New Delhi: Three days before hanging up his boots, Army Chief General J J Singh has sought de-classification of the war records of the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars so that soldiers and others could draw lessons from these conflicts.

"War histories of 1962 Sino-Indian conflict, and 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars should be made public," he said at the release of a coffee table book here on army titled 'Army, An Illustrated View'.

The Army chief also suggested that more historians and experts on military affairs write on these conflicts.

Even 45 years after the Chinese and Indian troops fought the 1962 wars across their icy Himalayan borders, the Government is yet to make public the official war records of the conflict.

Though the official war history of 1962 as well as 1965 and 1971 wars is ready, the Defence Ministry as well as the Government are yet to declassify the records.

Till date only the official war records of 1948 Indo-Pak conflict penned down by two eminent historians of the Defence Ministry have been officially released.

"There may have been lapses," conceded the Army Chief about the conduct of the 1962 operations, but they should be made public so that military strategist as well as historians draw the right lessons from them.

The Army chief said studying history of past conflicts was a must for military planners and strategists. In this context, he referred to a just released book written by a former Pakistani General Gul Hasan Khan on the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

"The book has some startling facts to reveal on the morale of Pakistani forces during the conflict", Singh said.

The Army chief's observations are significant as a spate of RTI applications for making public General Henderson's observations on the 1962 war have failed to move the Defence Ministry.

Though claims have been made that the 1965 and 1971 official war records are now available on the net, their authenticity is being doubted in absence of official release of these records.

Defence Minister A K Antony, who was present at the function, said the proposal to declassify these war records could be considered.

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