Surrender of Pakistan Army – Liberation War of Bangladesh

On December 16, 1971, Lt Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, the Chief Martial Law Administrator of East Pakistan and Commander of Pakistan Army forces located in East Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender. Over 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to the Indian forces and Bangladesh Liberation forces making it the largest surrender since World War II.

The war and its result had different impacts on the three nations involved: The victory defined India's much broader role in foreign politics. Many countries in the world, including the United States, realised that the balance of power had shifted to India in South Asia. Bangladesh became an independent country and Pakistan was shattered economically and politically. India and Bangladesh embarked on a strong bond of friendship and mutual respect by this action.

The Liberation War of Bangladesh: Role of the Army

Liberation War of Bangladesh is indeed a unique episode of her history. During the Liberation War, the Bengali Army formed the Mukti Fouz and played innumerable role as the nucleus of Mukti Bahini. The Bengali army conducted operations in their respective domains against the Pakistani forces from March 26, 1971. On 4 April 1971, they formed Mukti Fouz under the command of M A G Osmani without any central political direction. After forming Government-in-Exile, Bangladesh army fought under 7 regional commands till 11 July. Then Bangladesh Army fought for the country under 11 sectors from July to December 16 according to “ Teliapara Strategy”.

The Liberation War of Bangladesh: Role of the Army


The fighting tactics were mostly in the form of commando operations such as ambushes, demolitions and liquidation of collaborators. The “Teliapara Strategy” consisted of three important fighting tactics

1) Reliance on guerrilla with a view to liquidating the collaborators of the Pakistan army.

2) Destroying the communication links to immobilize the enemy forces.

3) Engaging the “hit and run” operations against the enemy supply lines to make them anxious and scared.



Faced with insurmountable losses, the Pakistani military capitulated in less than a fortnight and psychological panic spread in the Eastern Command’s military leadership.

Subsequently, the Indian Army encircled Dacca and issued an ultimatum to surrender in “30-minutes” time window on 16 December 1971.



The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the Bangladesh Liberation War in East Pakistan from 3 December 1971 to the fall of Dacca(Dhaka) on 16 December 1971.The war began with “Operation Chengiz Khan’s” preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air stations,which led to the commencement of hostilities with Pakistan and Indian entry into the war for independence in East Pakistan on the side of “Mukti Bahini”.13 days after the Indo-Pakistan War started,the Eastern Command of the Pakistan army signed the “Instrument of Surrender” on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka, marking the formation of East Pakistan as the new nation of Bangladesh.



Kilo Flight is the code name for the Mukti Bahini combat aviation formation during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. It consisted of one DHC-3 Otter plane and one Alouette III helicopter, both carrying rocket pods and machine guns for launching hit-and-run attacks on Pakistani targets. The aircraft were supplied by Indian Authorities and the formation was led by Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud. this unit was the first to launch airstrikes on Pakistani targets in East Pakistan on December 4, 1971, by attacking oil depots at Narayanganj and Chittagong.



The Battle of Gazipur was a military engagement on 4 and 5 December 1971, during the Bangladesh liberation war. It took place at the Gazipur Tea Estate near Kulaura, in the Sylhet District of what was then East Pakistan. The advancing Mitro Bahini (comprising Mukti Bahini and Indian Army) attacked the 22 Baluch Regiment of the Pakistan Army. This battle was a prelude to the Battle of Sylhet.



Under the liberation war sector no 8, fighters coming from all strata of life fought heroically under their commander Major MA Manzur in the frontline and freed the district from the clutches of the Pakistan occupation army without any resistance on December 6. India acknowledges Bangladesh as a free and sovereign state. Muktibahini take firm positions at Laksham, Akhaura, Chouddagram and Hili.


The Battle of Sylhet was a major battle fought between the advancing Mitro  Bahini and the Pakistani defences at Sylhet during the Bangladesh Liberation War.On 7th December the Pakistanis had evacuated the civilian population from Sylhet and fortified the town.From 9th December onwards the Sylhet garrison of two brigades strength remained surrounded and isolated from the rest of the sector until it finally surrounded on 17th December.



