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Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
Transcript of Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
Partition of India
Was India justified in entering the Bangladesh Liberation War? Explain why or why not?
CAUSES OF THE WAR
Causes of the war
NATURE OF THE INDO-PAKISTAN WAR
- War began on December 3, 1971 with a Pakistani Airstrike on 9 Indian bases.
- Within hours, both eastern and western fronts broke out into combat after the conflict had been building for many months
Monday, February 17, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Civil, Limited, and Guerilla War?
-The Mukti Bahini, which was the Bangladeshi Liberation force, were groups of East Pakistani civilians and former members of the army who used Guerilla tactics against the Pakistani army following the oppression and massacres in East Pakistan.
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
-Started due to conflicts between the Eastern and Western wings of Pakistan, when the politically dominant Western wing tried to repress the East’s attempt to gain power, leading to mass atrocities in East Pakistan. The refugees escaping into India gained their attention, and India sided with East Pakistan (later liberated Bangladesh). The war itself also involved East Pakistani’s fighting against West Pakistani’s.
Was not a total war for India, as the country did not devote fully the country’s resources to winning the war. The war would have been too short for any effects of a total war to be evident (propaganda, home front etc.)
Long Term, Short Term, and Immediate
Partition of India
1947 and 1965 Indo-Pakistan Wars
Cold War Alliances
Indo-Bangladeshi Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Peace
1970 Pakistan Election
Bangladesh Liberation war/1971 Bangladesh Genocide
Pakistani Missile Attack
On 15 August, 1947, the British Indian Empire was divided into the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India. (Political, religious, social causes) Lord Mountbatten, a British statesman and naval officer, redrew the borders of British India, dividing it into Pakistan, India and East Pakistan according to religious demographics in accordance to the Muslim League’s demand that the Muslim-majority regions of East and West Pakistan were to be separated from the rest of Hindu-majority India. However as East and West Pakistan was separated by India (1600 km), this would lead to a civil war within Pakistan because of cultural, political, and ideological clashes.
1947 & 1965 Indo-Pakistan Wars:
As Kashmir was not part of the British Raj and chose to join India (despite its majority Muslim majority) during Partition, Pakistan demanded possession of the controversial Kashmir, on the basis that it has a Muslim majority of inhabitants. The dispute of Kashmir resulted in two Indo-Pakistan wars in 1947 and 1965. These series of wars embittered relations between Pakistan and India. (Social, political and territorial causes)
Cold War Alliances:
The Cold War was primarily between the United States and USSR, the world was divided into two alliances: the Western Bloc (U.S and its NATO allies) and the Eastern Bloc (USSR and its Warsaw Pact allies). (Political causes)
Because Pakistan was an ally of US, and India an ally of the USSR, Indian PM Indira Gandhi’s petitions (intervention in the ‘Bangladesh Genocide’) to global leaders, most who were part of NATO, were ignored. This encouraged Pakistan to continue their mass killings in East Pakistan as there was little opposition.
1970 Pakistan Election
While East and West Pakistan fell under the Dominion of Pakistan, there was an imbalance of power, as all political and military activity took place in West Pakistan (despite larger populations in East Pakistan).
In the first Pakistan general elections of 1970, the ‘Awami League’ (political party from East Pakistan) won, enraging West Pakistan.
They refused to hand power to the Awami League which led to mass uprisings in East Pakistan, leading to the Bangladeshi Liberation War, which in turn caused the Indo-Pakistan war.
1971 Bangladesh Genocide/Bangladesh Liberation War
East and West Pakistan are separated by 1,600 km of Indian territory
Political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination and economic neglect by the politically dominant West Pakistan, led to East Pakistan’s declaration of Independence as an autonomous Bangladesh.
Pakistan launched ‘Operation Searchlight’ to annihilate the Bengali-Muslim majority in East Pakistan and eradicate their “self-determination” ideologies. East Pakistan declared war against Pakistan on March 26, 1971,in which 3 million East-Pakistanis had died (civilians and soldiers) and nearly 10 million had fled to India.
This lead to Indian intervention, as they supported the autonomy of East Pakistan and could not afford to habilitate the surges of refugees.
