ITANAGAR, 15 Dec: On the occasion of Vijay Divas, which commemorates the victory of the Indian armed forces over the Pakistan Army in 1971, in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Governor BD Mishra saluted the bravery, courage and valour of the Indian soldiers.
The governor, who participated in the war, said that the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war was thrust on India when Pakistan bombarded 11 of Indian airfields on 3 December, 1971.
“Pakistan’s this attack on India was preceded by unprecedented tyranny and genocide on the local population of the erstwhile East Pakistan. This had resulted in mass exodus of the suffering Bengali population to India, which posed a great social-economic strain and threat to Indian security and unity. These challenges compelled India to defend herself against the Pakistani onslaught and save the nation from extremely unfavourable fallouts. It was under these circumstances that India was forced to fight this war, which lasted for 13 days,” the governor said in a message.
Mishra recalled that, on 16 December, 1971, under the leadership of field marshal Manekshaw, Indian armed forces fought and defeated the Pakistani armed forces in East Pakistan. The entire Pakistan Army surrendered en bloc. General AA Khan Niazi, the commander of the Pakistani forces, laid down arms along with his 93,000 troops before the Indian Army.
“This was an unprecedented forced surrender of such a large number of troops on a single day in any war fought in the annals of the world military history,” the governor said, and expressed hope that the victory of the Indian Army would continue to inspire the youths of India and promote national pride among the countrymen.
“On this glorious day, I join the people of Arunachal Pradesh and the nation in paying our rich tribute to Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 Indo-Pak war in fulfilling the mission of the nation and defeating the enemy in his land,” the governor said in his message. (Raj Bhavan)