16th December happens to be an important day for our Nation. It was on 16th December 1971 that the instrument of surrender was signed by the Unified Commander of Pakistan Armed Force’s Eastern Military High Command. The then Prime Minister of India Shrimati Indira Gandhi asked the Chief of the army staff General Manekshaw to go to Dhaka and sign the instrument. However the General said that the honor should go to his Army commander in the east, Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora.
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was the direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to have been Operation Chengiz Khan, when Pakistan launched pre-emptive air strikes on 11 Indian airbases on 3 December 1971, leading to India’s entry into the war of independence in East Pakistan on the side of Bangladeshi nationalist forces, and the commencement of hostilities with West Pakistan. (Source Wikipedia)
It was one of the shortest wars between two countries. it lasted only 13 days. Indian Bangladeshi and international sources consider that Lt. General Jagjit Singh Aurora had meticulously planned the operation.
At the outbreak of the war on 3 December 1971, as the GOC-in-C of the Eastern Command, Aurora oversaw the Indian ground forces into battle in East Pakistan. In a meticulously planned operation, forces under Aurora’s command formed numerous small combat teams and launched a four-front attack with the strategy of confronting and defeating the Pakistani forces on selected fronts, while bypassing Pakistani forces on others. In under two weeks, his forces advanced from the Indian border to capture Dhaka, the capital of East Pakistan. (Source Wikipedia)
The Unified Commander of Pakistan Armed Forces’s Eastern Military High Command, Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi was forced to sign an unconditional Instrument of Surrender. The photograph of Niazi and Aurora at the signing of the Instruments of Surrender became an iconic image of the war, with The Guardian describing the scene as “the glum Pakistani officer bowed over his signature. The turbaned figure beside him, showing not a scrap of elation”. The 90,000 Pakistani troops under Niazi’s command surrendered to General Aurora as prisoners of war. Pakistan lost almost 57,000 square miles (150,000 km2) of its territory and 70 million of its people to the newly formed nation of Bangladesh. (Source Wikipedia)
Many of our officers and soldiers lost their lives. On this day we pay our tribute to all of them.
Thanks for reading.