On 3rd December 1971, Pakistan launched Operation Chengiz Khan, bombing 11 Indian airfields by Pakistani Air force. The areas that were affected were Pathankot, Amritsar, Ambala, Agra, Srinagar, Jodhpur, etc. At that time PM Indira Gandhi was on the prime minister’s seat, she addressed the nation about the currently occurred event and sends a message that a war was struck against India. She says,” I’m speaking during a period of threat, hours ago on 3rd December, Pakistan initiated an attack on us”. The Indian Air Force retaliates and it marks the beginning of the War of 1971 and gives birth to a new nation Bangladesh.
This story starts of, way before this day the war was initiated. The story begins before the British Raj when the Indian subcontinent was present day’s India, Pakistan. Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Many small kingdoms resided in the country with kings and queens who had their own languages, cultures and traditions. The area of Bengal was ruled by Mughal rulers only then from 1757 to 1947 the rule of the British empire was there. Later there was partition of India and Pakistan where over 1 million people become refugees overnight. Heavy migration took place where Punjabi and Bengali people were separated a big chunk of Punjab went to West Pakistan and Bengal went to East Pakistan the main reason for partition was that the Islamic community wanted a separate nation to themselves where they could exercise their rights but somehow that concept didn’t work in for people living in East Pakistan because the majority population was of Bengalis and the first rule that was passed by the independent nation was their state language would be Urdu. People of East Pakistan were not given the opportunity to represent politically. Then most of the expenditure was benefitted to West Pakistan, 75% of the National Budget was sent on West Pakistan even though 62% of the revenue income came from East Pakistan. The west saw more development than east. Seeing all the injustice happening in East Pakistan a six-point demand for economic development was raised by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman but they were rejected.
In 1970, when Sheikh Mujibur Rehman won the elections by majority but not given under oath for more than a year so, he decided to give a speech on 7 March 1971 about making East Pakistan a separate independent country of its own. After that day on 25 March 1971 he was arrested by the Pakistani army troops and kept him in West Pakistan. Soon after his arrest the people of East Pakistan were tortured 30 lakh people were assassinated and 4 lakh women were raped, in regards to protest against the arrest of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman a revolutionary group was formed named ‘Mukti Bahini’. Due to the increase in tortures that by April 1971, 1 million people took refuse in India. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister and knew that until there is peace in East Pakistan the refugees would not return back to their state, the only way of peace was to enter and kill the troops. So for this she instructed General Field Marshall Sam Maneckshah that they should prepare for attack immediately on East Pakistan but the General refused as it the month of April, the monsoon month where the east is completely flooded, the General told the Prime Minister that they will have to wait till November until then they will train their army to fight in that area, the Mukti Bahini group can also be trained and India and Russia signed a treaty during this period of time.
The ground was set and ready for action and the plan was that they would be offensive on the east and defensive on the west side. India’s main was not start a war with Pakistan but save the people of East Pakistan/ Bangladesh. India was just waiting for the right time when on 3rd December 1971 Pakistan attacked India. The attack was so awful that not one soldier of India was killed. After this attack India was all set to attack but during this Pakistan got this information that India has most of their forces located near East Pakistan / Bangladesh and only 120 soldiers on the west at Longewala, Rajisthan so the Pakistani army thought if they kill those 120 soldiers by night because at night the Indian fighter jets the Hunter as they cannot aim and shoot in the dark. The Pakistani troops entered Longewala with an army of 2800 and tanks. At time Major Kuldeep Singh was in charge of the Indian troops and Brigadier Tarikh Mir was in charge of the Pakistani troops. India was informed that Pakistani troops were coming to attack with heavy infantry and forces and that they should surrender. He didn’t surrender all they had was 120 soldiers, no tanks and 3 mines so they created a strategy to hold the oncoming army they placed the 3 mines on the forefront of the dessert and then laid a row of tiffin boxes that looked like mines the were made of steel and contained rocks inside them so when the Pakistani army approached the area the first faced the real mines that blew up their tanks and soldiers one after the other after the 3 explosions the Pakistani army stepped back and took a scan of the area to search for more mines they spotted the tiffin – mines and called for engineers to remove the mines, India needed time till dawn for the Air Force to arrive, the Pakistani army took 6 hours to remove all the tiffin – mines this took till 3 in the morning. Later after clearing the field from tiffin – mines they realized that were not real but fake so they went ahead with full force to launch attack but till then Major Kuldeep Singh made a long pit and assigned soldiers in a 2km radius so that the firing comes from different sides but this counter defence the Pakistani army thought they had got wrong intel. India attacked with all their ammunition there was a lot of destruction of property and infantry of the Pakistani army by night. When the sun rose the Hunter jets came in and completed the task. The Pakistani army left their tanks and dead bodies of soldiers on the field and left, the tank now stands in a museum in Rajasthan and the dead bodies of soldiers were eaten by vultures.