Pakistan Missile Attacks (Operation Chengiz Khan)
West Pakistan launched pre-emptive air strikes against India on December 3, 1971, formally drawing India into the 9 month old Bangladesh Liberation War.
War Tactics and Strategies
- USSR and India had a “Treaty of friendship & Cooperation”
- US and China aligned with Pakistan
• Pakistan also received arms aid from: US, China, UK, West Germany, France, Iran and Italy
• China never ended up aiding Pakistan by attacking India
- India’s fast action is likened to the Blitzkrieg strategies of Germany.
- Strategy and timing were of utmost importance to the Indian army for success
- Main challenge for India was terrain – East Pakistan was full of rivers, and planning the crossing points was critical to the success of the war.
- Pakistani war planning (Gen. Niazi) was rather “slap-dash” and they had two main strategies: a. linear defense of the East Pakistani border, or b. pull back some forces to defend the central position, Dacca (capital of East Pakistan) but this strategy required him to abandon 90% of the land he was supposed to defend
- Ended up doing some of both – defended border with to deter the incoming Indian army, and also focused some troops to defend 10 major fortress towns.
- Trying to do two strategies at once is not very effective, usually
- Not enough troops to cover all the areas he wanted to cover.
- Most of the fighting done on land
- Indian advance into East Pakistan was considered one of the fastest in History.
- Focused most of the troops on Eastern Front (border between India and East Pakistan/Bangladesh), while a mainly defensive war was fought on the Western front.
- Ultimately, it was up to land forces to hold the positions and advance into East Pakistan
- India relied on tanks and artillery to make a faster advance into East Pakistan
- War began with PAF airstrikes on India
- Although, the effectiveness of Pakistan’s air force declined after that
- Air superiority afterwards was evidently India’s
- Indian Air force played an important role – bombed Governor’s house in Dacca, and aided the capture of several cities in East Pakistan
- Both parties had rather sophisticated air forces
- Indian control of the air lead to faster advances for Indian army on land
- IAF put great effort into the air force, the greatest air effort since WWII.
- In comparison, PAF was considerably outnumbered
- Indian navy’s role in the open seas was of crucial importance
- The isolation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan gave India’s navy an important role
- Successful Naval blockade of East Pakistan from West Pakistan.
- India had to be careful to only target enemy vessels and not unrestricted naval warfare
- Indian navy had to isolate the enemy’s ports and also preserve India’s own sea routes
- Pakistan had a relatively modern navy as well, and presented a threat to India’s coastal cities, shipping and the Indian warships.
- Major naval battle; Indian navy attacked the Pakistani port city of Karachi, ultimately destroying two six warships, and bombarding the port
Social and Economic impacts
- The huge number of refugees from East Pakistan to India created a great economic burden for India
- Strengthened India’s nationalism and pride because of their successes
Resistance and Revolutionary Movements
Mukhti Bahini – Freedom fighters of Bangladesh
- Bengali resistance fighters against the Pakistan Army
- Formed by civilians and parts of the army that started to rebel against oppression against East Pakistan in Operation Searchlight
- India gave intelligence and military assistance to the group
- Were in action using guerilla warfare tactics against West Pakistan even before the war began
- Played a critical role in aiding the Indian Army in their success
- Had great support from the people of East Pakistan, and later many members became leaders in the independent Bangladesh
- Killed many Pakistani soldiers and captured their weapons
General Yahya Khan
- Veteran of WWII and Indo-Pakistan war of 1965
- Became Pakistan’s president in 1969 – although acted as a military dictator in suppressing dissent in East Pakistan
Lt. General A.A.K. Niazi
- In 1971, he was the commander of East Pakistan
- He ultimately surrendered to advancing Indian forces
Gen. Tikka Khan
- Pakistani army’s chief of staff
- Known as the “Butcher of Bengal” for directing the military crackdown (operation searchlight) in East Pakistan
Gen. Sam Manekshaw
- Indian army chief of staff, who was an experienced combat leader and administrator
- Planned the strategies and timing of the lightning attacks, which were very successful.
