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UNITED NATIONS INDIA-PAKISTAN OBSERVATION MISSION
UNIPOM (September 1965 - March 1966)

UNIPOM was established in September 1965 to supervise the ceasefire along the India-Pakistan border except in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the withdrawal of all armed personnel to the positions held by them before 5 August 1965. After the withdrawal of the troops by India and Pakistan had been completed, UNIPOM was terminated

UNIPOM was established in accordance with Security Council resolution 211 (1965) of 20 September 1965, to supervise the ceasefire along the India-Pakistan border except in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, where the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) operated, and the withdrawal of all armed personnel to the positions held by them before 5 August 1965. After the withdrawal of the troops by India and Pakistan had been completed on schedule, UNIPOM was terminated.

In August 1947, India and Pakistan became independent. Under the scheme of partition provided by the Indian Independence Act of 1947, Kashmir was free to accede to India or Pakistan. Its accession to India became a matter of dispute between the two countries and fighting broke out later that year.

In January 1948, the Security Council adopted resolution 39 (1948), establishing the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate and mediate the dispute. In April 1948, by its resolution 47 (1948), the Council decided to enlarge the membership of UNCIP and to recommend various measures including the use of observers to stop the fighting. In July 1949, India and Pakistan signed the Karachi Agreement establishing a ceasefire line to be supervised by the military observers. These observers, under the command of the Military Adviser, formed the nucleus of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). On 30 March 1951, following the termination of UNCIP, the Security Council, by its resolution 91 (1951) decided that UNMOGIP should continue to supervise the ceasefire in Kashmir. UNMOGIP's functions were to observe and report, investigate complaints of ceasefire violations and submit its finding to each party and to the Secretary-General.

Hostilities of 1965

In early 1965, relations between India and Pakistan were strained again because of their conflicting claims over the Rann of Kutch at the southern end of the international boundary. The situation steadily deteriorated during the summer of 1965, and, in August, military hostilities between India and Pakistan erupted on a large scale along the ceasefire line in Kashmir. In his report15 of 3 September 1965, the Secretary-General stressed that the ceasefire agreement of 27 July 1949 had collapsed and that a return to mutual observance of it by India and Pakistan would afford the most favourable climate in which to seek a resolution of political differences.

On 4 September 1965, the Security Council, by resolution 209 (1965), called for a ceasefire and asked the two Governments to cooperate fully with UNMOGIP in its task of supervising the observance of the ceasefire. Two days later, the Council adopted resolution 210 (1965), by which it requested the Secretary-General "to exert every possible effort to give effect to the present resolution and to resolution 209 (1965), to take all measures possible to strengthen the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, and to keep the Council promptly and currently informed on the implementation of the resolutions and on the situation in the area".

From 7 to 16 September, the Secretary-General visited the subcontinent in pursuit of the mandate given to him by the Security Council. In his report of 16 September to the Council, he noted that both sides had expressed their desire for a cessation of hostilities, but that each side had posed conditions which made the acceptance of a ceasefire very difficult for the other. In those circumstances, the Secretary-General suggested that the Security Council might take a number of steps: first, it might order the two Governments, pursuant to Article 40 of the United Nations Charter, to desist from further military action; second, it might consider what assistance it could provide in ensuring the observance of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of all military personnel by both sides; and, third, it could request the two Heads of Government to meet in a country friendly to both in order to discuss the situation and the problems underlying it, as a first step in resolving the outstanding differences between their two countries.

On 20 September, after the hostilities had spread to the international border between India and West Pakistan, the Council adopted resolution 211 (1965), by which it demanded that a ceasefire take effect at 0700 hours GMT on 22 September 1965 and called for a subsequent withdrawal of all armed personnel to the positions held before 5 August. The Council also requested the Secretary-General to provide the necessary assistance to ensure supervision of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of all armed personnel.

Establishment of UNIPOM

In Kashmir, the supervision called for by the Security Council was exercised by the established machinery of UNMOGIP. For this purpose, its observer strength was increased to a total of 102 from the same contributing countries as before.

