Handling of Armour in Indo-Pak War

Pakistan Armoured Corps as a Case Study


Maj (Retd) AGHA HUMAYUN AMIN from WASHINGTON DC makes an excellent presentation of how Pak armour was handled in our wars with India.



Battle of Chamb fought in 1971 was the only battle in Indo Pak where a force of armoured brigade level was successfully employed by an infantry general in an offensive manner to achieve a successful breakthrough. This battle was covered in great detail by this scribe in DJ’s September 1999  issue. First the 23 Division tried to make a breakthrough from the north but once this failed General Eftikhar Khan in the classic German manner made a swift re-assessment and regrouped his forces to launch an attack from the south towards Chak Pandit as a result of which the Indians abandoned Chamb Salient. It was a classic case of dislocating the enemy commander’s mental equilibrium. Eftikhar by redeploying and changing direction of armour attack did something which three of his division’s infantry brigades had failed to do while attacking frontally! Eftikhar later planned another outflanking thrust at Pallanwalla but his efforts were frustrated due to  two  irresolute as well as incompetent brigade commanders which included his armoured brigade commander who was unable to concentrate his tank and infantry units and  was many times publicly abused by him for incompetence and irresolution!79


The Battles fought in Shakargarh Bulge and at Bara Pind-Jarpal were the second major battles of the 1971 war as far as armour was concerned.

Two major tank operations were conducted here. I will only quote few lines from the Indian Armoured Corps History to describe the first i.e delaying battle of Changez Force, which was conducted by the indomitable Brigadier Nisar of 25 Cavalry of Chawinda fame. The Indian historian thus noted Nisar’s brilliance, something that the Pakistani selection boards later failed to note, as following; “Pak armour functioned well in the role of covering troops. It managed to delay a superior armour force for a longer period than it could have planned for”.80

The  other major tank battle i.e the Pakistani armoured brigade counter attack at Bara Pind was one of the most  heroic, but tragic affairs in the history of  Indo Pak wars. The initial rot started at Corps level where the commander who had served in staff jobs, despised artillery81 and had vague  ideas about tank warfare. He viewed the armoured brigade as a hammer meant to crush an enemy by a direct assault rather than a dynamic operational entity used for dislocation or disruption of enemy plans. The armoured brigade thus initially did nothing in the first twelve days of the war as happens in all successful model discussions at the staff college and the defence college, but was finally ordered to eliminate an enemy force which had achieved a limited breakthrough. Two major failures occurred here. One was at brigade level in failure to incorporate artillery in the brigade plans82. The major failure here occurred at armoured regiment level when one tank regiment ordered to contain the enemy penetration instead attacked the enemy frontally like the Light Brigade with nominal artillery support and suffered very heavy tank casualties. A second tank regiment was then launched which contained the bridgehead established by an Indian tank regiment, suffering heavy but relatively less losses once compared with the first regiment! On the Indian side the situation was equally dismal, as far as higher leadership at brigade level was concerned, and the day was saved only by “a very gallant last-ditch stand  by three tanks of Poona Horse”83 commanded  by a Punjabi Hindu subaltern from Sargodha district!


The Pakistani attack in the desert sector with two tank regiments was another Quixotic effort which failed because of poor inter arm cooperation between the army and the airforce and was a battle in which two Indian Hunter aircraft84 engaged a tank regiment caught in the open desert without anti-aircraft cover or aerial support and was forced to withdraw after suffering heavy losses.


The Pakistani 2 Corps offensive involving attack by an armour and infantry division which was never executed has remained a subject of much speculation and controversy . Indian Western Command C in C Lieutenant General Candeth has acknowledged that had this operation been launched between 8 and 26 October, it could have caused serious disruption in Indian plans to attack East Pakistan.85 Once the war started the Indians had brought their armoured division opposite the Pakistani division and the resultant clash would have been “a futile frontal bloody clash of armour”.86   One observer who was Tikka’s contemporary has opined that the 2 Corps Commander i.e  Lieutenant General Tikka Khan “had neither the ability to handle such a large force, nor the experience  of such a war”.87 The observer in this case may be dismissed as one saying so out of professional rivalry, but a  dispassionate glance at handling of armour in all three Indo Pak wars beyond tank regiment level, by both armour and non-armour officers gives great substance to this criticism. Major General Eftikhar the lone exception is an altogether different case. Such men are born once in many centuries. In any case  Eftikhar took immense pains in learning about armour by attending a short but effective basic course at the School of Armour Nowshera where his photograph as a general officer student was hanging in the Communication Group as I last saw it in January 1984. In addition Eftikhar had very effectively commanded the 6 Armoured Division before the 1971 war.


There is no doubt that  the armoured corps learnt a great deal from 1971 war, specially as far as integration of artillery in armour attack and brigade level attacks were concerned. It was, however, a case of preparing for a war which had already been fought. The Indo Pak difference in conventional forces continued to increase after the 1971 war and the whole strategic scenario was transformed after India’s nuclear blast in 1974.

No major lesson was, however, learnt in higher organisation and the armoured corps continued as it had before 1971 as far as higher organisation was concerned. The armour had not been tested at divisional level and no major reappraisal at divisional level was undertaken.

More armoured regiments were raised by milking the existing units and eliminating the fourth tank troop in each tank squadron.


Pakistan concluded a major arms deal with the US in 1981 but the urgent need to modernise/upgrade the  armour was not realised since the military junta was enjoying siphoning the fruits of massive US aid into private bank accounts. Thus once Indira Gandhi mobilised her forces in the wake of the Sikh Insurgency and concentrated them close to the border in mid-September Pakistani armour was in bad shape both technically as well as maintenance wise having the same old 1966-71 T-59 tanks. War looked imminent but the tension de-escalated after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

In 1987 again Pakistani armour was qualitatively inferior having the same 1971 T-59’s albeit new or reconditioned vis-a-vis Indian T-72s. War looked imminent in January 1987 but did not break out due to sheer irresolution on Rajiv Gandhi’s part. Later much propaganda was done in Pakistan about some visionary soldiers but as this scribe wrote in a letter published in one of the most prestigious  journals of the Pakistan Army “As far as BRASS TACKS is concerned, I beg to submit that there was no countermove with the deliberate intention to frighten the Indians.The move of the Strategic Reserve (Pakistan’s 2 Corps) from Cholistan to Ravi-Sutlej Corridor was a purely defensive move. If Sunderji lost his nerve then it was a matter of pure chance otherwise the Pakistani intention was never to unnerve Sunderji but to get its strategic reserve to a more central location which it occupied in both 1965 and 1971 wars. Later on with benefit of hindsight some people here did attempt to make the effort appear as a visionary soldier’s piece of military genius”.88 The readers may note that this assertion was  not challenged by anyone which either means that the staff college magazine is either distributed in graveyards or no one has the time or energy to read or contest anything!

