Secret Pact with Israel

New Delhi quietly sought and got arms from Tel Aviv as it prepared to go to war with Pakistan in 1971.In his book, 1971, by scholar Srinath Raghavan reveals India’s ambassador to France DN Chatterjee began the process to get Israeli arms with a note to the external affairs ministry on July 6, 1971, saying assistance from Israel for “propaganda, finance and even procurement of armament and oil” would be “invaluable”.

Indira Gandhi immediately accepted the proposal and through the country’s external intelligence agency RAW began the process to get the arms through the tiny principality of Liechtenstein.

India did not support the creation of Israel in 1948 but Israel by 1971 was in the middle of arms shortage. Prime minister Golda Meir stepped in to divert arms meant for Iran to India with a request for diplomatic ties in return for arms. The diplomatic ties were established later in 1992. The arms from Israel were dispatched to Indian Army and the Mukti Bahini.