Since the hostilities extended beyond the Kashmir ceasefire line, the Secretary-General decided to set up an administrative adjunct of UNMOGIP, the United Nations India-Pakistan Observation Mission (UNIPOM), as a temporary measure for the sole purpose of supervising the ceasefire along the India-Pakistan border outside the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The function of UNIPOM was primarily to observe and report on breaches of the ceasefire as called for by the Security Council. In cases of breaches, the observers were to do all they could to persuade the local commanders to restore the ceasefire, but they had no authority or power to order a cessation of firing. Ninety observers were assigned to UNIPOM.

The Mission was closely coordinated both administratively and operationally with UNMOGIP. The Chief Military Observer of UNMOGIP, General Nimmo, was initially also placed in charge of UNIPOM. After the arrival of the newly appointed Chief Officer of UNIPOM, Major-General B.F. Macdonald (Canada) in October 1965, General Nimmo was asked by the Secretary-General to exercise oversight functions with regard to both operations.

Further Security Council action

On 27 September 1965, after learning that the ceasefire was not holding, the Security Council adopted resolution 214 (1965), by which it demanded that the parties urgently honour their commitments to the Council to observe the ceasefire, and called upon them to withdraw all armed personnel as necessary steps in the full implementation of resolution 211 (1965).

As ceasefire violations continued to occur and there were no prospects for the withdrawal of troops, the Security Council met again in November and adopted resolution 215 (1965) of 5 November. By this decision, the Council called upon the Governments of India and Pakistan to instruct their armed personnel to cooperate with the United Nations and cease all military activity.

The Security Council further demanded the prompt and unconditional execution of the proposal already agreed to in principle by India and Pakistan that their representatives meet with a representative of the Secretary-General to formulate an agreed plan and schedule of withdrawals. In this connection, the Secretary-General, after consultation with the parties, appointed Brigadier-General Tulio Marambio (Chile) as his representative on withdrawals.

On 15 December, the Secretary-General reported that the two parties directly involved, India and Pakistan, had informed him of their desire that the United Nations should continue its observer function after 22 December 1965, which was the end of the first three months of the ceasefire demanded by the Security Council in its resolution 211 (1965) of 20 September 1965.

In the circumstances, the Secretary-General indicated his intention to continue the United Nations activities relating to the ceasefire and withdrawal provisions of the resolution by continuing UNIPOM for a second period of three months and maintaining the added strength of the Military Observer Group.

Tashkent agreement

On 10 January 1966, the Prime Minister of India and the President of Pakistan, who had met in Tashkent at the invitation of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, announced their agreement that the withdrawal of all armed personnel of both sides to the positions they had held prior to 5 August 1965 should be completed by 25 February 1966 and that both sides should observe the terms of the ceasefire on the ceasefire line.

The principles of a plan and schedule of withdrawals were subsequently agreed upon by military representatives of India and Pakistan, who had held meetings for that purpose since 3 January 1966 at Lahore and Amritsar under the auspices of General Marambio, the Secretary-General's representative on withdrawals. The plan for disengagement and withdrawal was agreed upon by the military commanders of the Indian and Pakistan armies in New Delhi on 22 January.

At a joint meeting on 25 January, under the auspices of the Secretary-General's representative, the parties agreed upon the ground rules for the implementation of the disengagement and withdrawal plan. The plan was to be implemented in two stages and the good offices of UNMOGIP and UNIPOM were to be requested to ensure that the action agreed upon was fully implemented. In the event of disagreement between the parties, the decision of General Marambio would be final and binding on both sides. The good offices of UNMOGIP and UNIPOM were similarly requested for the implementation of the second stage of the agreement, as were the good offices of the Secretary-General's representative with regard to withdrawals of troops.

Termination of UNIPOM

On 26 February 1966, the Secretary-General reported that the withdrawal of the troops by India and Pakistan had been completed on schedule on 25 February, and that the withdrawal provisions of the Security Council's resolutions had thus been fulfilled by the two parties. With regard to withdrawals, the responsibilities of the Secretary-General's representative came to an end on 28 February, and his mission ceased on that date. As planned, UNIPOM was terminated on 22 March 1966 and the 59 additional observers appointed in September 1965 to the Military Observer Group were gradually withdrawn.

Source - United Nations


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