We all know that 1971 has shaped the future of Bangladesh. The 1971 Indo-Pak war has a definite place in history. It’s the war that resulted in the formation of Bangladesh. It also established the dexterity of the Indian Armed Forces including the Army, Air Force, and Navy. The war had commenced on December 3, 1971. During the same time period, the struggle for independence was ongoing in East Pakistan. The struggle eventually ended on December 16 when the Pakistan Army surrendered unconditionally.
And rest is history, Bangladesh was liberated and since then this day has been marked as Vijay Diwas in India and Bangladesh.
So today on Vijay Diwas, here are some important facts we think you should know about the 1971 Indo-Pak War:
- The conflict between West Pakistan and East Pakistan had resulted in the Liberation War of Bangladesh. East Pakistan wanted to get rid of all ill-treatment by West Pakistan. East Pakistan finally raised a call for secession on March 26, 1971. Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi had also backed East Pakistan in their independence struggle.
- About 10 million people had migrated to India. Such a huge number of migration took place because media had reported that the Pakistani military was killing a large number of people which were mainly Hindus.
- 1971 Indo-Pak war had commenced when Pakistan Air Force started a precautionary aerial strike across airfields in north-western India, including Agra as part of its Operation Chengiz Khan. To hide the Taj Mahal and its shine in the moonlight, it was camouflaged using leaves.
- India responded with an attacking Air Force which flew about 4000 sorties in the western front and close to two thousand in the east. Pakistan Air Force could only manage about 2800 and 30 sorties on the two fronts. Indian Air Force had taken full control of the situation. They continued to raid more airbases in Pakistan till the end of the war.
- Pakistan had also organized its troops along the western front. The Indian Army retaliated and captured several thousand kilometers of Pakistani territory.
- After the war, Pakistan suffered a causality of about 8000 dead and 25,000 wounded, while India lost 3000 soldiers and 12,000 were wounded.
- To fight against Pakistani troops in the east, Mukti Bahini guerrillas in East Pakistan had joined hands with the Indian forces. Indian Air Forces had fully trained and weaponized them for the war.
- The Soviet Union also sided with East Pakistan in its liberation movement and India in the war. The US had also played a huge role in the 1971 war. President Richard Nixon had supported Pakistan economically and materially. The US even deployed an aircraft n the Bay of Bengal as a show of support towards the end of the war.
- At the end of the war, around 93,000 Pakistani troops led by General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi surrendered to the allied forces. They eventually returned as a part of the Shimla Agreement of 1972.
- 1971 Indo-Pak war showed us the strong dominance of the Indian Military. Pakistan was in a very bad state. It lost nearly one-third of its army. Its population was not even half after the formation of Bangladesh. war