• Short Summary

    Reports today (14 December) speak of renewed artillery exchanges between Pakistani and Indian forces in the Chhamb sector of the western front, scene of Pakistan's advance into Indian kashmir just over a week age.

  • Description

    Reports today (14 December) speak of renewed artillery exchanges between Pakistani and Indian forces in the Chhamb sector of the western front, scene of Pakistan's advance into Indian kashmir just over a week age.

    During the Indian advance on Dacca in East Pakistan, there has been a lull in the confrontation between the heavily armed troops on the western front, but some observers have predicted that Pakistan may launch a new offensive into Indian Kashmir in retaliation for losses in the east; alternatively India may attack to regain the territory at present held by Pakistani f???r???.

    This film shows scenes from both side of the military lines, illustrating the relative lull in the fighting in recent days and the similarity between the forces ranged against one another in this potentially explosive sector.

    Chhamb is a small town about 5 miles (8 kms) on the Indian side of the old Kashmir ceasefire line. Indian sources have claimed the recapture of the town, but Pakistani authorities allowed a group of foreign journalists to visit it on Sunday (12 December).

    The film from the pakistani side was not on 12 December by a British Broadcasting Corporation crew; the film from the Indian side by Visnews cameraman Jagdish Kapoor on 11 December.

    SYNOPSIS: On the western front of the Indo-Pakistan war, Pakistani forces continue to hold a slice of territory inside Indian Kashmir which they captured a week age. The wreckage of an Indian Mig-21 lies in a field not of from the little town of Chhamb, about five miles on the Indian side of the old kashmir ceasefire line. Nearby lies the wreckage of several Indian tanks.

    Pakistani artillery deployed Inside Indian kashmir fires on Indian positions beyond the River Tawi, in support of infantry and armour whose apparent goal is the strategic communications centre of Akhnur, to the east beyond the Indian lines.

    Like troops everywhere, the Pakistanis welcome a break in the fighting. In fact there's been a relative lull in this sector of the battlefront during the past few days, but reports of renewed artillery and mortar exchanges hint that the war on the western front is by no means over. Fierce fighting could begin at any time.

    Behind the Pakistani lines, the bodies of Indian soldiers lie lightly covered with soil, waiting for identification and burial parties to finish their work
    The sounds of war roll across the dusty Punjab plain to the opposite side of the battlefield, where Indian troops prepare for a fresh increase in the fighting.

    While the lull continues, they service their tanks and dig them out when they sink in the soft ground.

    The Pakistanis claim the Indian forces outnumber them by four to one. So far it's Pakistan which has made the gains in this sector of the war, but the Indians have not allowed the Pakistani forces to break through to capture vital strategic positions.

    The Indians, like their opponents a few miles away, have had time to take leisurely meals in the relative quiet of the past few days, in which exchange of fire have not materially altered the positions on this sector of the front.

    Jet fighters scream overhead from time to time, a reminder that the war could be won in the air as well as on the ground. And down below, the troops wait for the next battle, whenever it comes.

    In the meantime, helicopters fly in to bring out the casualties. Indian Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram has admitted that India lest more than 8,00 men, including nearly 2,000 dead, in the first ten days of the war, though he claimed that Pakistan's losses were much higher, It is already clear that casualties are running at a much higher rate than in the 1965 war, when India admitted losing 11,000 men in more than a month of fighting.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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