New Delhi: The nation on Monday (December 16) celebrates Vijay Diwas to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971. It was on this day in 1971 that the chief of the Pakistani forces, General AA Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops, surrendered unconditionally before the Indian forces. This historic incident paved the way for the creation of Bangladesh.
Rich tributes are paid to the martyrs who laid down their lives during the India -Pakistan war of 1971.
The Indo-Pak war took place as the Indian government had decided to go against Pakistan to save Bengali Muslims and Hindus on December 3, 1971. The war fought between India and Pakistan lasted for merely 13 days, and the Pak army surrendered before Indian forces. It was the Indian Army’s one of the biggest victories ever made against Pakistan.
This battle is also considered to be one of the most violent wars of the 20th century, as it witnessed large-scale atrocities. The year also saw the exodus of as many as 10 million refugees and the killing of 3 million people by the Pakistani forces.
Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, who was heading the Pakistan Armed Forces, signed the Instrument of Surrender on December 16, 1971. The surrender document was a written accord that enabled the surrender of the Pakistan Eastern Command in the Bangladesh Liberation War, marking the end of Indo-Pak war of 1971.
Cherishing the valour of Indian soldiers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the history created by Indian Armed Forces will remain inscribed in golden letters. He tweeted, "I bow in reverence to the bravery, courage and valour of Indian soldiers. The history that was made by our Armed Forces in 1971 war will remain inscribed in golden letters."
Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh paid tribute on the occasion of Vijay Diwas at the National War Memorial here on Monday.
Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, Shripad Naik also paid his respects. "On the occasion of Vijay Diwas, honoured to pay my tribute to the valiant soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the armed forces who made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty towards the motherland. I salute all the Martyrs. Jai Hind," Naik tweeted.
In Kolkata also, a wreath-laying ceremony took place at ‘Vijay Smarak’ at Fort William the Head Quarters of Eastern Command to mark the day. Notably, the Eastern Command was at the forefront of the war.