Bangladesh war

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Bangladesh war
Bangladesh 1971 Liberation.jpg
date March 26 - December 17, 1971
place East Pakistan
output India and Bangladesh defeat West Pakistan
Parties to the conflict

East PakistanEast Pakistan Bangladesh India (from December 3, 1971)

PakistanPakistan Pakistan


East PakistanEast Pakistan MAG Osmani KM Shafiullah Khaled Mosharraf Ziaur Rahman Jagjit Singh Aurora Sam Manekshaw Sagat Singh J. FR Jacob
East PakistanEast Pakistan
East PakistanEast Pakistan
East PakistanEast Pakistan

PakistanPakistan Amir Abdullah Niazi Tikka Khan Mohammad Shariff Enamul Huq

300,000 to 3 million dead
Location of West and East Pakistan within Asia (1971)

The Bangladesh War was a war between Pakistan (then West Pakistan) and Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) from March 25, 1971 to December 16, 1971, in which India also intervened on the side of East Pakistan ( Third Indo-Pakistani War ). The Pakistani army and allied militias committed genocide in Bangladesh to suppress the independence movement . The war ended with a victory for East Pakistan and its recognition as an independent state of Bangladesh.


According to the Mountbatten Plan , the British-Indian colonial empire was divided up in 1947 and granted independence, whereby two states emerged with the predominantly secular India and the Muslim Pakistan. Pakistan itself consisted of two parts (East and West Pakistan) which, separated by India, were geographically far apart. Since West Pakistan claimed the leadership of the two parts of the country, conflicts with East Pakistan soon arose due to cultural, economic and political differences. East Pakistani ( Bengal ) were, although they made up about half of the total population, in the top leadership of the state and especially in the army leadership compared to their share in the total population.

In 1948, Muhammad Ali Jinnah , the first Governor General of Pakistan, announced in Dhaka that " Urdu , and Urdu only" would be introduced as the state language in both parts of Pakistan. As a reaction to this, the " Movement for the Bengali Language " evoked in East Pakistan , which finally succeeded in ensuring that two official languages, Urdu and Bengali, were established in the Pakistani constitution in 1956 . Despite this, the massive economic and political disadvantage in East Pakistan persisted.

When, due to the dissatisfaction in East Pakistan after the devastating cyclone in November 1970 , the opposition East Pakistani Awami League won the Pakistani national elections in December 1970 and March 1971 , the central military government in West Pakistan saw the continued existence of its supremacy and the unity of Pakistan threatened. It refused to recognize the victory of the Awami League and to hand over the business of government to it, which intensified the already existing secessionist aspirations of East Pakistan. When the military government of West Pakistan suspended the constituent assembly in March 1971 , the Awami League called for civil disobedience . The general strike that followed led to a collapse of public order across East Pakistan.

Course of the war and effects

On March 25, 1971, the West Pakistani military and government head Yahya Khan broke off all negotiations with the Awami League, left East Pakistan and immediately gave orders to the Pakistani units stationed in East Pakistan . The Pakistani units managed to arrest Mujibur Rahman , the leader of the Awami League , on March 26, but the rest of the leadership of the Awami League proclaimed the independent state of "Bangladesh" on the same day in Indian exile. The existence of this state, however, depended entirely on the military success of the guerrilla movement . The name of the resistance army was Mukti Bahini , which embarked on a guerrilla war against the Pakistanis.

Bangladesh received support above all from India, which trained the East Pakistani guerrillas and closed the borders to West Pakistani supplies. When the flow of refugees swelled to up to 10 million people, India finally decided to intervene directly. From June 1971 Indian paramilitaries ( Border Security Force ) penetrated deeper into East Pakistani territory to support the guerrillas. This led to a further escalation of the conflict. On December 3, 1971, Pakistan bombed Indian targets with its air force . This also resulted in open fighting on the Indian-West Pakistani border. Pakistan sank an Indian warship, the INS Khukri , with its submarine PNS Hangor , the first sinking of an enemy ship by a submarine since World War II .

India had a strategic interest in an independent Bangladesh, as this would prevent a two-front situation in the east and west of India in potential further wars with Pakistan.

The war ended in East Pakistan on December 16, 1971 with the surrender of the West Pakistani units and in West Pakistan on December 17 with an armistice with India. The Pakistani military government had to resign as a result of the defeat, as did Prime Minister Nurul Amin, who had been appointed two weeks earlier .

War crimes

The death toll is estimated at at least 300,000 up to 3 million. There were massive rape of Bengali women and there were cases of forced prostitution . The number of women raped is estimated at up to 200,000. There were genocidal massacres of parts of the civilian population by the Pakistani army . Even decades later, mass graves were discovered again and again . The Pakistani army was supported by Bengali collaborators who were mainly recruited from the Islamist community of the Jamaat-e-Islami . These Islamists wanted to keep the supposedly "Islamic State" Pakistan and fought the Bengali autonomy movement, which was ideologically predominantly secular and socialist . The pro-Pakistani militias included al Badr ( Arabic البدر, "The full moon") and al Shams ( Arabic الشمس, "The sun") and the so-called Razakars ( Urdu رضاکار, "Volunteers"). All three became notorious as death squads to terrorize the civilian population, responsible for numerous murders, kidnappings, torture and rape.

2013 was Delwar Hossain Sayeedi for mass murder , rape , arson , looting and religious persecution sentenced to death . Abdul Quader Molla was previously sentenced to life imprisonment, but the Supreme Court later tightened the sentence due to mass protests to the death penalty, which was carried out on December 12, 2013.

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed , who were also convicted in 2013, were hanged on November 22, 2015 in the central prison of the capital Dhaka .

See also


Web links

  • Jens-Peter Franke: Bangladesh War. Working Group on Research into the Causes of War (AKUF) at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg , July 14, 2004, archived from the original on June 10, 2007 ; Retrieved December 3, 2016 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Preamble to the Constitution of India on the India Code website, accessed December 3, 2016.
    Tarun Arora: Secularism under the Constitutional Framework of India . Legal Service, ISBN 978-81-928510-0-6 , accessed December 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Bashir Al Helal: Language Movement . ( Memento of March 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Banglapedia - the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh , as of March 1, 2015, accessed on December 3, 2016 (English).
  3. Debasish Roy Chowdhury: 'Indians are bastards anyway' . Asia Times Online , June 23, 2005, accessed December 3, 2016.
  4. Liz Trotta: Bangladesh Genocide 1971 - Rape Victims Interview. National Broadcasting Company , February 20, 1972, accessed December 3, 2016 (video on YouTube, 3:51 minutes).
  5. Dhaka University Massacre: Video of Pakistani soldiers executing students, professors and workers at Dhaka University on March 26, 1971. Bangladesh Genocide Archive, accessed on December 3, 2016 (English; video, 2:25 minutes).
    Video of Pakistani soldiers executing students, professors and workers at Dhaka University on March 26, 1971. National Broadcasting Company , January 7, 1972, archived from the original on January 10, 2012 ; accessed on December 3, 2016 .
  6. Mass grave found in Bangladesh . DPA article, August 7, 1999 in The Tribune (Chandigarh) , August 8, 1999, accessed December 3, 2016.
  7. Bangladesh Jamaat leader sentenced to death . , March 2, 2013, accessed December 3, 2016.
    Death penalty: Bangladesh hangs the "butcher of Mirpur" . Spiegel Online , December 12, 2013, accessed December 3, 2016.
  8. Two opposition politicians executed in Bangladesh. Euronews , November 22, 2015, accessed December 3, 2016.