Pakistan launched Operation Grand Slam on 17 August 1965 in an effort to relieve infiltrators who had been surrounded after the failure of Operation Gibraltar on 15 August and to attempt to cut off the Indian supply lines. With supply lines under severe stress due to Operation Grand Slam, India launched an offensive towards Lahore to open up a second front in the war and distract Pakistani attention from Kashmir. After opening the Lahore front, Indian troops advanced towards Lahore along three axes— Amritsar-Lahore, Khalra-Burki-Lahore and Khem Karan-Kasur roads—overwhelming the small Pakistani force.
Indian infantry, supported by the only Indian armoured division, quickly pushed back unprepared Pakistani defenders with the aim of encircling and possibly besieging Lahore. Due to the element of surprise, India was able to capture a large amount of Pakistani territory from the town of Khalra, an Indian border town which lies on a straight road to Lahore through Burki. In the meantime, the Pakistani Army mobilized the troops in the region and mounted a three-pronged counter-attack to recapture lost ground. The Battle of Burki was subsequently fought on Khalra-Burki-Lahore road.
Pakistan's main goal was to force the Indian infantry into retreat before their armoured support and supply lines could catch up. The Pakistani Army's aim also was to capture much of the territory it had lost earlier in the fighting. The Indian infantry's aim was to capture and hold the town of Burki until reinforcements, including armour and supplies, could arrive.