Tashkent Declaration 1966


Tashkent Declaration 1966

Background 

Since independence, Kashmir issue has been the leading conflict between Pakistan and India. The Indo-Pak war of 1965 was fought on the Western front after "Operation Gibraltar" was launched by Pakistan. Approximately 30,000 fighters were pushed across the ceasefire into the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir to which India retaliated. Roughly 60,000 Pakistani troops encountered 100,000 Indian fighters for over three weeks. 


Road Towards Declaration 

Amicable resolution of all issues between the two countries was crucial for global peace and stability. Peace was achieved by the intervention of the superpowers which steered the two nations towards a ceasefire, preventing the escalation of conflict. The United Nations played its due role in corroborating the peace. In Tashkent, USSR, the meeting was held on 4th January, 1966, with the agenda of formulating a lasting settlement. Alexei Kosygin was a moderator representing Soviets between Pakistan's President Ayub Khan and India's Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. On 10th January, 1966, a peace agreement known as Tashkent declaration was signed between Pakistan and India. 


Crux of Tashkent Declaration 

• To their pre-conflict positions and pre-August lines, Indian and Pakistani forces would be pulled back. 

• No state would interfere with the internal affairs of the other. 

• Diplomatic and economic relations will be restored. 

• Agreement was to initiate efforts for bilateral trade across the Indo-Pak border.

• According to UN-Charter, both countries agreed to cultivate friendly relations with their leaders serving the built-up of ties. 

• For prisoner of wars, both leaders agreed to make law of repatriation. 

• Both nations would reimburse the High Commissioners and assests of the other. 

• A consensus was developed on discussing complications of refugees. 


Public Opinion 

Pakistani Viewpoint: 

The public opinion suggested that Pakistan would be victorious. The declaration was alarming for them and it was asserted that Pakistan lost on table and won on battlefield. This declaration resulted in the fall of Ayub Khan, damaging his stature incredibly. 

Indian Viewpoint: 

In India the agreement was criticised that no-war pact is contained and there is no renunciation of Guerrilla warfare in Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur also died a day after this declaration and none of his successors ratified it. 


Aftermath 

Tashkent Declaration was perceived as great success as it hinted at a possibility of agreement between Pakistan and India with both the leaders speculating the declaration in light of regional peace. 
Although the declaration was made at ministerial level, it became sterile due to considerable disparity of opinion between the public and the