of variants, moderate size and weight.
These factors, combined with the Sherman's then-superior armor and armament, outclassed German light and medium tanks fielded in 1939–42. The M4 went on to be produced in large numbers, it spearheaded many offensives by the Western Allies after 1942. When the M4 tank went into combat in North Africa with the British Army at El Alamein in late 1942, it increased the advantage of Allied armor over Axis armor and was superior to the lighter German and Italian tank designs. For this reason, the US Army believed that the M4 would be adequate to win the war, little pressure was exerted for further tank development. Logistical and transport restrictions, such as limitations imposed by roads and bridges complicated the introduction of a more capable but heavier tank. Tank destroyer battalions using vehicles built on the M4 hull and chassis, but with open-topped turrets and more potent high-velocity guns entered widespread use in the Allied armies. By 1944, most M4 Shermans kept their dual-purpose 75 mm gun.
By the M4 was inferior in firepower and armor to increasing numbers of German heavy tanks, but was able to fight on with the help of considerable numerical superiority, greater mechanical reliability, better logistical support, support from growing numbers of fighter-bombers and artillery pieces. Some Shermans were produced with a more capable gun, the 76 mm gun M1, or refitted with an Ordnance QF 17-pounder by the British; the relative ease of production allowed large numbers of the M4 to be manufactured, significant investment in tank recovery and repair units allowed disabled vehicles to be repaired and returned to service quickly. These factors combined to give the Allies numerical superiority in most battles, many infantry divisions were provided with M4s and tank destroyers. After World War II, the Sherman the many improved and upgraded versions, continued to see combat service in many conflicts around the world, including the UN forces in the Korean War, with Israel in the Arab–Israeli wars with South Vietnam in the Vietnam War, on both sides of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
The U. S. Army Ordnance Department designed the M4 medium tank as a replacement for the M3 medium tank; the M3 was an up-gunned development of the M2 Medium Tank of 1939, in turn derived from the M2 light tank of 1935. The M3 was developed as a stopgap measure. While it was a big improvement when tried by the British in Africa against early German tanks, the placement of a 37 mm gun turret on top gave it a high profile, the unusual side-sponson mounted main gun, with limited traverse, could not be aimed across the other side of the tank. Though reluctant to adopt British weapons into their arsenal, the American designers were prepared to accept proven British ideas. British ideas, as embodied in a tank designed by the Canadian General Staff influenced the development of the American Sherman tank. Before long American military agencies and designers had accumulated sufficient experience to forge ahead on several points. In the field of tank armament the American 75 mm and 76 mm dual-purpose tank guns won the acknowledgement of British tank experts.
Detailed design characteristics for the M4 were submitted by the Ordnance Department on 31 August 1940, but development of a prototype was delayed while the final production designs of the M3 were finished and the M3 entered full-scale production. On 18 April 1941, the U. S. Armored Force Board chose the simplest of five designs. Known as the T6, the design was a modified M3 hull and chassis, carrying a newly designed turret mounting the M3's 75 mm gun; this would become the Sherman. The Sherman's reliability resulted from many features developed for U. S. light tanks during the 1930s, including vertical volute spring suspension, rubber-bushed tracks, a rear-mounted radial engine with drive sprockets in front. The goals were to produce a fast, dependable medium tank able to support infantry, provide breakthrough striking capacity, defeat any tank in use by the Axis nations; the T6 prototype was completed on 2 September 1941. The upper hull of the T6 was a single large casting, it featured a single overhead hatch for the driver, a hatch in the side of the hull.
In the M4A1 production model, this large casting was maintained, although the side hatch was eliminated and a second overhead hatch was added for the assistant driver. The modified T6 was standardized as the M4, production began in February 1942; the cast hull models would be re-standardized as M4A1, with the first welded hull models receiving the designation M4. In August, 1942, a variant of the M4 was put forth by the Detroit Arsenal to ha
The Kargil War known as the Kargil conflict, was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control. In India, the conflict is referred to as Operation Vijay, the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector; the cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers disguised as Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the LOC, which serves as the de facto border between the two states. During the initial stages of the war, Pakistan blamed the fighting on independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and statements by Pakistan's Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces, led by General Ashraf Rashid; the Indian Army supported by the Indian Air Force, recaptured a majority of the positions on the Indian side of the LOC infiltrated by the Pakistani troops and militants. Facing international diplomatic opposition, the Pakistani forces withdrew from the remaining Indian positions along the LOC.
