1971 war: How India obliterated the Pakistani forces

 1971 war: How India obliterated the Pakistani forces

As India celebrates the 1971 victory as 'Vijay Diwas', Pakistan is grieving the loss of Bangladesh. On Twitter, Indians are proudly referring to the 93,000 captured soldiers of Pakistan. 49 years ago on this date, a new country was born by the name of Bangladesh, forever changing the map of Pakistan. This is the date when Pakistan lost completely to India and waged an indirect war against us.

Due to the repressive policies of West Pakistan, discontent was increasing in East Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a Bangladeshi politician and statesman, struggled to liberate East Pakistan from the crutches of West Pakistan. He prepared a 6-point autonomy formula for their freedom and was even prosecuted by the Pakistani government for the same. In the 1970 election, the Awami League, led by Mujib, won the first democratic election of Pakistan. His party won the majority of seats but the ruling party of West Pakistan imprisoned them instead of inviting them to form a government.

The voices of protest rose in East Pakistan due to a lack of proper representation in the power of the country. The public became agitated and even protested on the streets. The Pakistani army carried out several brutal attacks to suppress this movement which involved murdering Bengali civilians, students, intellectuals, politicians, and military defectors. The cases of murders and rapes continued to increase every day. In order to avoid these atrocities, many people took refuge in India which increased the refugee crisis in India.

On 31 March 1971, the then Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi spoke about helping the people of Bengal and sent the support of the Indian Army to help Mukti Vahini, an Army formed in East Pakistan to fight for their freedom.

Pakistan, angered by India helping the now Bangladesh, attacked 11 of our Airbases under the name of 'Operation Genghis Khan'. It was only after this attack that India officially became part of the war on 3 December. This war lasted for 13 days ending on 16 December and Bangladesh became free on this same day. Since then, this day is celebrated as 'Vijay Diwas' in India.

On the nights of 4-5 December 1971, the Indian Navy carried out 'Operation Trident' on the night of 4-5 December. At that time, Karachi port was very important for Pakistan in terms of economy. This operation was carried by the Indian Navy to attack the Karachi port in Pakistan using anti-ship missiles for the first time. In this Indian naval attack, 4 Pakistani ships were sunk and more than 500 Pakistani naval were killed and the Karachi Harbor Fuel Storage was also completely destroyed.

After this attack, on 8-9 December 1971, the Indian Navy carried out 'Operation Python', a follow-up to their previous operation where the Indian Navy attacked Pakistani ships at the ports of Karachi. Not a single Indian ship was damaged during this operation but Pakistan suffered great losses, their fleet tanker PNS Dacca was damaged beyond repair and they lost the Kemari Oil Storage facility. After the success of this operation, Indian Navy Day is celebrated every year on 4 December.

During this whole ordeal, India seized more than 15 thousand kilometers of Pakistani territory. The war came to an end when General Aamir Abdullah Khan Niazi, the then head of the Pakistani Armed Forces, surrendered to the Indian Army with 93,000 of his troops.

After gaining Bangladesh's independence, Mujib was released from Pakistani custody due to international pressure and returned to Dhaka in January 1972. He became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh under their new Parliamentary system.

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