Bangladesh today remembered the 1971 war that marked the culmination of its freedom movement from Pakistan and paid rich tributes to the Indian Army’s war heroes and its own freedom fighters. December 16 marks the end of the 13-day war that led to the liberation of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh as an independent nation. The day is celebrated in India as Vijay Diwas.
In a Facebook post, the Bangladesh government said: “We remember those who fought for us. We remember those who came to our aid at the darkest hour of our nation. In particular, we remember the thousands of Indian soldiers who stepped forward at the call of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to fight alongside our Muktibahini…”.
The post recalled the heroes of the war — General Jagjeet Singh Arora and General M A G Osmani, General JFR Jacob, General Uban and “the rest of the General Staff, Commanding Officers, Officers and Men, doctors and nurses”.
We remember. We remember those who fought for us. We remember those who came to our aid at the darkest hour of our…
Posted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh on Tuesday, 15 December 2020
“The debt of blood can not be paid back with anything but love and respect,” the post read.
On December 16, 1971, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, the chief of the Pakistani forces, surrendered to the Indian Army and the Mukti Bahini in Dhaka with 93,000 troops.
The surrender had followed Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s famous challenge three days before. “You surrender or we wipe you out”was the message sent to Pakistan by the Field Marshal.
This morning, on the 50th anniversary of Vijay Diwas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid rich tributes to the war heroes. PM Modi lit a “Swarnim Vijay Mashaal” — a victory torch – – at the eternal flame of the National War Memorial in Delhi.
In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kovind said: “On Vijay Diwas, let us recall the valour of our soldiers that affirmed our nation’s unwavering commitment to defend our sovereignty and protect human dignity. Their martyrdom in 1971 war had shown unparalleled grit and prowess of our forces. The nation is eternally indebted to them.”
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to the soldiers martyred in the 1971 war, saying their courage and valour continues to inspire every Indian.