Asked • 04/20/19

Why didn't the Pakistani military try to gain Kashmir from India in 1971 instead of launching an offensive in Rajesthan?

In the 1971 India-Pakistan war, while the Indian Army with the help of the Bengali guerillas were making inroads into East Pakistan, the Pakistan Army launched an offensive through the Rajesthan border aimed at capturing the Jaisalmir airbase, some 100 kilometers into the Indian territory, a move that was successfully repulsed by the Indian Army. And, the all-out war had started with Pakistan Air Force launching air strikes from the west on several Indian cities, as far into Indian territory as Agra. Am I right? Now my question is, instead of expanding their offensive from the west into the rest of India, why didn't Pakistan just focused on capturing as much of the Indian-held Kashmir as they could, and in particular the sole route that India has into Kashmir? Given that the West Pakistanis were unpopular in East Pakistan anyway, would it not be a better strategy for the then political and military leadership of Pakistan to reduce focus of the armed forces from that flank of the country and turn to Kashmir, especially the route that leads into Kashmir from Indian Punjab?

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