The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 started on December 3, 1971, and continued for 13 days until the Pakistani army surrendered to India as well as Bangladesh. During this war, almost 3800 soldiers from both the countries lost their lives. It started when Pakistan took India by surprise and launched air strikes on 11 of its airbases. The war aimed to stop the genocide against the Bengali population in Pakistan.
Here are some interesting things that you need to know about the India-Pakistan War of 1971!
Highlights of The India-Pakistan War Of 1971
- The War of 1971 between India and Pakistan ended with the Pakistani Army General named Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi surrendered to the Indian Army as well as the Mukti Bahini along with his 93,000 soldiers.
- Although the war officially took place in December,the political war had already started in March 1971.
- The war took place as a result of the conflict between the East and West Pakistanis. There was a Bangladesh Liberation war to stop the atrocities against Bengali Muslims.
- There was a big refugee crisis that took place in India when almost nine million people moved to India as refugees. They fled from the killings, torture, and rapes that were conducted against the Bengali population in Pakistan.
- General Tikka Khan of Pakistan was known to have conducted several atrocities and crime against humanity in the Bengal region. He was even nicknamed ‘Butcher of Bengal.’
- During this time, Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India,and she took an extreme step of stopping the genocide completely instead of simply offering refuge to the people who were able to flee from Pakistan and the atrocities.
- After Pakistani Air Force launched attacks on 11 airfields of India on December 3, the official war was declared against Pakistan.
- After these airstrikes, Indira Gandhi immediately ordered the troops to get ready.
- Thanks to the quick thinking, India was already prepared with its troops in all its Western borders with Pakistan.
- When the Pakistani Army tried to move towards India, the Indian soldiers went ahead and captured almost 15,010 km of Pakistani territory.
- Indian Army was successful in exploiting the weaknesses of the Pakistani army and won the war against them.
- The war weakened Pakistan immensely,and Pakistan ended up losing half of its population. India captured almost one-third of the Pakistani soldiers during the war.
Separation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh finally won the War of Liberation,and they got their independence from Pakistan. India played a vital role in helping Bangladesh gain its victory against Pakistan. This was an essential war because it brought an end to all the crimes against humanity, genocides, rapes,and killings that were taking place in Pakistan against the local Bengali population. India continuously received Bengali refugees,and it was becoming difficult to deal with the refugee crisis at that time. Therefore, after Pakistan’s first air strike, the ex-Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi took it as a signal to be prepared against Pakistani attacks and fight back with full vigor and strength.
The article sheds some light on some of the forgotten details of the India-Pakistan War of 1971. The war took place at a time when the atrocities of Pakistan on Bengalis has crossed all its limits. General Tikka Khan a.k.a. ‘Butcher of Bengal’ did not have any mercy on the people before he killed them. As a result, this war was indispensable. Although wars always bring about a lot of destruction,one at least put a stop to the bigger atrocities that took place in Pakistan at that time.