Independence/ Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971

On The March 25 , The Pakistan Army launched a terror campaign calculated to intimidate the Bengali’s into submission . Within hours a wholesale slaughter had commenced in Dhaka , with the heaviest attacks concentrated on the University of Dhaka and the Hindu area of the old town . Bangladeshis remember the date as a day of infamy and liberation . The Pakistan Army came with hit lists and systematically killed several hundred Bengali’s . Shak Mujibur Rahaman was captured and flown to West Pakistan for incarceration .

To conceal what they were doing , The Pakistan Army corralled the corps of foreign journalists at the International Hotel in Dhaka , seized their notes , and expelled them the next day . One reporter who escaped the censor net estimated that three battalions of troops-one armored , one artillery and one infantry_had attacked the virtually defenseless city .Various informants , including missionaries and foreign journalists who clandestinely returned to East Pakistan during the war , estimated that by March 28 the loss of life reached 15000 . By the end of summer as many as 300000 people were thought to have lost their lives .

The West Pakistani press waged a vigorous but ultimately futile campaign to counteract newspaper and radio accounts of wholesale atrocities . One paper , the Morning News , even editorialized that the armed forces were saving East Pakistanis from eventual Hindu enslavement . The civil war was played down by the government-controlled press as a minor insurrection quickly being brought under control .

After the tragic events of March, India became vocal in its condemnation of Pakistan . An immense flood of East Pakistani refugees ,between 8 and 10 million according to various estimates , fled across the border into the Indian state of West Bengal . In April an Indian parliamentary resolution demanded that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi supply aid to the rebels in East Pakistan . She complied but declined to recognize the provisional government of independent Bangladesh .

Anthony Mascarenhas in Bangladesh :- A Legacy of Blood estimates that during the entire nine-month liberation struggle more than 1 million Bengali’s may have died at the hands of the Pakistan Army .

A propaganda war between Pakistan and India ensued in which Yahya Khan threatened war against India if that country made an attempt to seize any part of Pakistan . Yahya Khan also asserted that Pakistan could count on its American and Chinese friends . At the same time , Pakistan tried to ease the situation in the East Wing . Belatedly , it replaced Tikka Khan , whose military tactics had caused such havoc and human loss of life , with the more restrained Lieutenant General AAK Niazi . A moderate Bengali , Abdul Malik , was installed as the civilian governor of East Pakistan . These belated gestures of appeasement did not yield results or change world opinion .

On 4th December in 1971 , The Indian Army , far superior in numbers and equipment to that of Pakistan , executed a 3-pronged pincer movement on Dhaka launched from the Indian states of West Bengal , Assam , and Tripura , taking only 12 days to defeat the 90000 Pakistani defenders . The Pakistan Army was weakened by having to operate so far away from its source of supply . Indian Army , on the other hand , was aided by East Pakistan’s Mukti Bahini actually Liberation Force , the freedom fighters who managed to keep the Pakistan Army at bay in many areas .