The situation in 1987 was most grave for Pakistani armour at least technically and numerically and the Indians due to sheer irresolution lost a golden chance to impose a military solution which in the post- Chaghi scenario is no longer possible. One explanation of the Pakistani armoured division’s withdrawal north of Sutlej lies in Pakistani governments desire not to provoke the Indians. Technically, however, Pakistan Armour was not in a reasonable shape to fight a war in January 1987.



New raisings were done after the 1971 war but every new raising was based on milking of existing units and was matched by new raisings on the other side. Thus these new raisings did not produce any qualitative or quantitative situation in the overall comparative military balance. Some units were raised soon after the 1971 war while six units were raised as a result of the return of personnel of Tabuk Brigade in 1985 and 1988 respectively. Three more units were raised on the return of the armoured brigade despatched to the Gulf in 1991, while two more units were raised from the existing independent squadrons one of which was raised in 1971 and was commanded by this scribe till November 1993. Both these two units were raised in infantry divisions and thus deprived of the relatively far superior training environment that should have been available to them by virtue of being raised in an armoured division. This was done at a time when there were many senior armour officers in the General Headquarters and this simple truism could have been conveyed to the concerned authority. The sending of two batches of officers and men to Saudi Arabia in 1982 and 1985 seriously undermined armoured corps efficiency. Two classes were created in both within the officers and the rank and file. The incentive to somehow go to Saudi Arabia created unpleasant situation in many units in terms of class rivalry, favouritism and even further dilution of uprightness and soldierly forthrightness and simple approach towards regimental soldiering. Only individuals gained while the military spirit of the army described by Clausewitz as the most important foundation of an army was eroded. This was followed by other carrots that made people more money minded and calculating like secondments to Somalia, Bosnia etc. The net goodwill they brought can be gauged from the fact that Pakistan is on the borderline in the US State Department’s list of terrorist nations and is on the brink of financial default which will force its government, military or civil to finally bend to superpower dictation regardless of all rhetoric!

During the period 1977-88 the armoured corps got the best opportunity to benefit from the fact that an armour officer was the master of everything! Paradoxically professionally things deteriorated! Two messes were built in Nowshera and Rawalpindi which are not for armour officers, at least those below brigadier! The one in Rawalpindi is a personal fiefdom and is an excellent means of exercising patronage and enhancing contacts! The armour school during this period went on the same lines as in 1960s. No new building was built. It retained its unique distinction of being the  final resting place of near superseded or superseded brigadiers at a time when from 1983-84 the infantry school was upgraded to a general rank headed institution, and some very fine officers (barring few exceptions!!!!) were posted to head that institution! The armoured corps suffered in terms of promotion since promotions became a far more personalised affair since those on top knew officers intimately and lavishly exercised their powers to promote or demote in a typical third world whimsical style.Thus many fine officers like Sher Azam Malik  and Javed Hussain were sidelined while many officers reached the general rank despite the fact that at least one was not recommended for next rank by his infantry division commander and corps commander. It is true that some individuals gained  four star rank without commanding a division or a corps or in other ways but the armoured corps as an arm suffered. It became a personal fiefdom from 1976 to 1988. It will take many years to recover from  the negative effects of that “Darbari Era”. Perhaps the next war towards which the sub-continent is invariably being pushed into due to myopic vision and lack of statesmanship will be the final audit of the armoured corps of both sides since 1971! Our only hope is that our Indian friends I hear are almost as incompetent as we are beyond tank regiment or brigade level. At least their performance beyond unit level in both 1965 and 1971, provides a lot of solace and indicates that their commanders beyond unit level are as illustrious as ours!

There is nothing much to write about Zarb-i-Momin as far as armour was concerned. This by all definitions, is ironic since it was supposed to be an armour dominated show supposedly designed to derive lessons which were special to armour. What happened in reality was a farce. The enemy armoured divisions reconnaissance teams were in the enemy territory some four months before the war broke out, conducting Recce and familiarising themselves with the area. Engineer units arrived months before to improve tracks to enhance mobility inside enemy territory! This scribe was then serving in 3rd Armoured Brigade Headquarters. The only redeeming feature of the exercise was the 3rd Armoured Brigade counter-attack, which succeeded by divine design since bad weather rendered the enemy air inoperational. Huge exercises in which millions are spent, however, cannot be justified simply because of attacks, which succeed, by divine design! There was no element of the fog of war for the advancing side, while the defenders final attack succeeded by Divine Design! The military objectives of the exercise, at least meaningful ones pertaining to higher direction of war, or inter corps co-ordination i.e holding and striking corps operating in the same area, were not achieved. If anyone claims that these were achieved then the fact that no co-ordinating headquarter was created to regulate the holding and striking corps between 1989 and 1998 proved that the lessons, that is if any, apart from those in the realm of propaganda and public relations, were learnt, were either not implemented (a serious command failing if true) or disregarded by the successors of the then chief. The second conclusion is also highly improbable since the then chief was in chair for more than one and half year after the exercise, and had ample time to incorporate the lessons, that is if any meaningful ones were learnt. Since this scribe does not have the power of ESP it is not possible to gauge whether the ulterior motives of that exercise, if any were achieved or not!

The problem with the army of 1984-90, at the top was that it was dominated by men who had not commanded armoured formations beyond unit level or brigade (and that too for few months) in case of armour and even had not commanded infantry formations in major general rank which held even a tank squadron on their order of battle! Zia who had commanded an armoured division in peace and a corps for an year had utilised bulk of his time in sycophancy with the PPP stalwarts in Multan and had nothing to do with any armoured battle in both the wars! The best product of this galaxy of talents was the bifurcation of the older corps into striking and holding formations as stated earlier, without earmarking any co-ordinating headquarter and would have been a recipe to diasaster in case a war had broken out! This Quixotic bifurcation as earlier stated was not tested in Zarb-e-Momin.