The war is one of the most recent examples of high-altitude warfare in mountainous terrain, which posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides. It is one of the few instances of direct, conventional warfare between nuclear states. India had conducted its first successful test in 1974. Before the Partition of India in 1947, Kargil was a tehsil of the Ladakh district, a sparsely populated region with diverse linguistic and religious groups, living in isolated valleys separated by some of the world's highest mountains; the First Kashmir War concluded with the LOC bisecting the Ladakh district, with the Skardu tehsil going to Pakistan. After Pakistan's defeat in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the two nations signed the Simla Agreement promising not to engage in armed conflict with respect to that boundary; the town of Kargil is located 205 km from Srinagar, facing the Northern Areas across the LOC. Like other areas in the Himalayas, Kargil has a continental climate. Summers are cool with frigid nights, while winters are long and chilly with temperatures dropping to −48 °C.
An Indian national highway connecting Srinagar to Leh cuts through Kargil. The area that witnessed the infiltration and fighting is a 160-kilometre long stretch of ridges overlooking this only road linking Srinagar and Leh; the military outposts on the ridges above the highway were around 5,000 m high, with a few as high as 5,485 m. Apart from the district capital, the populated areas near the front line in the conflict included the Mushko Valley and the town of Drass, southwest of Kargil, as well as the Batalik sector and other areas, northeast of Kargil. Kargil was targeted because the terrain was conducive to the preemptive seizure of several unoccupied military positions. With tactically vital features and well-prepared defensive posts atop the peaks, a defender on the high ground would enjoy advantages akin to a fortress. Any attack to dislodge a defender from high ground in mountain warfare requires a far higher ratio of attackers to defenders, the difficulties would be exacerbated by the high altitude and freezing temperatures.
Kargil is just 173 km from the Pakistani-controlled town of Skardu, capable of providing logistical and artillery support to Pakistani combatants. A road between Kargil and Skardu exists, closed in 1949. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, there had been a long period with few direct armed conflicts involving the military forces of the two neighbours – notwithstanding the efforts of both nations to control the Siachen Glacier by establishing military outposts on the surrounding mountains ridges and the resulting military skirmishes in the 1980s. During the 1990s, escalating tensions and conflict due to separatist activities in Kashmir, some of which were supported by Pakistan, as well as the conducting of nuclear tests by both countries in 1998, led to an belligerent atmosphere. In an attempt to defuse the situation, both countries signed the Lahore Declaration in February 1999, promising to provide a peaceful and bilateral solution to the Kashmir conflict. During the winter of 1998–1999, some elements of the Pakistani Armed Forces were covertly training and sending Pakistani troops and paramilitary forces, some in the guise of mujahideen, into territory on the Indian side of the LOC.
The infiltration was codenamed "Operation Badr". Pakistan believed that any tension in the region would internationalise the Kashmir issue, helping it to secure a speedy resolution, yet another goal may have been to boost the morale of the decade-long rebellion in Indian Administered Kashmir by taking a proactive role. Pakistani Lieutenant general Shahid Aziz, head of ISI analysis wing, has confirmed there were no mujahideen but only regular Pakistan Army soldiers who took part in the Kargil War. "There were only taped wireless messages, which fooled no one. Our soldiers were made to occupy barren ridges, with hand held weapons and ammunition", Lt Gen Aziz wrote in his article in The Nation daily in January 2013; some writers have spe
Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts
Since the partition of British India in 1947 and creation of modern states of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in a number of wars and military stand-offs. The Kashmir issue has been the main cause of all major conflicts between the two countries with the exception of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 where conflict originated due to turmoil in erstwhile East Pakistan; the Partition of India came about in the aftermath of World War II, when both Great Britain and British India were dealing with the economic stresses caused by the war and its demobilisation. It was the intention of those who wished for a Muslim state to come from British India to have a clean partition between independent and equal "Pakistan" and "Hindustan" once independence came; the partition itself, according to leading politicians such as Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the All India Muslim League, Jawaharlal Nehru, leader of the Indian National Congress, should have resulted in peaceful relations. As the Hindu and Muslim populations were scattered unevenly in the whole country, the partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947 was not possible along religious lines.
