FACT CHECK: Did Indian Army’s ‘Muslim regiment’ refuse to fight against Pakistan in 1965 war? – Times of India

Several social media users are sharing posts claiming that Indian Army had a ‘Muslim regiment’, which refused to fight against Pakistan during the 1965 war.

Users are making this claim to drive home their point that Muslims cannot serve India with neutrality after becoming IAS and IPS officers.
Indian Army has had no ‘Muslim regiment’ ever. This false propaganda about ‘Muslim regiment’ in Indian Army was initiated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Times Fact Check got in touch with Maj Gen Harsha Kakar (retd), who confirmed that Indian Army has had no regiment specifically for Muslims ever, be it before or after independence. He served Indian Army from 1979 to 2015.
Using relevant keywords, we found a Times of India blog authored by Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain (Retd), who served Indian Army between 1974-2013. Titled ‘The ‘missing’ muslim regiment: Without comprehensive rebuttal, Pakistani propaganda dupes the gullible across the board’, the blog was published on November 30, 2017.
As per the blog, there was no Muslim Regiment ever and certainly not in 1965.
The essence of the Pakistani (ISPR) disinformation is that a Muslim Regiment existed in the Indian Army till 1965, but was disbanded because in that conflict 20,000 Muslims refused to fight Pakistan, the blog mentions.
As far as the reason behind not having a Muslim regiment in Indian Army is concerned, Hasnain in his blog states, “post-Independence, majority of Muslim officers and soldiers migrated to Pakistan, leaving a minuscule minority as the core or seed element of Indian Muslim servicemen distributed in different regiments and units. In that context new Muslim, Christian or Buddhist regiments made no sense as ethnic and regional identity took priority over faith as entities of representation.”
Moreover, we found no mention of ‘Muslim regiment’ in Indian Army’s official website.
Times Fact Check has found the claims of ‘Muslim regiment’ in Indian Army refusing to fight against Pakistan in 1965 war to be false. There has been no ‘Muslim regiment’ in Indian Army ever.

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