In September 1965, there occurred between the armies of India and Pakistan a fierce clash which each side attributed to the aggressive designs of the other. This undeclared war lasted only a short time; first a ceasefire ordered by the United Nations, and later the pact signed at Tashkent, brought the hostilities to a formal close. It was by no means a spontaneous or unexpected flareup, the hatred and antagonism that caused it had been festering for a long time. Similarly, its effects have not been short-lived; neither have they been restricted to the area of military logistics and high diplomacy. In this paper I intend to review the consequences of that conflict for Urdu language and literature. I shall proceed by showing why it was necessary for Urdu writers, especially the poets, to respond to this war, and what sort of attitudes were displayed in the poetry written exclusively in response to it. I shall then discuss certain subsequent developments in the general area of Urdu language and literature and end by presenting my own conclusions with regard to the future.

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