Operation Gulmarg – The Plan of Action

Below is a synopsis of the plan of Operation Gulmarg which accidentally reached Major Kalkat at Mirali post two days before the D-day. And we didn’t act upon that.

According to Operation Gulmarg plan, as described by Major Kalkat, every Pathan tribe was required to enlist at least one Lashkar of 1000 tribesmen. Separate instructions for their recruitment were issued to the Deputy Commissioners and Political Agents. After enlistment, these Lashkars were to be concentrated at Bannu, Wana, Peshawar, Kohat, Thal and Nowshera by the first week of September 1947. The Brigade Commanders at these places were to issue them arms, ammunition and some essential items of clothings, on paper showing these issues against some Pakistan Army units. Each Tribal Lashkar was also to be provided with a Major, a Captain and ten JCOs of the regular Pakistan Army. The Major was to be the actual commander of the Lashkar and act as the ‘adviser’ of the tribal Malik nominally in command of the unit. The Captain was to act as staff officer, while each of the ten JCOs was to be in charge of a company or group of the Lashkar. These Pakistan regulars were to be Pathans, and to dress and live exactly like the other Pathans in the Lashkar. The entire force was to be commanded by Maj-Gen Akbar Khan, who was given the code name Tariq. He was to be assisted by Brigadier Sher Khan. Their HQ was located in the same building as the C-in-C of the Pakistan Army, and Gen Sir Frank Messervy was, of course, privy to the whole plan.

All Lashkars had to be concentrated at Abbottabad by 18 October. They were to be moved in civil buses which had been commandeered for this task, all moves taking place only at night. A separate area 16 km outside Abbottabad was earmarked for the Lashkars and no civilians or unauthorised persons were to be allowed anywhere near it.

The broad outline of the operational plan was for six Lashkars to advance along the main road from Muzaffarabad to Srinagar via Domel, Uri and Baramula, with the specific task of capturing the aerodrome and subsequently advancing to the Banihal Pass. Two Lashkars were to  advance from the Haji Pir Pass direct on to Gulmarg, thereby securing the right flank of the main force advancing from Muzaffarabad. A similar force of two Lashkars was to advance from Tithwal through the Nastachhun Pass for capturing Sopore, Handwara and Bandipur. Another force of 10 Lashkars was to operate in the Punch, Bhimbar and Rawalkot area with the intention of capturing Punch and Rajauri and then advancing to Jammu. In the overall plan, arrangements were made for the detailing of guides/informers from the so-called Azad Army, to all these tribal Lashkars on a very liberal scale. A minimum of four guides per company were to be attached before leaving Muzaffarabad. Gen Akbar Khan was also given the task of organising the Azad Army, the major portion of which was to come from the Muslim element of the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces Dumps of arms, ammunition, supplies and clothing were to be established forward of Abbottabad by 15 October. These were to be subsequently moved to Muzaffarabad and Domel after D day. The D day for Operation Gulmarg was fixed as 22 October 1947 on which date the various Lashkars were to cross into Jammu and Kashmir territory. 7 Infantry Division of Pak Army was to concentrate in area Murree-Abbottabad by last light 21 October and was ordered to be ready to move immediately into Jammu and Kashmir territory to back up the tribal Lashkars and consolidate their hold on the Valley. One infantry brigade was also held m readiness at Sialkot to move on to Jammu.

One thought on “Operation Gulmarg – The Plan of Action

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s