This Day in History (30-Jun-1965) – Cease-fire was agreed under UN auspices between India and Pakistan, who signed treaty to stop the war at Rann of Kutch

Other than Kashmir, there was another border dispute between India and Pakistan, this being the Rann of Kutch. The Rann of Kutch is endowed with unique geographical features. During a part of every year, the Rann is a dry, salt desert and for the remaining part it is flooded with water, the depth of which varies from a few feet to a few yards. How and where this water comes from has not been determined yet. The probable reason might be the Saraswati, a great river rising from the Himalayan watershed, symbolically the most important during the Vedic period, is believed to have flowed south and west through present day Haryana-Punjab, Rajasthan, and southern Pakistan to exit through what is now the Rann of Kutch marshland. The Saraswati River has long since disappeared, probably due to geological changes.

It is this strange geographical nature of the Rann which had become a controversial issue between India and Pakistan. India maintained that the Rann is land and claimed it as Indian territory; while Pakistan stated that it was a marine feature and laid claim to the northern half of the Rann. The area was admitted by both sides to be in dispute at the time of the Indo-Pakistani border negotiations of 1960. In January 1965, Pakistani guards began patrolling areas which were controlled by India, which eventually led to attacks by both countries on each other in April. This disputed area soon saw sporadic skirmishes between both countries. In June 1965, Harold Wilson, the then Prime Minister of Britain successfully persuaded both countries to end this dispute and set up a tribunal for the same. The verdict of the tribunal saw Pakistan get 330 square miles of the Rann of Kutch against the 3500 square miles they had originally claimed. On June 30th 1965, a ceasefire was agreed between India and Pakistan under UN auspices who signed a treaty to stop the war at the Rann of Kutch.

However Pakistan judged the pro-Pak US response in war and moved ahead crossing LOC in Kashmir in August leading to 1965 Indo-Pak war.