Nearly one third of the Muslim population of British India remained in India. Inter-communal violence between Hindus and Muslims resulted in between 500,000 and 1 million casualties. Princely-ruled territories, such as Kashmir and Hyderabad, were involved in the Partition. Rulers of these territories had the choice of joining Pakistan; the war called the First Kashmir War, started in October 1947 when Pakistan feared that the Maharaja of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu would accede to India. Following partition, princely states were left to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Jammu and Kashmir, the largest of the princely states, had a majority Muslim population and significant fraction of Hindu population, all ruled by the Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh. Tribal Islamic forces with support from the army of Pakistan attacked and occupied parts of the princely state forcing the Maharaja to sign the Instrument of Accession of the princely state to the Dominion of India to receive Indian military aid.
The UN Security Council passed Resolution 47 on 22 April 1948. The fronts solidified along what came to be known as the Line of Control. A formal cease-fire was declared at 23:59 on the night of 1 January 1949. India gained control of about two-thirds of the state whereas Pakistan gained a third of Kashmir; the Pakistan controlled. This war started following Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. India retaliated by launching a full-scale military attack on West Pakistan; the seventeen-day war caused thousands of casualties on both sides and witnessed the largest engagement of armored vehicles and the largest tank battle since World War II. The hostilities between the two countries ended after a ceasefire was declared following diplomatic intervention by the Soviet Union and USA and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration. India had the upper hand over Pakistan; this war was unique in the way that it did not involve the issue of Kashmir, but was rather precipitated by the crisis created by the political battle brewing in erstwhile East Pakistan between Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Leader of East Pakistan, Yahya Khan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, leaders of West Pakistan.
This would culminate in the declaration of Independence of Bangladesh from the state system of Pakistan. Following Operation Searchlight and the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities, about 10 million Bengalis in East Pakistan took refuge in neighbouring India. India intervened in the ongoing Bangladesh liberation movement. After a large scale pre-emptive strike by Pakistan, full-scale hostilities between the two countries commenced. Pakistan attacked at several places along India's western border with Pakistan, but the Indian Army held their positions; the Indian Army responded to the Pakistan Army's movements in the west and made some initial gains, including capturing around 5,795 square miles of Pakistan territory. Within two weeks of intense fighting, Pakistani forces in East Pakistan surrendered to the joint command of Indian and Bangladeshi forces following which the People's Republic of Bangladesh was created; this war saw the highest number of casualties in any of the India-Pakistan conflicts, as well as the largest number of prisoners of war since the Second World War after the surrender of more than 90,000 Pakistani military and civilians.
In the words of one Pakistani author, "Pakistan lost half its navy, a quarter of its air force and a third of its army". Known as the Kargil War, this conflict between the two countries was limited. During early 1999, Pakistani troops infiltrated across the Line of Control and occupied Indian territory in the Kargil district. India responded by launching a major military and diplomatic offensive to drive out the Pakistani infiltrators. Two months into the conflict, Indian troops had retaken most of the ridges that were encroached by the infiltrators. According to official count, an estimated 75%–80% of the intruded area and nearly all high ground was back under Indian control. Fearing large-scale escalation in military conflict, the international community, led by the United States, increa
Pakistan the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, China in the far northeast, it is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, shares a maritime border with Oman. The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent; the ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Turco-Mongols and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and, most the British Empire.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a diverse geography and wildlife. A dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector, it is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, poverty and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; the name Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It alludes to the word pāk meaning pure in Pashto; the suffix ـستان is a Persian word meaning the place of, recalls the synonymous Sanskrit word sthāna स्थान. The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym referring to the names of the five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Kashmir and Baluchistan; the letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation. Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.