Various divisional level training manoeuvres were held after 1971 and many lessons were learnt. However, there is no organisational or institutional framework to scientifically evaluate the command abilities of officers beyond tank regiment level. This assertion is based on conviction and was pointed out in writing by this scribe in various army journals and is on record :—

“Evaluation of exercises which is one of the major peactime methods of judging resolution in a commander is an extremely rigorous and scientific affair. It is felt that this should be done by a select corps of officers who will be less biased in judging a man’s professional calibre. The present system, it is felt is less objective, less scientific and less profession oriented. Probably it is so because those who evaluate each other spend more time together in cantonments than in the field and thus go into the field with preconceived ideas further biased by personal likes and dislikes ............the present system of exercises are not aimed at testing the command qualities which are really decisive like resolution. Even if this is being done in certain cases then it is confined to lower command levels, which a study of military history illustrates is just not enough .........” We have got to train our commanders for adverse situations which demand unconventional audacious and imaginative planning. Presently we are afraid this is not being done. Rather exercises are demonstrations on a massive scale”.89

“There are institutions (referring to one particular institution) which deliver a verdict on command qualities of an individual without a single exercise in the field”!90 ......... “ Commanders above unit level are rarely properly exercised” ........ “ The system is producing many whose tour of regimental soldiering is with the primary aim of getting a hole punched in the service record card”.91

“Many military systems that this world saw were a conspiracy against originality and boldness”......“Create an ‘Evaluation Corps’ which will be a full time corps primarily designed/dedicated to test the professional competence of commanders at all levels (till divisional level)”.92

“Establishment of training command, responsible for planning and monitoring Army’s training is an inescapable necessity”.93

 The rationale behind quoting all these observations which are on record is to prove that training manoeuvres as this scribe saw them while serving for four continuous years, without going on a single course or even a  month’s leave in an armoured divison or later in other infantry formations, were not being held on a scientific basis. There were exceptions like Generals Hameed Gul, Sajjad or Brigadier Inayatullah Niazi (his other qualities/peculiarities apart) who took training manoeuvres religiously and conducted them brilliantly, but these men and particularly Hameed Gul (his so called fundamentalist political views aside)  was an exception and the next two years after his departure from the armoured division as this scribe saw were the most barren years of training. The reason is simple, i.e procedural and institutional arrangements are longer lasting and more consistent and to a considerable  extent compensate for individual human qualitative differences resulting from change of command from person “X” to person “Z”.

The problem is that lack of a neutral organisation which could give a second opinion on the command abilities of a commander beyond squadron unit or brigade level was missing. It was common to hear many brigade and unit commanders brag that it was their pen and not the performance of an officer on training manoeuvres which would decide the issue. This was true since it was common to see many excellent brigade commanders and unit commanders who handled their command outfits superbly in field training manoeuvres being sidelined to oblivion and obscurity while many relatively incompetent, as far performance in field was concerned, but “on paper good officers”, getting the best appointments and rising to general rank.This is as far as the armoured corps was concerned. The secondment to Saudi Arabia propelled another breed who had a good time in three years in Tabuk where exercises were a “hoax” and reached high ranks without commanding an armoured brigade (the Lahore armoured brigade being an exception since it hardly does any meaningful training at brigade level and performs other more important non training duties)  or armoured division. There emerged during the period 1977-1994 a breed of essentially paper tiger commanders who had all the holes punched and had also mastered the techniques of conducting perfect armoured attacks (in reality, carefully rehearsed demonstrations)  under conditions in which all the friction of war which that poor Prussian Clausewitz had written about had been eliminated through whiz kid techniques mastered in the process of hole punching and keeping the OEI high !


Handling of armour in schools of instruction also requires serious re-evaluation. During my stay in the School of Armour I observed that there were no fixed parameters or training guidelines at army level which regulated that institution. All depended on the commandant’s personality. If there was a hard taskmaster like Sher Azam Malik everything went well but everything would suddenly transform once person “Y” or “Z” came. As far as I know the school with few exceptions was a dumping ground for superseded or about to be superseded brigadiers, at least after 1971 with perhaps one or two odd exceptions. Naturally these commandants were on their way out and with few exceptions took more interest in preparing themselves for their future retired life! The same was true for instructors at Lieutenant Colonel level out of whom very few went beyond brigadier. Further the school’s location being far away from both the armoured divisions did not allow integration of students doing courses in major armour training manoeuvres as is done in the Infantry School in Quetta. This school should  be re-located somewhere in the desert in Cholistan or perhaps its outer fringes or in the Potohar plateau! This scribe in May-June 1993 had made a similar recommendation for the independent armoured squadron that he was commanding and was then  stationed  in Okara (through an official written letter held on record) to be shifted to the desert in Tamewali or Bahawalnagar. The recommendation made as part of unit points for the divisional conference was approved by Major General Zia ul Haq the General Officer Commanding the infantry division and implemented much to the chagrin of officers who later joined the new tank regiment raised from the Phoenix ashes of that squadron! Coming back to the main line of discussion there was no system of grading in the school and the powers of the officers in charge course, the chief instructor and the higher appointment holders to alter a tactical grading done by an instructor of major or colonel rank were not limited by any margin of plus one or two as was the practice in Infantry School. I don’t know whether it has changed now from 1992.

The instructors posted after staff college to armour school were those majors who were not fit to be brigade majors or were there simply because no unit or other vacancy was available for them! This did not mean that these majors were not good since the system of assessment of staff college needs considerable revamping. The bad part was that these majors did not put up maximum hard work since they knew that the seal of relatively mediocre majors had been stamped on them and, however, hard they worked their chances for promotion beyond colonel rank were remote!  Two buildings were completed in 1988-89 but these were hardly sufficient to meet the existing demands! The transparency of the system of grading could be gauged from the fact that the only two officers who got an alpha grade in tactical leg of the young officer’s basic course were sons of serving generals! This scribe had the opportunity to see one of them during the basic course and was perplexed and surprised as to how he was graded alpha. On the other hand a retired three star general’s son who had already managed a Bee Plus in the junior Staff Course (a far more tough affair than the mid career course)  while his father was a serving three star general, was initially graded as Bee Minus in the Mid-Career Course whereas he certainly deserved a Bee! Later on I believe he was given a Bee, after much haggling as happened at Valtoha between 1 FF and 6 Lancers.