After this army attack on 4th December, on 5th December the Indian Navy launched an attack on Karachi dock and completely destroyed it. There was major destruction and the fires were burning many days, the people of Pakistan took refuge in Gwadar dock. After this attack the Pakistani forces decided to retaliate and targeted INS Vikrant. To destroy INS Vikrant, they sent PNS Ghazi. Inside East Pakistan the people of Mukti Bahini were killing the Pakistani army men along with them they had help from the Indian army and air force as well, the only help left for the Pakistani troops was from the Pakistani navy but that also was cut off from them once INS Vikrant had destroyed Chittagong Dock, leaving no way for the Pakistani army men to escape. INS Vikrant had caused a lot of loss to the Pakistani forces, so to break the backbone of India, Pakistan sent PNS Ghazi to destroy INS. PNS Ghazi was a submarine known as a silent killer. It was a submarine bought from America that was powerful. To save INS Vikrant, they diverted PNS Ghazi into coming to Vishakhapatnam, where INS Rajput was. For that, they created a diversion by telling the officers on INS Vikrant to tell their family members that they were halting at Vishakhapatnam port for ten days and made arrangements for the same at the port. This news spread like fire in the jungle, and the information was known to everyone in Pakistan. After the news PNS Ghazi turned towards the port in order to kill INS Vikrant, INS Rajput was waiting for PNS to come once the submarine was in their radar and before the PNS attacked INS Rajput attacked and finished off PNS Ghazi.
Pakistan was in grave shock after the destruction of PNS Ghazi. After continuous defeat Pakistan contacted America and this issue was raised in the UN at the Security Council and appealed that India ceases fire but this appeal was vetoed by Russia at that time India and Russia had signed a treaty and on one side. When there was no hope for Pakistan they again approached America for help and they launched their most dangerous naval weapon, 7th Fleet was deployed to attack Vikrant. Indira Gandhi approached to the Russian government for help and they deployed their ship with heavy ammunition and also instructed their Air force in Yemen to be deployed to protect India. On the other side along with America Britain also sent their Eagle ship for attack. Both the side were not ready to budge both the ships of Russia and USA carried heavy ammunition. Russia had all their ships raised on the waters so they could be spotted by satellites after seeing the army of ships from Russia, Britain announced to USA, ‘Too Late’. Russia had supported India strongly in the whole war.
In Dhaka, India tried to create mental pressure on Pakistan. Indian army created an air drop mission where they would drop puppets from the sky not real soldiers and this information was only known to the Indian army, this news of an air drops mission spread all over the news, the air force dropped a bomb on the Governor’s house but he was not at home at that time after that the Governor AH Malik resigned from his position.
Lieutenant general Nirmal Jeet Singh Aurora gave Pakistan’s Lieutenant general Niazi 30 minutes to surrender or else they will attack. On 16th December 1971, war ended with the surrender of General Niazi followed by the signing of a pact. 93,000 soldiers surrendered and were put in jail and were later released.
War had ended and now Bangladesh was an independent country. Mujibur Rehman was released from Pakistan and now at present his daughter Sheikh Hasina is the prime minister of Bangladesh.
Currently, Bangladesh is India’s 6th largest trade partner. India provides duty free quota free access to Bangladesh on all tariff lines except alcohol and tobacco. Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link is going to be the first rail route between Northeast India and Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh have been in progress on the Energy source corporation, signing the FOU on corporation in the Hydrocarbon Sector, including the signing of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project in 2018. In Tourism, Bangladesh is recorded for having the largest share of foreign tourist arrives in India in 2020 including thousands of people coming for medical treatment. Although, there are some issues like illegal migration, Teesta River Water Dispute, Drug Smuggling & Trafficking and Growing Chinese influences.