Meghna Heli Bridge, codenamed Operation Cactus Lilly, was an aerial operation of the Indian Air Force during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, commencing India's involvement in Bangladesh Liberation War.It took place on 9 December, when the Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted the IV Corps of the Indian Army and Mukti Bahini fighters from Brahmanbaria to Raipura in Narsingdi over the River Meghna, bypassing the destroyed Meghna Bridge and Pakistani defences in Ashuganj.



The Tangail Airdrop was a successful battalion-size Para Commandos (India) operation mounted on 11 December 1971 by the 2nd Battalion (Special Operations) of the Indian Army's Parachute Regiment during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 for the liberation of Bangladesh. The main objective of the operation was the capture of Poongli Bridge on the Jamuna River which would cut off the Pakistani 93rd Brigade which was retreating from Mymensingh in the north to defend the capital of East Pakistan, Dacca, and its approaches.


In 1971, the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators, most notably the extreme right wing Islamist militia group Al-Badr, engaged in the systematic execution of Bengali pro-liberation intellectuals during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, a war crime. Intellectuals were killed throughout the entire duration of the war. 14 December is commemorated in Bangladesh as Martyred Intellectuals Day.


Role of Mukti Bahini in Liberation War of Bangladesh

The Bangladeshi Declaration of Independence was proclaimed from Chittagong by members of the Mukti Bahini—the national liberation army formed by Bengali military, paramilitary and civilians. The East Bengal Regiment and the East Pakistan Rifles played a crucial role in the resistance. Led by General M. A. G. Osmani and eleven sector commanders, the Bangladesh Forces waged a mass guerilla war against the Pakistani military. They liberated numerous towns and cities in the initial months of the conflict.

Role of Mukti Bahini in Liberation War of Bangladesh

Conditons Proposed by Niaz to United State Consul General for Surrender

Cease fire and stop all hostilities immediately in East Pakistan.

Hand over peacefully the administration of East Pakistan as arranged by the UN.

The UN should ensure:

1) Safety and security of all Armed Forces personnel of both military and para-military forces of Pakistan pending their return to West Pakistan.

2) Safety of all West Pakistan, civilians and civil servants, pending their return to west Pakistan.

3) Safety of non-locals settled in east Pakistan since 1947.

4) Guarantee of no reprisal against those who helped and served the government and the cause of Pakistan since 1947.


Surrender of Pakistan Eastern Army to East Pakistan

Officially, the Instrument of Surrender of Pakistan Eastern Command stationed in East Pakistan, was signed between the Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, the GOC-in-C of Indian Eastern Command and Lieutenant-General A.A.K. Niazi, the Commander of the Pakistan Eastern Command, at the Ramna Race Course in Dacca on 16 December 1971. As the surrender was accepted silently by Lieutenant-General Aurora, the surrounding crowds on the race course started shouting anti-Pakistan slogans.

Surrender of Pakistan Eastern Army to East Pakistan


December 16,1971 the day when Pakistan’s armed forces laid down their arms at a surrender ceremony in Dhaka before the joint command of the Indian armed forces and Bangladesh’s Mukti Bahini, was the finest hour in both India and Bangladesh’s military histories. The Pakistani Instrument of Surrender was a written agreement that enabled the surrender of 93000 soldiers of the Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command on 16 December 1971, thereby ending the Bangladesh Liberation War and the creation of the nation of Bangladesh. The day is commemorated as Victory Day, a national holiday in Bangladesh

VICTORY DAY of Bangladesh

Liberated Bangladesh - Cheers of Publics


Reaction to the defeat and dismemberment of half the nation was a shocking loss to top military and civilians alike. Few had expected that they would lose the formal war in under a fortnight, and there was also unsettlement over what was perceived as a meek surrender of the army in East Pakistan. Yahya Khan's dictatorship collapsed and gave way to Bhutto, who took the opportunity to rise to power. General Niazi, who surrendered along with 93,000 troops, was viewed with suspicion and contempt upon his return to Pakistan. He was shunned and branded a traitor.

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