Field Marshal K M Cariappa’s Reply To Pak President Ayub Khan During The 1965 Indo-Pak War

Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa OBE, The First Indian Army Commander-In-Chief.

Field Marshal K.M Cariappa’s son, Air Marshal K.C Nanda Cariappa was a Squadron Leader with No.20 Squadron during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War. He was shot down while carrying out air attacks during the 1965 war with Pakistan and he was taken as Prisoner Of War (POW).

Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan was the former colleague of General K M Cariappa before the 1947 Partition.

Ayyub Khan, knowing the identity of this Indian pilot, he immediately called up his former colleague, General Cariappa, offered to release his son. But the General’s terse reply was:

“The POWs are all my sons, look after them well. He is the child of this country, a soldier fighting for his motherland like a true patriot. My many thanks for your kind gesture, but I request you to release all or release none. Give him no special treatment.”

After the repatriation, K.C Cariappa moved on to helicopters for a short while, commanding No.111 Helicopter Unit at Hasimara during the 1971 War. He later commanded No.8 Squadron in the mid 70s at Pune. He retired as Air Marshal. He also wrote the biography of his father Field Marshal K.M Cariappa In 2007 and is actively involved in forest conservation in and around Coorg.

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