A Few Glimpses of 1971 War

After the Partition of 1947, the War of 1971 was perhaps the most traumatic event in the history of Subcontinent.

It is a unique conflict in which everyone claimed victory. The Bengali claimed victory and declared independence from the oppression of the West Pakistan. The Indians claimed victory and declared that the two nation theory upon which the whole issue of partition was based was now dead. The Pakistanis sent off 90000 servicemen and civilians into captivity and declared themselves the victor.

Whoever was the winner is yet to be decided. What is universally acknowledged is the human plight and anguish that common Joe suffered during the conflict. Everyone from the Pakistani Army, civilian resistance groups and the renegade Mukti Bahni killed and raped alike.

Timeline of the horrors

7 March 1971: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declares that, “The current struggle is a struggle for independence”, in a public meeting attended by almost a million people in Dhaka.

25 March 1971: Pakistani forces start Operation Searchlight, a systematic plan to eliminate any resistance. Thousands of people are killed in student dormitories and police barracks in Dhaka.

26 March 1971: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman signed an official declaration of independence and sent it through a radio message on the night of 25 March (the morning of 26 March). Later Major Ziaur Rahman and other Awami League leaders announced the declaration of independence on behalf of Sheikh Mujib from Kalurghat Radio Station, Chittagong. The message is relayed to the world by Indian radio stations.

27 March 1971: Bangladesh Force namely Mukti Bahini {consisting Niyomito Bahini (Regular Force) and Gono Bahini (Guerilla Force)} was formed under the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) General Mohammad Ataul Ghani Osmany.

17 April 1971: Exiled leaders of Awami League form a provisional government.

3 December 1971: War between India and Pakistan officially begins when West Pakistan launches a series of preemptive air strikes on Indian airfields.

6 December 1971: East Pakistan is recognized as Bangladesh by India.

14 December 1971: Systematic elimination of Bengali intellectuals is started by Pakistani Army and local collaborators.

16 December 1971: Lieutenant-General A. A. K. Niazi, supreme commander of Pakistani Army in East Pakistan, surrenders to the Allied Forces (Mitro Bahini) represented by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Arora of Indian Army at the surrender. India and Bangladesh gain victory.

12 January 1972: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman comes to power.

The following pictures depict some of the darkest moments of the conflict. Please note that the images remain the property of their owners.

BA-67-1024x807  1971Surrender  1971_War_Pakistani_troops_surrender  bangladesh_01  bangladesh_02  bangladesh_04  resized_india-pakistan-war-1971-4

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal is Contributing Editor of Awaz e Pakistan. He strongly believes in the power of words and words represent ideas that cannot be suppressed.
Zafar Iqbal

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