To breathe in a free land, millions of Muslims sacrificed their lives in the struggle for an independent Pakistan. The birth which entails sacrifices in its very roots, Pakistan is a nation having men of valor and courage with a sense of selflessness towards the country. The passion to sacrifice for the motherland is never scarce. Despite India’s continued revisionist policies, currently coupled with Hindutva right-wing extremism, Pakistan Armed Forces and its men have always remained steadfast in their duty towards the safety and security of the country.
The eastern front of 1971 is replete with anecdotes and stories of such sacrifices and courage in the battlefield that defies all odds. The men in khaki, despite being heavily outnumbered, and cornered from all directions, displayed great feats of courage. The battles fought during the war are living examples in the annals of history, where Pakistan Armed Forces turned the tides of war in their favor, inflicting monumental losses to the enemy. The stories of martyrs who gave their life for united Pakistan are written with blood in the history of the country.
Despite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s confession to the Indian intervention in Bangladesh in 1971 and the support to Mukti Bahini against Pakistan Armed Forces, the global narrative of alleged genocide of Bengalis, the figure of 3 million killed and the number of Pakistan forces being 93,000 still float as gross myths. With no more than 45,000 armed personnel, Pakistan Army was heavily outnumbered by the Indian forces. The mass killings and massacres of pro-Pakistani factions were carried out by Mukti Bahini forces which are hardly highlighted. It is high time that the facts be established.
The forces of Mukti Bahini were openly trained, equipped and supported by India. This military support commenced well before the actual intervention, where Mukti Bahini forces were carrying out arson and killings. India also laid the foundation of cross-border terrorism in the subcontinent as early as 1968 through its Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). As early as in May 1971, a structured policy to provide training facilities, logistics, and operational support to Mukti Bahini was formulated by Indian Army’s Eastern Command. Guerilla bases were created inside Bangladesh and each was under a Bengali politician who was responsible for conducting psychological warfare to lower the morale of Pakistani forces and incite the local populace.
Notwithstanding these odds and least favorable circumstances on its side, the strength, mental fortitude and heroism shown by Pakistan Armed Forces was commendable. The boldness of our men to support the nation can be witnessed from the unthinkable conditions of the time–a fight that was loaded with inadequate assets and an inconsistent supply line. At places, the single small units had to take on isolated conflicts despite having no backup or supply lines, dwarfed and surrounded by the adversary, yet nothing could waiver their purpose or confidence and they kept on fighting, refusing to leave their positions. They fought with honor, outright responsibility, and faithfulness till the very end.
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