The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro; the Vedic period was characterised by an Indo-Aryan culture. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre; the Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab, founded around 1000 BCE. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE; the Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander, prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world, established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis; the ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE. At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh ruled the surrounding territories; the Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan. The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE; the Pakistan government's official chronol
Punjab is a state in northern India. Forming part of the larger Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, the state is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast, Rajasthan to the southwest, the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west; the state covers an area of 1.53 % of India's total geographical area. It is the 20th-largest Indian state by area. With 27,704,236 inhabitants at the 2011 census, Punjab is the 16th-largest state by population, comprising 22 districts. Punjabi is the most spoken and official language of the state; the main ethnic group are the Punjabis, with Sikhs forming the demographic majority and Hindus forming a sizable minority. The state capital is Chandigarh, a Union Territory and the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana; the five rivers from which the region took its name were Sutlej, Beas and Jhelum. The Punjab region was home to the Indus Valley Civilization until 1900 BCE.
The Punjab was invaded by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE and was captured by Chandragupta Maurya under Chanakya. The Punjab was home to the Gupta Empire, the empire of the Alchon Huns, the empire of Harsha, the Mongol Empire. Circa 1000, the Punjab was part of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire. Sikhism originated in Punjab and resulted in the formation of the Sikh Confederacy after the fall of the Mughal Empire; the confederacy was united into the Sikh Empire by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The entire Punjab region was annexed by the British East India Company from the Sikh Empire in 1849. In 1947, the Punjab Province of British India was divided along religious lines into West Punjab and East Punjab; the western part was assimilated into new country of Pakistan. The Indian Punjab as well as PEPSU was divided into three parts on the basis of language in 1966. Haryanvi-speaking areas were carved out as Haryana, while the hilly regions and Pahari-speaking areas formed Himachal Pradesh, alongside the current state of Punjab.
Punjab's government has three branches – executive and legislative. Punjab follows the parliamentary system of government with the Chief Minister as the head of the state. Punjab is agriculture-based due to the presence of abundant water sources and fertile soils. Other major industries include the manufacturing of scientific instruments, agricultural goods, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, sewing machines, sports goods, tourism, bicycles and the processing of pine oil and sugar. Minerals and energy resources contribute to Punjab's economy to a much lesser extent. Punjab has the largest number of steel rolling mill plants in India, which are in "Steel Town"—Mandi Gobindgarh in the Fatehgarh Sahib district; the region was called Sapta Sindhu, the Vedic land of the seven rivers flowing into the ocean. The Sanskrit name for the region, as mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata for example, was Panchanada which means "Land of the Five Rivers", was translated to Persian as Punjab after the Muslim conquests.
The word Punjab is a compound of the Persian words āb. Thus Panjāb means "the land of five rivers"; the five rivers are the Sutlej, Ravi and Jehlum. Traditionally, in English, there used to be a definite article before the name, i.e. "The Punjab". The name is sometimes spelled as "Panjab"; the Greeks called Punjab an inland delta of five converging rivers. During the period when the epic Mahabharata was written, around 800–400 BCE, Punjab was known as Trigarta and ruled by Katoch kings; the Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of the Punjab region with cities such as Ropar. The Vedic Civilization spread along the length of the Sarasvati River to cover most of northern India including Punjab; this civilisation shaped subsequent cultures in the Indian subcontinent. The Punjab region was ruled by many ancient empires including the Gandhara, Mauryas, Kushans, Palas, Gurjara-Pratiharas and Hindu Shahis; the furthest eastern extent of Alexander the Great's exploration was along the Indus River. Agriculture flourished and trading cities such as Jalandhar and Ludhiana grew in wealth.
Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attack and influence from both west and east. Punjab faced invasions by the Achaemenids, Scythians and Afghans; this resulted in the Punjab witnessing centuries of bitter bloodshed. Its culture combines Hindu, Islamic and British influences; the original Punjab region is now divided into several units: West Punjab, portions of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa such as the Gandharar region, the Indian states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and the Indian Union territory of Chandigarh and Jammu Division. The Punjab is the'Sapta Sindhu' region mentioned in the Rig Veda, the seven rivers are: Saraswati, Satadru/Shutadri, Asikani, Purushni, Vitasta/Vet and Sindhu. Among the classic books that were wholly or composed in this region are the following. Rigveda Grammar of Sakatayana Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini Nirukta of Yaska Charaka Samhita Mahabharata along with the Bhagavad Gita Brihatkatha of Gunadya Bakhshali ManuscriptThe world's oldest university Takshashila flourished here before the Buddha's birth.
The Brahmins of this region