On December 16, the nation celebrates the ‘Vijay Diwas’ to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
It was on this day in 1971 that Pakistan was humiliated by the Indian Army. The Indian Army surrounded Dhaka and issued an ultimatum to Pakistan Lieutenant-General to surrender, who did so without any fight. The Pakistani forces in erstwhile East Pakistan, led by General AA Khan Niazi surrendered unconditionally before the Indian forces. This historic incident paved the way for the creation of Bangladesh.
At the end of the war, nearly 93,000 Pakistani soldiers were captured by the Indian Army. As a result of waging a war on its own people in East Pakistan, Pakistan Army had lost nearly 8,000 soldiers and nearly 25,000 wounded. Around 3,000 Indian soldiers died and 12,000 others were wounded in the war.
Here is a rare footage of Pakistan Army surrendering before the Indian Army after their defeat in the India-Pakistan war of 1971 that led to the creation of a new country Bangladesh.
The war between India and Pakistan broke out after the Indian government decided to act against the atrocities of Pakistan, which had unleashed terror on its own population living in East Pakistan. Following the massive human rights abused by the Pakistani Army that led to the mass exodus of population from East Bengal, the Indira Gandhi-led Indian government took a decisive step to act against Pakistan to save Bengali Muslims and Hindus.
On December 3, 1971, a war broke out between two countries and continued for the next two weeks. The war fought between India and Pakistan lasted for merely 13 days and the Pakistan army capitulated before Indian forces. It was the Indian Army’s one of the biggest victories ever made against Pakistan.
The war resulted in the independence of East Pakistan which was then recognized as Bangladesh.
This battle is also considered to be one of the most violent wars of the recent past, as it witnessed large-scale atrocities and human rights abuse by the rogue Pakistan Army. Following the outbreak of war, as many as 10 million people in East Pakistan became refugees.
A genocide was carried out by the Pakistan Army in present-day Bangladesh. It is estimated that at least 3 million Bengali Muslims residing in East Pakistan was butchered by the Pakistan Army. Under ‘Operation Searchlight’, the Pakistan Army carried out a genocide against Bengali Muslims and Hindus living in erstwhile East Pakistan, who fought seeking independence from Pakistan to form a new nation Bangladesh.
There was also the systematic annihilation of the Bengali people by the Pakistani army during the Bangladesh Liberation War. With the help of Indian Army, Bangladesh obtained its freedom and declared independence on 16 December 1971.