Gen Musa—IMA cadet to Pak Army chief
The 1965 war between India and Pakistan was the second conflict between the two countries over the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The 1965 war was fought under the leadership of the then Chief of Army Staff, General JN Chaudhuri, and his counterpart Chief of Pakistani Army was General Muhammad Musa.
General Musa was the fourth Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army from October 27, 1958, to June 17, 1966. He was recruited in the British Indian Army as a sepoy at the age of 18 in 1926. He was a junior non-commissioned officer in 4th Hazara Pioneers when he was selected to train at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun as a cadet in October 1932. He was commissioned with the first batch of the cadets as Second Lieutenant (Indian Commissioned Officer) on February 1, 1935.
General Musa learnt warfare techniques and battle tactics, and rose to the rank of the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan after he passed out of the Indian Military Academy.
General Musa commanded the Pakistan Army in the 1965 war, and had the overall responsibility of all operations throughout the conflict. As Army chief, he was criticised for not anticipating an assault from across the international border. However, he was given credit for blunting the Indian offensive towards Sialkot during the Battle of Chawinda.
He authored his autobiography “Jawan to General” in which he describes his lifetime experiences of a simple foot-soldier rising to become a General.
It may be recalled that the Government of India transferred the erstwhile estate in Dehradun of Railway Staff College of the Indian Railways with its 206 acre campus and associated infrastructure to the IMA. The first batch of 40 Gentleman Cadets (GC), as IMA trainees are known, began their training on October 1, 1932.
The alumni of the first batch to pass out of the academy in December 1934, now known as the Pioneers, included Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, General Muhammad Musa and Lieut General Smith Dun, who became the Army chiefs of India, Pakistan and Burma, respectively.