India Pakistan War 1971

India Pakistan War 1971India Pakistan War 1971“On 3rd December 1971” Pakistan launched Operation Changiz Khan, where it dropped bombs on several Indian cities through multiple airlifts. The cities targeted were Amritsar, Pathankot, Jodhpur, Ambala, and Agra. In Sri Nagar, a total of 11 airlifts were used to carry out bombing attacks, which were orchestrated by Pakistan.India Pakistan War 1971On that day, The Prime Minister Indira Gandhi issued a message on the radio to address the nation. She stated that India had been attacked by Pakistan.India Pakistan War 1971In this way, the India-Pakistan war of 1971 begins, and within it, a new country named Bangladesh is born. In the end, what were the reasons for this war, why did it happen, and why did Bangladesh seek independence? Let’s attempt to comprehend the entire narrative and India’s involvement in it.The story begins long before conical time when India was a part of the Indian subcontinent.

war 1971Yes, that means present-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and Sri Lanka, the entire region of the Indian subcontinent. In the past, the Indian subcontinent consisted of various kingdoms ruled by kings and emperors, each with its unique language, traditions, and culture. The Bengal region, which encompassed areas like Bangladesh, West Bengal, and some surrounding territories, had predominantly been under the rule of Muslim monarchs since the 13th century.

Md. Bakhtiyar Khilji, the founder of the Khilji dynasty, initiated the Muslim rule in the region.Muslim monarchsAs early as the 13th century, this area witnessed significant developments, though it is important to note that the ruling authorities displayed little interest in disseminating their religion. Instead, their primary focus was on engaging and incorporating local communities into their governing system. During the rule of the Muslim monarch, the high office holders, traders, and musicians hailed from diverse religious backgrounds and traditions. This cultural and religious diversity was evident in the administration and various facets of society during that period.war 1971Essentially, the coexistence and intermingling of Islam and Hinduism were highly prevalent in this area. The region witnessed a harmonious blend of both religions, fostering a rich cultural exchange and mutual understanding between adherents of Islam and Hinduism.

The coexistence of Islam and Hinduism in this region curbed extremism significantly. A harmonious relationship between followers fostered tolerance and understanding, naturally deterring extremist ideologies.Moving forward, in 1757, the East India Company took control of this area. Subsequently, British rule persisted until 1947, leading to the devastating partition between India and Pakistan.India Pakistan War 1971During the partition, drawing borders based on religious lines disregarded the social, commercial, and cultural ties among the people. Large states with shared cultures and languages were fractured, leading to the disruption of longstanding relationships among communities.war 1971The partition aimed to divide people based on religion, leading to the displacement of numerous families. A massive migration occurred, with many Muslims migrating to Pakistan and Hindus coming to India from Pakistan. Tragically, this period witnessed widespread riots and mob violence, resulting in an estimated toll of 200,000 to 2 million lives lost.200,000 to 2 million lives lost.Between 1947 and 1971, Pakistan experienced multiple phases of military rule. This meant that power from the political parties that deserved to be in Pakistan was forcefully taken away.

On 21st March 1948, Mohammad Ali Jinnah delivered a speech in Dhaka. war 1971This caused outrage among the people living in Bengal. Eventually, the Urdu imposition led to the beginning of the Bengal Language Movement.

On 21st February 1952, a major protest was organized by the Language Movement, with a large group of students and political activists gathering in front of the provincial assembly to protest. The Pakistan Army opened fire, resulting in the deaths of five people. war 1971Even now, 21st February is celebrated as Language Martyrs’ Day in Bangladesh. Later in 1999, UNESCO declared 21st February as the International Mother Language Day. This designation aimed to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and to honor the sacrifices made during the Language Movement in Bangladesh.war 1971The result of the 1970 election shocked the nation. The Awami League, a political party from East Pakistan, emerged victorious by winning 167 out of 313 seats. However, surprisingly, they won no seats in West Pakistan. Out of the 313 seats, 169 were in East Pakistan, and the rest were in West Pakistan. The Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) secured 86 seats in West Pakistan, but none in East Pakistan. This stark disparity in the election results marked a significant turning point in Pakistan’s political landscape. These shocking results indicate a deep divide between the two parties of Pakistan. The election outcome highlighted the significant political and ideological differences that existed between them.war 1971Since the population of people in East Pakistan was higher, they had more seats in the legislative assembly. The Awami League won the election, but its victory didn’t align with the interests of the political elites in West Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of the PPP met with General Yahya Khan to consider dissolving the National Assembly and canceling the results to suit his preferences. General Yahya Khan canceled the election results on 1st March 1971, sparking an uproar in East Pakistan. People questioned the undemocratic action as the Awami League had won the most votes. The decision raised serious concerns about the democratic process.

Large-scale protests erupted, demanding freedom as West Pakistan ignored the interests of East Pakistan. People sought to form their own country, leading to the start of the Bangladeshi Liberation War. During this period, numerous frenzies erupted, and law and order were disrupted.India Pakistan War 1971“Operation Searchlight” was a brutal genocide by West Pakistan in 1971, aimed at quashing the demand for Bangladeshi independence. Thousands of troops entered Dhaka, arresting Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who had already declared East Pakistan as Bangladesh. March 26th marks their Independence Day due to delayed transmission. The declaration was read to the public on March 27th, but that night saw the massacre of around 7,000 students. Over 300,000 Bengalis were killed within a week, causing a refugee crisis with 10 million fleeing to India. India’s PM, Indira Gandhi, considered military intervention, and by July, recognized Bangladesh as an independent nation. No direct conflict ensued with Pakistan.war 1971On December 3rd, 1971, Pakistan launched Operation Changiz Khan and attacked Indian airfields due to fears that India would support Bangladesh’s independence struggle. However, India’s superior military strategy and power led to their entry into the war. On December 4th, the United Nations Security Council convened and, after a long discussion, the US, China, and UK supported an immediate ceasefire on India, with the Soviet Union voting twice in favor due to the atrocities against Bengalis.war 1971On December 6th, Bhutan became the first country to officially recognize Bangladesh, followed by India. By December 12th, Pakistan was facing defeat in the Indo-Pak war. Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, flew to New York to discuss a ceasefire with the US, but East Pakistan had already surrendered by then.war 1971On December 16th, 1971, the Indian Army surrounded Dhaka, and the Pakistani Army, led by Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, surrendered without resistance. The government of East Pakistan collapsed immediately, and the historic Instruments of Surrender were signed on the same day, with more than 9300 Pakistani troops surrendering to Indian and Bangladesh Liberation forces. This surrender marked the largest in the world since World War II.war 1971In 1972, the Shimla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan. According to this agreement, Pakistan recognized Bangladesh as an independent country. In return, India promised to release the 93,000 Pakistani Prisoners of War (POWs) over the following 5 months and also agreed to return the 13,000 square kilometers of land that Indian troops had occupied in West Pakistan.War 1971This landmark agreement marked the birth of the new country, BANGLADESH. war 1971Two years later, in 1974, the United Nations also officially recognized Bangladesh as an independent country, further solidifying its status in the international community.war 1971


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