No major change in Pakistani higher armour command as earlier discussed in brief was made till 1987. In 1986-87 the older corps which contained both holding and striking formations were sub-divided into holding and striking corps. This arrangement although outwardly neat and superficially sound was essentially confusing and fallacious. It was regarding this change that this scribe pointed out in an article “It is felt that during conduct of operations two formation commanders of equal rank commanding a holding and strike formation respectively in the same area of operations, cannot function effectively. Even during Exercise Zarb-e-Momin this aspect was not put to trial. Training of holding and strike formations needs to be integrated thus meriting a unified operational command vested in the person of one officer of the rank of lieutenant general. The change may require creation of Army Headquarters in certain operational areas”.94

The arrangement of holding and striking corps without any higher co-ordinating headquarter was a recipe for confusion and disaster as I witnessed while serving in a  holding corps, once I personally saw the lack of communication and co-ordination in training and cooperation between the concerned strike and holding corps. Thus, I was motivated to write another article in which this scribe’s recommendations for establishing a co-ordinating headquarters for the holding and striking corps were seconded by the worthy editor of the Citadel Magazine as ones which “certainly merits consideration”.95    The rationale on which these recommendations were based were: “The concept of holding and striking formation also needs reappraisal....the bifurcation in terms of offensive and defensive role, while outwardly neat and theoretically sound is historically without a successful precedent. The issue could have been resolved in exercise Zarb-e-Momin in 1989 by subjecting it to the friction of  a rigorous training manoeuvre”.96 “The shield and the spear or the hammer and the anvil can function effectively only if one head synchronises and co-ordinates their operational functions. As they say that too many cooks spoil the broth, the two formations fighting the same battle in the same operational area cannot fully realise their combat potential unless a headquarter regulates their operations.How can one main headquarters 200 or 400 miles in the rear, with loads of other matters to take  care of, effectively co-ordinate the operations of a hammer and anvil”.97 “The need for an army headquarters to co-ordinate and effectively command the holding and strike corps is an indispensable necessity”.98 I believe that there has been some progress since these recommendations which are on record were made in 1998. All credit, however, goes to then commandant Major General Amjad and his team who published these two above quoted articles. Had these been written in 1987 or 1988 no editor would have dared to publish them. 99


Poor inter-arm cooperation seriously retarded the combat potential of the Pakistan Armoured Corps right from 1947. This was the worst British legacy that both the Indo-Pak armies inherited. A British observer in WW Two noted that “in the training of the armoured division, I stressed the need for co-operation of all arms in battle. One had to check a pernicious doctrine which had grown up in recent years, aided by certain civilian writers, that tank units were capable of winning an action without the assistance of other arms. The Chief agent in debunking this and many other fallacies of our pre-war pundits were the German”.100 The secret of the German Blitzkrieg tactics which revolutionised warfare lay in intimate inter-arm cooperation. The US concept of Combined Arms Teams is actually the old German inter-arm cooperation within the Panzer Division concept ‘wine in new bottles’. The British tanks in WW II on the other hand repeatedly failed to function effectively because of poor inter-arm cooperation based on inter-unit rivalry and excess of regimentation. The Pakistan Army inherited this disease and this disease instead of getting reduced became more pronounced after 1947. The army remained infantry dominated since all the chiefs from 1948 to 1972 were from infantry. From 1977 to 1988 the army remained armour dominated and preference in promotion was given to those close to Zia. Poor inter-arm cooperation led to serious operational failures in Khem Karan and in Grand Slam in 1965 and at Bara Pind in 1971. The similarity between the lack of infantry tank cooperation in Grand Slam and in Khem Karan and those of  similar incidents in the case of British infantry and tanks at Gazala etc is remarkable. Even when I was commissioned in 11 Cavalry in March 1983, 29 Cavalry  (in which this scribe later served for some time) being a new unit was regarded as second among equals, 7 FF the mechanised infantry unit of our brigade was viewed as an enemy and 15 SP  the artillery unit was despised and considered too insignificant even to be considered an enemy. The Supply and Transport unit was regarded as a bunch of untouchables! The EME was not liked but feared, for their nuisance value in inspections, though secretly despised. It was out of question to visit the messes of these units and my friendship with an officer of 7 FF  was viewed by many seniors as disloyalty to the regiment! Officers from armoured regiments were mostly friendly with officers from other armoured regiments. It was rare that any officer of the infantry division met any officer of the armoured division in Kharian.  

Even within the very small  armoured corps of the 1950s and 1960s there were glaring differences from regiment to regiment. There were regiments with a much higher representation in the top hierarchy dating from 1947 and there were fatherless regiments who had done well in war but had no patrons beyond the brigadier rank. The negative factor here for the armoured corps was the fact that while the regiment in infantry had a much larger number of units like the Punjab and FF group, each armoured regiment was as different from each other as France from Germany and an officer from any tank regiment only believed in patronising his very own regiment!

Parallels can be found in battle of  Bir El Gubi in 1941 where the 22 Armoured Brigade frontally charged the Italians with the support of just one  battery of 25 Pounders 101    and failed to capture it suffering in the process huge losses and in the Battle of Bara Pind where Pakistan’s 8 Armoured Brigade did a similar thing. The German tank general and illustrious staff officer Von Mellenthin noted this failing when he said, “their commanders would not concentrate tanks and guns for a co-ordinated battle”.102

On the other hand notorious examples of non-cooperation in 1965 and 1971 wars can be compared with the conduct of the British armour at Gazala in 1942 when the 2nd Highland infantry was destroyed by German tanks  while a superior British tank force merely looked on, or in the case of the 1/6th Rajputana Rifles who were abandoned to German Panzers simply because the British armour had to go into leaguer!103        

One of the most notorious examples of lack of inter-arm co-operation took place in Chawinda when first the Indian tanks withdrew from Jassoran-Buttur Dograndi-Sodreke area on their own104, and later when Indian tanks ordered to re-attack the same area later were not informed about the failure of the last night’s infantry attack!105 An Indian general frankly admitted this lack of inter arm cooperation when he said, “There were misunderstandings galore between the infantry and armour commanders in the second battle of Chawinda. A lack of rapport seems to be the only explanation..”.106 This lack of cooperation was something like 13th century inter-arm and individual rivalry which led to the failure of the Crusaders or the Mongols against the Mamelukes.Toynbee the great historian thus wrote, “the individual Mongol champion was promptly overcome by the disciplined heavy cavalry of the Egyptian Mamlukes (mostly kidnapped slaves of Slav/European origin converted to Islam after being bought by the Kurds etc). These had given warning of the supremacy  of their technique at the Battle of Mansurah in AD 1250, when Frankish army of Saint Louis  had paid a disastrous penalty for the thoughtless individualism of its knights, each anxious for personal honour at the expense of the disciplined formation”.107 I can state with confidence that as late as 1993 that  almost each tank regiment (having seen five tank regiments and one tank squadron) or infantry regiment behaved at least symbolically like these thirteenth century knights described by Toynbee, at least in garrisons and on field manoeuvres! I am sure that the Indian army being the chip of the same block and led by as mediocre and orders oriented men is no different! At least in strength of reservoirs of mediocrity the subcontinent consists of men belonging to one nation!


