Guys! Do you know that the Pakistan which threatens India today has surrendered to India once in a battle. This was the first and only surrender by any military in the world. In this article we are going to show you the power of the Indian Armed Forces which made an army of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers to surrender. This article is about the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 which is also known as the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 or Bangladesh Liberation war is a battle fought between India and Pakistan. This war changed the globe as it resulted in the birth of a new country called Bangladesh today. This war was a battle of 1 week and 6 days between India and Pakistan started on 3 December 1971 and ended on 16 December 1971. It ended with the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani troops in East Pakistan which is now Bangladesh. In this war, India lost more than 3,800 soldiers while more than 12,000 were injured in the war.
It was a big and utter defeat of Pakistan as they lost 9,000 soldiers and more than 25,000 were injured while more than 93,000 were captured and surrendered to India.
Why did the Indo-Pakistani War start ?
Pakistan knew that it was very difficult to govern East Pakistan in 1971. So, Pakistan was searching for an opportunity to deploy its military in East Pakistan. The opportunity came with a riot in which around 300 Biharis were killed by the Bengali mobs. Pakistan deployed its military in Pakistan on 25 March, when it initiated its military crackdown. They initiated Operation Searchlight, Mass arrests of dissidents began. The media correspondents began airing reports of the Pakistani military’s widespread genocide against their Bengali citizens. The genocide was particularly targeted to the Hindu majority in East Pakistan. It is estimated that members of the Pakistani military killed between 300,000 and 3,000,000 civilians in Bangladesh. As a result around eight to ten million people fled the country to seek refuge in India.
During the 1971 Bangladesh war for independence, members of the Pakistani military and supporting pro-Pakistani Islamist militias called the Razakars raped between 200,000 and 400,000 Bangladeshi women and girls in a systematic campaign of genocidal rape.
Response of India
India tried to help the refugees to find safe shelter and the governments of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura established refugee camps along the border.
The Indian government repeatedly appealed to the international community for assistance, but failed to elicit any response. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 27 March 1971 expressed full support of her government for the independence struggle of the people of East Pakistan, and concluded that instead of taking in millions of refugees, it was economical to go to war against Pakistan.
According to Manekshaw’s own personal account, he refused, citing the onset of monsoon season in East Pakistan and also the fact that the army tanks were being refitted.
By November 1971, an Indian-Pakistani war seemed inevitable. In November 1971, thousands of people led by Pakistani politicians marched in Lahore and across Pakistan, calling for Pakistan to “crush India”. India responded by starting a massive buildup of the Indian Army on the western borders. India didn’t attack or invade Pakistan.
On 23 November, President Yahya Khan declared a national state of emergency and told the country to prepare for war.
On the evening of 3 December, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) launched surprise pre-emptive strikes on eleven airfields in India. This Operation was called Operation Chengiz Khan. Prime Minister Gandhi held that the air strikes were a declaration of war against India and the Indian Air Force (IAF) responded with initial air strikes the same night. That’s how the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 started. In this war all the three forces of India- Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force participated.
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