Army Institute of Military History

Grand Slam Lounge

This foyer is named after OPERATION GRAND SLAM which was conducted by Pakistan Army beginning 1st September 1965, in Indian illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. This operation aimed at capturing Akhnur which was strategically significant for the Indians, as it was an important link for any movement by them towards the north. With Akhnur captured, Indian occupation forces in Kashmir would have faced a serious threat of being cut off from the rest of India.

In the wake of successful operations in the Rann of Kutch by Pakistan Army against intruding Indian forces in April 1965, the Government of Pakistan, on the recommendation of Kashmir Cell (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), decided to launch a guerrilla operation, OPERATION GIBRALTAR, in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.


It aimed at encouraging an uprising by the local population of Kashmir Valley against Indian occupation; and bringing the Kashmir issue to the fore, which was receding into oblivion at that time. OPERATION GIBRALTAR commenced on 7th August, wherein the infiltration force entered occupied Kashmir and successfully launched clandestine operations against the enemy’s rear installations, isolated posts, convoys, bridges, police stations, and civil administration headquarters. These operations created confusion and demoralisation, as well as disruption of enemy logistics. India launched her offensive on 15th August in response to OPERATION GIBRALTAR. During the period 15th–31st August, Indian forces occupied 10 square miles in the area north of Kargil, 2 square miles in Tithwal sector, and Haji Pir Pass. Realizing that the Indian reaction may result in aborting OPERATION GIBRALTAR at a disadvantage, Pakistan Army decided to launch OPERATION GRAND SLAM inside disputed territory, without violating the international border with India.

OPERATION GRAND SLAM by Pakistan’s 12 Division commenced on 1st September. Pakistani troops found no major resistance and captured Chhamb, Palanwala and Jaurian. On night 5th/6th September, the area up to Kandial and Chak Karpal was cleared, and Pakistani troops had reached the outskirts of Akhnur. GRAND SLAM had seriously threatened Akhnur and resulted in liberating 340 square miles of Indian occupied Kashmir, as against 182 square miles lost to the enemy. Unable to react in Kashmir against the successful Pakistani operation to capture Akhnur, India decided to launch a surprise attack on Pakistan, across the international border. The Indian reaction reveals that India had already planned OPERATION NEPAL to attack Pakistan. The Indian decision was aimed to reduce pressure on Akhnur, by drawing Pakistan’s forces away in a general war, and India wanted to achieve a quick victory by racing up to Grand Trunk road between Gujranwala and Wazirabad. Therefore, on 6th September 1965, at 3:00 a.m., the Indian Army crossed the international border simultaneously at Sialkot, Jassar, Wagah and Kasur, without any formal declaration of war.

This foyer leads into the other halls. It contains a reception desk for visitors, half a dozen workstations with internet, and limited casual seating.

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