The Armoured Corps inherited a typically British cavalry charge tradition, an irrational urge of being “brave to the point of foolhardiness”.108 The Indians suffered from a similar malady and lost many tanks in attacks delivered in a cavalry charge manner at Gadgor, Phillora, Buttur, Dograndi, Sodreke, etc. Brigadier Riaz ul Karim who was sent as Deputy GOC of 6 Armoured Division described these encounters as “Kabbadi Matches”. Riaz thus observed “The normal practice on both sides was to despatch one armoured regiment at  a time to probe and infiltrate (with infantry following) and the other side reacted with launching one of their own armoured regiments to stop and destroy that force. With this type of  battle, there were heavy tank casualties on both sides”.109     Riaz states that “The first thing that I did was to stop the ‘Kabbadi Game’ i.e for one regiment sailing into the blues and coming back with a bloody nose”.110


In all fairness the nature of Indian Army’s employment as far as the armoured corps  was concerned did not make things any easier for the armoured corps of both the countries. The Indian Armoured Corps was either employed in a screen/scout role or in conditions where their  opponent as in Burma was vastly inferior both numerically and quantitatively in number of tanks. Indians were not groomed for higher ranks and even the British despite better education superior literacy level and technically and qualitatively superior position did not produce a single good tank commander at any level higher than tank regiment. No wonder that they failed the Germans in France and North Africa from 1940 till 1942 when finally the scales were turned, not because of better generalship but by virtue of overwhelming numerical superiority. Further the conservative British tank doctrine which both the armies inherited and made no effort to change that armour commanders beyond unit level remained as mediocre as they were on the British side in WW II. It is no credit to the quality of British armoured corps that General Mellenthin who saw the British Army as its direct opponent for some two years noted that “ The British Artillery was the best trained and best commanded element in the British Army”.111


The armoured corps of 1947 inherited many psychological hang-ups. The subconscious emphasis inherited from the British was on being an “arm of fashion and wealth” “affected carelessness” and worst of all “an arrogant non-chalance towards the duller aspects of their work”.112 During a winter collective which this scribes unit had to conduct for another armoured brigade, the other brigades units insisted that their tank commanders cannot advance unless there is a visible track going through the desert. In this case there was none! Finally the problem was resolved by asking for engineer support and a track was made with the help of earthmoving equipment! During my service I frequently heard many officers saying that a fourth tank troop in a squadron was good and added flexibility while many said that it was difficult to manage. These officers probably never understood that the Germans performed miracles with armoured divisions, which had just one Panzer Regiment (tank brigade).    


Firstly we shall discuss the leaguer concept which seriously jeopardised the success of Pakistani armour operations in Khem Karan. The British mostly withdrew from the final battle positions in North Africa because they feared the German 88 Anti-Tank Guns and wanted to have a peaceful next morning. In any case the operational situation in North Africa was not area oriented, as in Punjab but mobility oriented since any outflanked force could easily move in any direction and regain its equilibrium. In Punjab where defence was a relatively far more superior type of warfare than in the desert and holding every inch of captured territory was important, the operational situation was totally different from North Africa. Here every locality once captured had to be held since manoeuvre was far more difficult due to heavy terrain, friction and large number of artificial and natural obstacles and bottlenecks. This was a serious doctrinal failing which should have been resolved in the School of Armour. No one gave it a serious thought since it was thought that the Pattons were invincible. These pedants failed to realise that the British repeatedly failed to defeat Rommel despite possessing numerical and qualitative superiority as was admitted by Captain B.H Liddell Hart.

There was an inclination in some strike formations to use French terms in operational orders! On one occasion shortly before retirement while this scribe was an umpire with a strike infantry division, I read the term “Coup de Main” describing the division’s main attack. My knowledge of French was limited but as far as I then knew “Coup de Main” in the British military sense was a term used for a surprise attack launched in a manner which was not very deliberate or conventional. Once I pointed this out the majority was outraged and two colonels  who had done the French Staff Course insisted that “Coup de Main” was the right word for describing “Main Attack or Effort”.

Then we come to brigade level. The Khem Karan failure was essentially the failure of 5 Armoured brigade. On the first day the brigade was dispersed without any coherent plan one tank regiment going for Assal Uttar  from the centre and left, one tank regiment (some 19 tanks) going for Valtoha without any  sizeable infantry support and the brigade headquarters sitting in Khem Karan as if it was the headquarters of Mountbatten’s South East Asia Command rather than a brigade tactical headquarter. It  appears that  there was no operational philosophy of handling armour at brigade level. The brigade was thus doing what a German Panzer Division could not do i.e attacking on some three axis instead of developing the operations on what the Germans called the “Schwerpunkt”.113 The concept of all arms cooperation was not understood and 6 Lancers was despatched to Valtoha on its own . Its Commanding Officer did make a request for infantry114 but this was brushed aside and mechanised infantry which was available that day did little, regardless of whatever they may claim now in their regimental histories.

