Khilji Force 1965 War Composition, Mission and Planning

v.1.0 October 14, 2007


Mandeep Singh Bajwa


The Khilji Force was formed out of elements of No.1 Sector, AKRF under command 12 AK Division. Its mission was to infiltrate across the Cease Fire Line (CFL) (now called the LOC) in J&K to operate behind Indian dispositions in the Tangdhar-Tithwal area to cause attrition of enemy potential to launch offensive action into AK territory. Indian offensive action had captured a lot of useful and tactically important territory across the CFL. Khilji Force was to release Indian pressure on the territory occupied by them on the Pakistani side of the CFL .In addition it was to disrupt the Indian Line of Communications (L of C) between Panzgam and Tangdhar  This Orbat is based on operational orders and other documents recovered by Indian troops. Khilji was the surname/clan of Brig Fazle Rahim, MC who was the Force Commander.


1. GOC 12 AK Division   Maj Gen Akhtar Hussain Malik


2. Commander, Khilji Force    Brig Fazle Rahim, MC


3. Units


i. 2 Azad Kashmir Infantry Battalion (AK)

ii. 23 Azad Kashmir Infantry Battalion (AK)

iii. 3 x Groups of Special Service Group commandos - corresponding to platoons

iv. 3 x Nusrat Groups – guerrillas for infiltration into J&K for sabotage, creating insurgency and   overthrowing the Govt. Recruited from Azad Kashmir Regular Forces (AKRF), Civil Armed Forces (CAF) and civilians with leadership from Pakistani regular troops including SSG.

v. Wing (Battalion) HQ and 3 x rifle companies Khyber Rifles


4. Artillery support


No artillery was allocated for direct support. However 2 x Forward Observation Officers (FOOs) were to be taken along to direct artillery fire in support from the Pakistani side of the CFL when within range.  The infantry were to take along their 3 inch and 2 inch mortars.


5. Communications


All units were to take their rear link radio sets for communication with Force HQ. HQ Khilji Force was to establish wireless communication with HQ No.1 Sector, AKRF who would act as control for all communications.




6. Logistics


 Their role as a guerrilla formation notwithstanding, the troops of Khilji Force were to operate in their normal uniform. This included the Nusrat Groups.

A limited number of mules were to be taken along fro the transport of heavy weapons, ammunition and rations and for the purpose of resupply.


The Force was to be self-sufficient in rations and ammunition to operate for 2 x weeks. This is based on normal rates of expenditure and maintenance for which there are Staff Tables in all Commonwealth Armies.


Interestingly the higher HQ had arranged the necessary funds presumably to buy rations, information and support from locals and to pay porters This was most probably Indian currency.


Resupply was to be the responsibility of No.1 Sector up to the home base of the Force.


7. Medical cover


Serious casualties were to be evacuated to the Pakistani side of the CFL. No.1 Sector was to provide adequate medical cover at a suitable place at the nearest point to the logistics base of the Khilji Force on the home side of the CFL.


8. Code names (for units of Khilji Force, No.1 Sector and 12 AK Div) These were used for the purpose of security of communications.


No.1 Sector


i.          5 Punjab

ii.          8 AK Infantry Battalion

iii.         9 AK Infantry Battalion

iv.         13 AK Infantry Battalion

v.         16 AK Infantry Battalion

vi.         Units of Civil Armed Forces, No.1 Sector

vii.        10 Composite Field Regiment

viii.              101 Composite Field Battery (in direct support of 5 Punjab)















Khilji Force


i.          2 AK Infantry Battalion

ii.          23 AK Infantry Battalion






12 AK Division


i.          HQ 12 AK Div

ii.          No.1 Sector

iii.         No.2 Sector

iv.         No.3 Sector

v.         No.4 Sector

vi.         102 Brigade

vii.       Murree Sub Area

viii.      Frontier Corps















9. Composition No.1 Sector


i.             Commander   Brig AAK Niazi, Sitara-e-Khidmar, MC[2]

ii.          1 Punjab[3]   

iii.         5 Punjab[4] 

iv.         8 AK Infantry Battalion

v.                   9 AK Infantry Battalion

vi.                 13 AK Infantry Battalion

vii.                16 AK Infantry Battalion

viii.              101 Composite Field Battery

ix.                 89 Mortar Battery

x.                   Composite Artillery Regiment - Raised from elements provided by School of Artillery, Nowshera. These were various demonstration troops, employment troops etc


[1] Sherdil Paltan was the name of this battalion in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. At that time it was commanded by the author’s ancestor, Kumidan Khushal Singh. Sherdil means lionheart.

[2] The famous Tiger Niazi of Bangladesh fame.

[3] The old 1/1 Punjab, the senior most battalion of the old Indian Army with its seniority dating back to 1756 and its origins from the Madras Army.

[4] The old 1/14 Punjab.