New Delhi: Bangladesh government has decided to commemorate contributions of the Indian Army in 1971 Liberation War by organizing programs in eight different locations in India.
Bangladesh Minister for 'Liberation war' AKM Mozammel Haque told the media that they were grateful to the Indian soldiers fighting for the liberation of their country and that their government had decided to organize functions in eight places in India to honour them.
The minister further added that the Indian government had been intimated about the decision and the program would be finalized in consultation with the appropriate authority.
Rise of Bengali nationalists and 1971 genocide sparked an armed conflict in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
The war began when West Pakistan (now Pakistan) launched operation Searchlight against the people of East Pakistan in March 1971. The Pakistani army pursued systematic elimination of nationalist Bengali civilians, students, intelligentsia, religious minorities and armed personnel. The Pakistan Army created radical religious militias to assist it during raids on the local populace. This lead to mass murder, deportation and genocide in Bangladesh.
Approximately 10 million Bengali refugees fled to India, while 30 million were internally displaced.
In wake of the existing conditions, PM Indira Gandhi concluded that instead of taking in millions of refugees, it was economical to go to war against Pakistan. As a result, Indian government decided to support the creation of a separate state for ethnic Bengalis by supporting the Mukti Bahini, the national liberation army formed by Bengali military and civilians. Consequently, the Mukti Bahini succeeded in harassing Pakistani military in East Pakistan, creating conditions conducive for a full-scale Indian military intervention in early December.
Wary of Indian involvement, Pakistan Air Force launched a pre-emptive strike on Indian Air Force bases in December 1971. The strike was seen by India as an open act of unprovoked aggression and thus led to the official start of the Indo-Pak War. Supported by Indian Army Bengali Mukti Bahini quickly overran East Pakistan. Unable to defend Dakha, the Pakistani Army surrendered on 16 December 1971.