Major failures in both Indian and Pakistan Armies in handling of armour occurred at brigade and division level. It appears that no lessons were derived from these failures. In my thirteen years service I witnessed changes in concept of employment of armoured brigade and division with change of brigade and divisional commanders. Thus what was executed by Brigadier Inayatullah Niazi for two years was disregarded in near totality once Inayat departed and was endorsed by the same commanding officers who had served earlier under Inayat as the Gospel truth! One i.e my second commanding officer, who had dissented under both the commanders albeit tactfully retired as a colonel! This is just one example out of innumerable examples. The School of Armour as far as I know till 1992 had no concrete or tangible set of recommendations about concept of employment or doctrine of employment of an armoured brigade or division in the various types of terrain/scenarios where employment was likely. I was in charge of all the scripts held in the Tactical Wing from December 1991 to December 1992 and did not find any such thing! Even in the School, concepts of employment changed with change of commandant or change of chief instructor! The Divisional Battle Schools of Armoured Divisions were dumping grounds of superseded or near superseded majors and colonels and their cardinal attribute was “silence of a graveyard” as I pointed out to a letter to editor of Citadel magazine in mid-1998. There was no specific to corps area of operations doctrine of operations of armour at least till 1994, at a time when the existence of a multiple number of formations like mechanised brigade, corps reserve, army reserve operating in the same area made a clarity of role/mission/doctrine of employment all the more necessary! Infantry lieutenant colonels who had done foreign staff college had rudimentary ideas about the non-linear armoured battle and the behaviour of enemy armour in the post-breakout stage! Armour after all in all three wars has failed to breakout successfully as far as both sides are concerned! 


One of the main reasons of slowness of British armour operations was the fact that brigade commanders with few exception like the great Jock Campbell, VC who was an artillery man, there was a tradition of leading from the rear and this certainly contributed to many failures in Grand Slam and in Khem Karan. Decision making was thus done at a snail’s pace. All sorts of false and exaggerated reports were accepted as the Gospel truth etc. The British tradition of leading from the rear had a deep connection with the level of esteem in which their staff officers were held by their field commanders. The layman reader may note that unlike the German General Staff the British never had a permanent cadre of general staff officers. In their army as in both the Indo-Pak armies attending the staff course was just a hole punching business and general staff was not a highly specialised corps in the British Army unlike the German Army where the staff officer with a crimson stripe on his uniform was a highly qualified man belonging to a corps d elite. Thus while German commanders of the rank of brigade, divisional and corps level could lead from the front staying close to the leading tank regiment, the British commanders could not do so, since they  looked down on their staff officers as men who were incapable of manning their main headquarters. Thus the profound truth in Mellenthin’s observation that “the officers of the German General Staff  were not mere clerks or mouthpieces of their higher commanders (Mellenthin hints without saying so that the British ones were!!!!), but were trained to accept responsibility to give grave decisions and were respected accordingly. In contrast the British fighting commanders tended to look down on the staff, and  the British show a curious reluctance to appoint capable staff officers to operational commands”.115


There was a serious lack of offensive spirit at all levels beyond unit level. Thus Ayub  did not leave Rawalpindi throughout the war. As late as 1991 a Directing Staff of Command and Staff College observed this glaring lack of aggressiveness in the army in an article published in 1991.116 The writer then an instructor at the command and Staff College and now probably commanding a division somewhere thus noted, “The Battle of Chamb was cited as an instance; where the momentum of attack dissipated after the General Officer Commanding embraced Shahadat”. The readers may note that this man was one of the few generals who led from the front. Some of the many who saw him in that role, who this scribe knows/met  are Majors Suleman Butt (11C), Iftikhar Chaudhry (11 C), Shujaat Ali Janjua (the indomitable Panther Janjua from (11C) and Lieutenant Colonel Zil ur Rehman who was commanding an R & S Company.


This factor played a serious role in the Pakistani armoured division’s failure at  Khem Karan in 1965. At the GHQ level the failure to appreciate that the armoured division must get out of the bottleneck between Rohi and Nikasu Nala was not appreciated. Nothing in the orders given to the 1st Armoured Division indicates that the planners understood this problem. Nikasu Nala was a pre-1947 landmark while Rohi Nala was no common pin to have missed the eyes of the planners. Poor general staff procedures at brigade and division level led to failure to concentrate all three armoured brigades across the Rohi Nala and thus was the principal reason for failure of the armoured division’s effort. The GHQ vacillation and indecision on 6th, 7th and 8th September when it issued contradictory orders to the 1st Armoured Division, sometimes to send one of its brigades to Lahore and sometimes to Sialkot117 also played a major role in adding to the imperial confusion in the armoured division.

Correlli Barnett’s observations on the British Staffs of WW II fit well on the Pakistani Staff officers role in failure to handle armour. Barnett thus noted “The pace (referring to that of armoured operations) was too fast for the slow working staffs of lower formations (referringto corps/divisional/brigade staffs) ......(German staff work, because of greater experience and better training, was always faster and more lucid than British).....and detailed organisation for the offensive was poor and confused”.118 This observation fits well with the Military Operations Directorate of both sides and all staff officers down to armoured brigade level responsible for planning/executing the operations of both the Pakistani and the Indian 1st Armoured Divisions. The British perhaps were unlucky that their opponents were Germans and the Indians and Pakistanis were perhaps very lucky that their opponents were Pakistanis and Indians!


The Gul theory of failure because infantry officers were commanding the armoured division is not vindicated by actual facts of the 1965 war. Was the Indian 1st Armoured Division or its 1st Armoured Brigade commanded by an infantry officer and yet they proved as incompetent as Naseer. After all Rommel was from infantry, Macarthur, Mead and Lee were from Engineers and Napoleon was from artillery. The fault lay in the military clique of that time who made promotions on whims and on basis of personal likes and dislikes rather than on merit. After all the finest armoured commander that the sub- continent produced was Eftikhar who was an infantry man!