- Indian prime minister at the time of the war
- Tried to gain international help for the East Pakistani refugees in an effort to prevent the war
- Declared unilateral ceasefire upon fall of Dacca
- Was a skillful leader and strategist
End of the War
- Lasted only 13 days in total
- Indian Army advanced to Dacca, the capital city of East Pakistan, which surrendered.
- Pakistan army killed many of Dacca’s leading citizens before surrendering to Indian Army
- Instrument of surrender documents were signed in Dacca on December 16, 1971
- Sunday Times London, (December 12, 1971): “It took only 12 days for the Indian Army to smash its way to Dacca, and achievement reminiscent of the German blitzkrieg across France in 1940
Would India have to intervene at all if the global community had acknowledged the Bangladesh Genocide?
Effects and Results of the War
For India and Pakistan
India’s military dominance within its respective subcontinent was established after only 13 days of war. It had stripped Pakistan of half its population and one third of its army.
Promptly after the war, the Indian Army set up reception centers in Bangladesh, to rehabilitate Bangladeshi refugees in India and within three months approximately ten million refugees were back in their homes.
India worked hard to restore Bangladesh’s re-establishment of telecommunications and radio links: the engineers rebuilt or repaired broken bridges, jetties, airfields and roads and the Army cleared active minefields and disposed unexploded bombs. Disarming of prisoners and dispatching them to camps in India was another task that kept Indian troops busy.
Pakistan had lost half its population, a significant portion of its economy and suffered setbacks to its geo-political role in South Asia. In respect to its military, Pakistan had lost half its navy, a quarter of its air force and a third of its army. Nationalistic sentiments peaked as the anticipated victory over India had now dissipated - General Yahya Khan was forced to surrender power to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on 20 December, 1971 as the President of Pakistan.
Prisoners of war
Reports from Indian POW’s held in Pakistani camps shared the same opinions: “Almost every one spoke of inhuman treatment, torture, use of physical force and other coercive measures such as solitary confinement and denial of food, medical aid and even minimal facilities for personal hygiene during sustained interrogation.”~ General K.S Bhawja (recipient of Indian POW’s in 1971)
After the surrender of Pakistan army, about 93,000 Pakistani military personnel and civilians were taken to India as Prisoners of war (POWs) – the greatest number of POW’s since WWII
India strictly adhered to the Geneva Convention by providing for the POW’s physical and spiritual nourishment, and providing them with equal rationing as Indian troops
Results of the War
The New Nation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh became an independent nation and immediately sought admission in the United Nations. However despite most voting in its favor, China vetoed their request for entrance as Pakistan was its key ally. Bangladesh also demanded a tribunal for 195 Pakistani war criminals but in the ‘Simla Agreement of 1972’, India had pardoned the accused.
Results of the War
Agreements & Treaties
Instrument of Surrender (1971)
a written agreement that enabled the surrender of the Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command in the Bangladesh Liberation War that took place at the Ramna Race Course in Dacca on 16 December, 1971. This treaty marked the end of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and the creation of Bangladesh.
Simla Agreement of 1972
peace treaty signed between Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the President of Pakistan, and Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India on July 2, 1972 in Simla, Himachal Pradesh. This agreement was aimed at working for “the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship” and to “initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace” (excerpts from the Simla Agreement)
The Delhi Agreement of 1973
trilateral agreement (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) and bilateral treaty signed between India and Pakistan on April 9th, 1973, following the Simla Agreement. The terms of the agreement resulted in the repatriation of the 93,000 Pakistani POW’s and the population transfer of thousands of non-Bengali and Urdu-speaking Biharis from India and Bangladesh, to Pakistan [As Bangladesh was now a Bengali nation]
Indo-Bangladeshi Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Peace (March 19, 1972)
Treaty between India and Bangladesh (East Pakistan) made them allies. This treaty solidified India’s support for Bangladesh’ secessionist efforts against Pakistan.
Do you think India is justified taking so many POW's? Is Pakistan justified in mistreating them?
Was Indian support for the Mukhti Bahini (Bangladeshi guerilla soldiers) justified? Do you perceive it to be a defensive or offensive tactic against Pakistan?
As a foreign government, is it justified to ignore humanitarian crisis if it conflicts with national alliances?