As a Sandhurst-trained military officer, Gohar Ayub Khan was aide-de-camp to his father Ayub Khan, Pakistan’s first military ruler (1958-69). Besides, he has held senior ministerial berths in several Pakistan governments and has been foreign minister and Speaker of the National Assembly. At 78, he remains articulate and forthright in his views as he talks to Pranay Sharma about the ’65 war. Excerpts:
How do you see the 1965 war when you look back now?
It was a war which should not have taken place. It set Pakistan back and was also costly for India. It led from events in Kashmir which Pakistan considered would be contained there and not turn into an open conflict between the two countries. But when India attacked Lahore and other fronts, it led to a general war between India and Pakistan. Ayub Khan was not looking for a war with India.
Did the war have any clear winners or was it a draw for both sides?
Well, let me give you a few figures. Pakistan’s...