The Pakistan armoured corps with the exception of one unit of armoured cars was not employed in 1947-48 war. In 1965 Pakistan Armoured Corps failed to achieve a major breakthrough despite relative qualitative superiority in tanks as well as overwhelming numerical superiority in total available number of tanks in Khem Karan due to doctrinal leadership and essentially staff incompetence centred reasons. A breakthrough was possible and one Indian general was frank enough to recall  as late as 1993 General Harbaksh Singh’s  remarks that  “A Blitzkrieg deep into our territory towards the Grand Trunk Road or the Beas Bridge would have found us in the helpless position of a commander paralysed into inaction for want of readily available reserves while the enemy was inexorably pushing deep into our vitals.It is a nightmarish feeling even when considered in retrospect at this stage”119. Long before 1965 and 1971 civilians on the board of the boundary commission had very high hopes from both the Indian and Pakistan Armies and thus one had said “If Pakistan manages in  a counterattack to make a 40 miles advance, then the defence of India would be affected. True they would lose Bhatinda and Dhuri and Pakistan forces were within measurable distance of Ambala,but they (referring to the Indian Army)  do not lose all. Their communications are not upset; they lose so much of the railway line up to the extent of forty miles, but they still have the main line bringing their supplies at right angles to their forces...”120. The same member went further and gave the Indians a capability of advancing 500 miles inside Pakistan!121 Compare these remarks with two  Indian three star generals remarks:— “We penetrated only 11 miles (despite a five to one superiority in tanks on 8th September and a much larger one in infantry-this scribe’s remarks)  into enemy territory beyond the bridgehead at our deepest stretch, when, but for the mishandling of our forces, especially armour, the completion of our mission appeared well within our grasp”.122 Another sadly  noted “it ground to a halt just four miles ahead of the bridgehead”!123 This happened not as propagandists assert in Pakistan because of some superior martial race or ideological reasons  but simply because the Indian brigade and division commander lost their nerve. The Indians, the lower ranks till battalion/regiment level fought as bravely at Chawinda as their Pakistani counterparts, tankman and infantry man alike,  at Khem Karan where Pakistan’s 1st Armoured Division also failed to achieve a breakthrough despite a seven to one superiority in tanks in total number. Leave aside west or east of  Rohi Nala which was entirely a command as well as staff planning failure. The Nikasu Nala was even clearly marked as a large water obstacle even on the maps of the Punjab Boundary Commission!124 So where do we go. The common man, the tax payer has been bled white on both sides with a very large percentage being spent on armoured corps which failed to advance pathetically beyond 4 miles on the first day of the war in face of nominal opposition or eleven miles in all 17 days or got stuck between a Nala and a canal in own territory! The generals on both sides should explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for strategic and operational incompetence despite being provided with superiority at the decisive point and why their command outfits which are too large for their intellectual/resolution  capabilities to handle in war should not be cut to one fourth their present size! But who will bell the cat!  Why not employ a good team of psychiatrists at one-fiftieth the cost spent on armour and other expensive hardware and cure the pathetic minds of the sick Indo Pak psyche! Alas! we forget what long ago Freud said, “The irrational forces in man’s nature are so strong that the rational forces have little chance of success against them. A small minority might be able to live a life of reason, but most men are comfortable living with their delusions and superstitions than with truth”. Freud thus sadly concluded “Society which has been fashioned by man  reflects to a great extent man’s irrationality. As a consequence each new generation is corrupted by being born in an irrational society. The influence of man on society and of society on man is a vicious circle and only a few hardy souls can free themselves”. That was in the interwar years with Fascism rising and hatred gripping all Europe. Europe paid its price in million of lives in WW II. The Indo-Pak subcontinent has yet to learn. We saw one holocaust in 1947 but have learnt very little from it. The 1971 holocaust did not affect many in the West Wing.Brahmaputra and the tidal rivers had the capacity to take a huge load and disposal of anything was a simple operation! Had our higher leaders both civil and military or the armoured commanders been more competent, perhaps things may have been settled  a bit less amicably albeit more swiftly  in the 1947-48, 1965 or 1971 wars! In the post-nuclear scenario both sides sure do  need psychiatric help! n


79 Interviews with a large number of participants including Major later Lieutenant Colonel Zil ur Rahman from 19 Baluch (R & S)  residing  in Lahore Cantt and one who I first met at the Lahore Cantt Polo Ground jogging track, Major Iftikhar  a dear friend and senior from 11 Cavalry who commanded a tank troop in Chamb in 1971, Lieutenant Colonel Suleman Butt from 11 Cavalry who is  a unit officer and a  relative by family inter-marriages, who was a  troop leader and  was seriously wounded in Chamb and more than 100 other ranks of 11 Cavalry, 28 Cavalry and 26 Cavalry with whom I served in 11 Cavalry, 58 Cavalry and 5 Independent Armoured Squadron.

80Page-513 & 514-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.

81Page-188-The Pakistan Army-1966-1971- Major General Shaukat Riza (Retired)-Printed for Services Book Club by Wajid Alis (Private Limited) -Lahore-1990. Shaukat Riza the official historian of Pakistan Army noted this anti-artillery bias of Headquarter 1 Corps in the following words; “When Headquarter 1 Corps was established in Gujranwala, its artillery component was driven out nine miles away to Nadipur. Even for the capture of Dharam Enclave Headquarter Artillery I Corps was kept out of picture.”

82Page-194-Shaukat Riza-Pakistan Army-1966-71-Op Cit. Riza writes that “Brigadier Ahmad (armoured brigade commander) made approx 25 counter-attack plans. However, the artillery commander from 1 Corps and neighbouring divisions were neither consulted nor advised about these plans.This was to have unfortunate consequences as the battle unfolded.”

83Page-514-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.

84 Pages-531 & 532-Ibid.

85 Page-28-The Western Front-Indo Pakistan War 1971- Lt Gen P. Candeth -Allied Publishers-Madras-1984. General Candeth who was C in C Western Command states in his book that “the most critical period was between 8 and 26 October when 1 Corps and 1 Armoured Division were still outside Western Command. Had Pakistan put in a pre-emptive attack during that period the consequences would have been too dreadful to contemplate and all our efforts would have been trying to correct the adverse situation forced on us “

86 Page-25-Article- The Armoured Thrust-An Operational Analysis- Major A.H Amin (Retired)- The Citadel -Issue Number - 1/98- Command and Staff College- Quetta-April 1998.

87Page-25-Article- Why I Lay down Arms-Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi (Retired) - Defence Journal-Issue Number -3-4-1979- Volume Number Five-Karachi-1979.

88 Page-8-Letter to the Editor from Major A.H Amin - Readers Forum- “The Citadel-No. 3/93”- Command and Staff College Quetta-November 1993.

89Pages-39 & 40-Article - Resolution -the Cardinal Command Virtue- Captain A.H  Amin-Pakistan Army Journal-June 1992 Issue-Inspector General Training and Evaluations Branch-Training publication and Information Directorate-General Branch -Rawalpindi.

90 Page-14- Article- The Intangible Forces Behind a Military Manoeuvre- Major A.H Amin -Pakistan Army Journal-June 1993 Issue- Inspector General Training and Evaluations Branch-Training Publication and Information Directorate-General Headquarters -Rawalpindi.

