Foreign Soldier or Mercenaries in First Indo-Pak War || LIVE IMAGE

Very few then knew about it in general. And very few know now too.Even after 67 years of unabated conflict.This hard fact is still hidden from the public; that American and its Allies served as mercenaries with the armies fighting each other in the Jammu and Kashmir State .What it is called the first Indo-Pakistan War. History is always at the mercy of the Historians. Rummaging through the pale papers, an ace diver in the history chanced to discover some vintage facts.That have never made part of the main story of the conflict.

Journalists of those days had limited resources to find independent facts; had to rely on whatever was told and made them to believe the general press releases or briefs of the authorities. More often they had to rely on them to keep grinding mill of news going. Communication was primitive, news agencies did not have much wherewithal and as such could not provide transport facilities for independent coverage; the State had no Radio station of its own. As such whatever news was heard was from other sources.

Possession of Radio set was an exception those days. First Radio Station was established in a two rooms of Rambhir Multipurpose Higher Secondary School Jammu facing Forest Complex, Dogra Chowk, Jammu on Ist of December 1947.The first broadcast was made by King Hari Singh appealing for peace. Live as it was those days no recording facilities were available.The second at Srinagar came up on 1st July 1948 from Polo ground in two rooms where Kings horse used to rest after the game. In the given situation, it was the evening drum beating news which was in currency.

Young ones of those days still carry nostalgic memories of that time. At half past seven tin canister was beaten to create noise and alarm to hear news at Habbakadal the second bridge spanning the Jhelum in Srinagar . In front of the book seller -cum -lender on heavenly charges reckoning the times, near Soomyar Temple complex one would hear the sky shattering announcement Aaaj Kee Taaza Khabbar from the owner of the shop nick named Mukh Mazeereey who would read whatever was fed to him by the government. Such was the media of the times. However , what no one ever told us and no news coverage ever announced was the fact that an American by the name Russell Haight served for two months in the initial stages of the war commanding the forces of Pakistan administered Kashmir as a Brigadier General. Russell was a World War II veteran of the US Army Air Force and had taken active part in the War in France. After the War, he found way to Afghanistan where he worked for a construction company. Injured in a fall from a mountain cliff, Russell Haight decided to return to the US. But on his way home, he encountered several officials from the Pakistani army in Rawalpindi and knowing about his military credits offered him the charge of invading forces in the Poonch Front.Russell Haight accepted the offer. 

He impressed the Pakistani military establishment by his abilities to handle and control the unruly tribesmen and as a result, in a very short time, he was promoted from Captain to Brigadier General. However, his exit from the Pak assignment was hastened due to a fist- fight he got into with some tribal warriors. With that, his engagement with the Pakistan army came to an end and not long afterwards he returned to America leaving from Karachi. For his role and activities in Kashmir, Russell Haight was denounced severely by the Indian authorities and as a result he earned quite a bit of notoriety as an American spy.

Not surprisingly, it was his role in the Kashmir conflict that made the Indian Government, for the first time, suspicious of the US intentions in Kashmir. After arriving in the US, it was Russell Haight's disclosures to the New York Times that confirmed, for the first time, of Pakistan's tacit support to the tribal raiders. And it was he alone who also confirmed that radio propaganda against India operated from POK was manned by regular Pakistan army men. One British officer named Harvey Kelly fought for the Pakistan army against the Indian army in the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar sector. 30 Polish officers choose to join the Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) as it was known then. ('Royal' was dropped in 1956 when Pakistan became a Republic). Pakistan offered them three-year contracts with high salaries 

They were led by Squadron Leader Wadysaw Józef Marian Turowicz, a pilot and engineer. He was commissioned in the Polish Air Force as an aeronautical engineer and fighter pilot, but later immigrated to the United Kingdom to join the RAF. In 1952, Turowicz was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander, in 1959, to the rank of Group Captain, and in 1960 he became an Air Commodore and an Assistant Chief of Air Staff in charge of PAF's Maintenance Branch. 

Zofia, Turowicz's wife also contributed to the Pakistan Air Force in her own way. She taught gliding to Shaheen Air Cadets in Karachi and Rawalpindi, and applied mathematics and particle physics at Karachi University. She too was honoured by Pakistan's government for her achievements and was awarded the Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz. war as part of the Jihad. Not only the Pakistan tribesmen, the Mehsuds, Tirahas and Afridis took part in the invasion; there were also the Sulemankhel tribesmen from Afghanistan who took part in the war.Private US citizens were involved in the conflict. Between October-November 1947, three American pilots ferried Indian troops by commercial aircrafts. 

And yet the fabricated history informs us that it was war between Pakistan and India. Now that the cover is lift; more stories can be expected to tumble out from the closets of secrecy and deception. It is time that all and everything about this limited war .

 Bushan Parimoo
(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist and a regular contributor to this Website .)
(Feedback at:

My Friend Altaaf Dar was a Terrorist !


Next Post »