Politico-Military Strategy of the Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971

Col Vivek Chadha (Retd) is a Senior Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • November 2021
    Book Review

    The Indian subcontinent marked 50 years of the 1971 Indo-Pak War or the Bangladesh liberation war: on 16 December 2021. While this event was commemorated in India and Bangladesh, it is a time for introspection for Pakistan.

    It is not often that geographical boundaries are redrawn to create countries that emerge successful in less than half a century of their existence. It is all the more relevant when their success arguably outpaces that of the country from which they were carved out. Remarkably, Bangladesh has made significant strides in almost every dimension of the human resource index in relation to Pakistan. This becomes striking, since the very inception of the combined state in 1947 was based on the religious identity of the Eastern and Western parts of the country. At least that was the idea that became the rallying point for the demand for a religion-based Pakistan. And a mere 24 years later, this idea was systematically dismantled in an unequal conflict by one of the worst genocides by the army of the nation-state on the one hand, and the victims of the very same country on the other. Given the fact that millions of refugees poured in from across the border, India entered this conflict as a liberating force. These events were accompanied by a number of international players manoeuvring for space to ensure that their geopolitical ends could be successfully achieved.