91 Ibid.

92 Pages-32 & 35-Article-Plain as well as Subtle aspects of Military Decision Making- Major A.H Amin (Retired)-The Citadel-Issue Number 1/94- Command and Staff College -Quetta-April 1994. This article was submitted for publication while the author was in service commanding an independent tank squadron in September 1993 but published after retirement in April 1994.

93 Page-32-Citadel Issue 1/98-Op Cit.

94 Page-31-Ibid.

95Page-3- Editors Note-The Citadel-Issue Number 2/98- Command and Staff College Quetta-December 1998.

96Page-50-Article-The Relationship of Organisation to Doctrine and Conduct of War- Major A.H Amin (Retired)-Citadel Issue number 2/98-Op Cit.

97 Ibid.

98 Ibid.

99 The reader may note that the Glasnost/Perestroika of the Pakistan Army as far as military writing is concerned began from 1988-89 onwards once General Baig became the COAS and Major General Riazullah became the Director General of Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR). Riazullah essentially a fighting soldier and a career officer with a fine written expression was one of the most capable and brilliant heads of the ISPR. In addition Lieutenant Colonel I.D Hassan was particularly instrumental and decisive in improving the quality of the “Pakistan Army Journal”. Colonel I.D Hassan was succeeded in turn by two almost as brilliant editors i.e Lieutenant Colonel Syed Ishfaq and Lieutenant Colonel  Syed Jawaid Ahmad both of whom raised the standard of the Pakistan Army Journal to a very high level. Unfortunately after Colonel Jawaid Ahmad’s departure in 1994 the magazine’s standard deteriorated and by 1997 its circulation despite the massive financial resources at its backing had been reduced from quarterly to six monthly.

100 Page-28-Eight Years Overseas-Field  Marshal Henry.M. Wilson of Libya-Hutchinson Boks-London-1950.

101 Page-138-J.A.I Agar Hamilton-Op Cit and Page-40-The Mediterranean and Middle East-Volume Three-Major General I.S.O Playfair-Her Majesty’s Stationery Office-London-1960

102Page-79-Panzer Battles-General Von Mellenthin-Corgi/Ballantine Books-New York-1977.

103 Page-243-The Crucible of War-Auchinleck’s Command- Barrie Pitt-Macmillan-London-1986.

104 Page-156-War Despatches-Op Cit. Page-404-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit. The reader may note that Indian armour withdrew north of the railway line at Chawinda on its own,  but some units in Pakistan claim that it was they who attacked the Indians and drove them out !

105 Page-405-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.This incident illustrates poor staff procedures too since the headquarter of 1st Armoured Division was also responsible for this lapse.

106 Page-496 - Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit

107 Page-197-A Study of History-The One Volume Edition- Arnold Toynbee-Thames and Hudson-Published with arrangement with Oxford University Press, London-1988.

108 Page-243-Correlli Barnett-Op Cit.

109 Pages-12 & 13-Brigadier Riazul Karim Khan, MC, LOM  -Op Cit.

110 Page-13-Ibid.

111 Page-79-Von Mellenthin-Op Cit.

112 Page-243-Correlli Barnett-Op Cit.

113 Page-39-Tank Warfare-Richard Simpkin-Brasey’s Publishers Limited London-1979.

114 Page-232-Shaukat Riza-1965-Op Cited.Shaukat writes that although an infantry company was to go (which means that it was ordered to go) with 6 Lancers....after some haggling  (as if 5 Armoured Brigade was a fish market!!!!) only one platoon was made available. Shaukat writes that later Sahibzada Gul (6 Lancers) asked for more infantry and an air strike on Valtoha but neither came. It appears that the gears of the 5 Armoured Brigade were completely jammed due to the friction of war and despite all this its commander was promoted after the war while Nisar the real hero of tank battles in both 1965 and 1971 did not go beyond a brigadier. The finest infantry brigade commander of the 1965 Brigadier Qayyum Sher who was praised by Shaukat Riza (Page-203-Shaukat Riza-Op Cit) was also retired as a brigadier while one who was on the sidelines in Chawinda (i.e Niazi) became a lieutenant general. The same happened in India to Harbaksh Singh since he was a Punjabi and a Sikh while Manekshaw who had played no role in 1948 and 1965 wars became a

C-in-C. The lesson is that in Indo-Pak armies as perhaps in all armies; actual on ground war performance is less important than PR! Thus a brigadier who absented himself from his headquarters in 1971 on pretext of martial law duty later became a four star general while another who was accused of many atrocities/plunder in East Pakistan became a lieutenant general ! On the other hand the brigade commander who was most openly praised by the Indians in East Pakistan i.e Tajammul Hussain Malik was superseded as a major general. The German General Staff identified talent and groomed and polished it.The Indo Pak armies identify mediocrity and take it to the highest limits !

115 Pages-89 & 90-Von Mellenthin-Op Cit.

116 Page-56- Article- Do we Lack Aggressiveness-Lieutenant Colonel Javed Alam Khan- Citadel -Issue Number 1/91-Command and Staff College-Quetta-June 1991. The worthy writer who was one of the few genuinely professional officers  who I served with while he was a major and I was a lieutenant in the adjacent unit/same division  for four long years during the period 1985-89. His sense of humour at that time was  a bit unconventional (as second in command he kept a special box in his drawer, with a scandalous creature, a kind of a puppet,  that was enough to ensure that all JCOs, especially the Tabuk returned Hajis,  asking for leave bolted out of room instantaneously and it was a folly to greet him by hugging him in the traditional manner on Eid. I have not met him since 1994 and I wonder whether he has succumbed to the genetic transformation that occurs once most officers reach general rank or has managed to retain his forthright resolute and intellectually honest  approach which he possessed in abundance till at least brigadier rank in 1995.

117 Pages-236 , 237 & 238-Shaukat Riza-1965-Op Cit.

118 Page-90-The Desert Generals -Correlli Barnett-London-1984.

119 Page-496 & 497-Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit recalling General Harbaksh Singh’s remarks on page-161-Harbaksh Singh-Op Cit.

120 Page-318-Remarks of  Sir Mohammad Zafarullah Khan-The Partition of the Punjab-A Compilation of Official Documents-Volume Two- National Documentation Centre-Lahore -1983-Printed at Ferozsons.

121 Page-319-Ibid

122Page-496-Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit.

123Page-160-Harbaksh Singh-Op Cit.

124 Map on page 6 Volume Four-The Partition of Punjab-Official Documents-Op Cit.