The Invisible Actor in the making of Bangladesh

The year was 1968. India had lost a war to China in 1962 and the war with Pakistan in 1965 had ended in a stalemate. Neutralists might claim that India had the upper hand in 1965 and it might have been a “politico-strategic” victory for India but officially it was militarily inconclusive. India and Pakistan had found friends in Soviet Union and China respectively after the war.

India realised its mistakes during the war, it had made lot of miscalculations during the war. Indian military intelligence had given no warning of the impending Pakistan invasion. The Indian Army failed to recognise the presence of heavy Pakistani artillery and armaments and suffered significant losses as a result.India knew that the problem of Pakistan had to be taken very seriously.

“CONDITIONS IN EAST PAKISTAN”

Meanwhile in East Pakistan(Bangladesh), conflicts between Bengali culture and the culture of West Pakistan had become quite frequent.There were Bengal riots in 1964, and mass protests in 1969 had led to the fall of the government and general elections were announced. Many Bengali Hindus started fleeing to India as Indian Borders were open which caused a huge burden on the already burdened economy.India called for International support but failed to elicit any response. In 1970, the Awami League headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rehman won the elections in East Pakistan and a near-absolute majority in the 313-seat National Assembly while Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto led Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) won it in West Pakistan.Mujibur stressed on the rights of Bengalis to govern and on liberalism but the PPP refused to yield the premiership of Pakistan to Mujibur and subsequently the Awami League called for general strikes which ultimately led to the shutdown of the government after the postponement of National Assembly inauguration.The military was called and more and more soldiers were sent to East Pakistan, resulting in mass arrests , genocide and rape of Bengalis.

“ THE WAR ”

Mukti Bahini or The Bangladesh Force consisting of regular forces and guerrilla forces was formed to fight the Pakistan Army. The Indian government supported East Pakistan in the war and the Pakistan Army attacked eleven airfields in North Western India.India declared war against Pakistan. Indian Army used the blitzkrieg technique of exploiting the enemy’s weakness and bypassing it. The Indian Army joined hands with the Mukti Bahini and the Pakistani military capitulated in less than a fortnight and psychological panic spread in the Eastern Command’s military leadership. Indian advances in East created psychological panics that demoralised the Pakistani soldiers and their Bengali soldiers who were left with great worries at the hands of Mukti Bahini.

The Indian Army encircled Dacca and ultimately issued an ultimatum to surrender in “30-minutes” time window on 16 December 1971.The Pakistan Eastern Command led by its commander Lieutenant-General Niazi stationed in East Pakistan surrendered without putting a fight or offering any resistance bringing an end to the war. Following the surrender, the Indian Army took approximately 90,000 Prisoners of War, a humiliating defeat for Pakistan, a military and political dominance of India in South Asia and Bangladesh was formed.

“SURPRISE”

The article shows how great and powerful the Indian military is , and most of you might still be wondering about the title of the article and about the statements mentioned in bold. What if I told you , that all of this was pre-planned, not by Bangladesh, not by Pakistan but by India.

When you refer to the statements in bold from the beginning you will connect the dots better, India took the problems with Pakistan on a very serious note. So it formed the Research & Analysis Wing(RAW) in 1968 to gather foreign intelligence and avoid intelligence failures like in the past wars and RAW was given the task of managing Pakistan in 1969. RAW came up with the East Pakistan Plan in 1969.East Pakistan was less developed, vulnerable and had linguistic differences. RAW used these factors to create unrests in East Pakistan, creating conflicts between the Bengali culture and the culture of West Pakistan.It suppressed the Bengali Hindus forcing them to run away to India, and the border was made open to take the refugees in. RAW provided ammunition and trained the local bengalis to fight a guerrilla warfare against the Pakistan Army by forming the Mukti Bahini. This kind of retaliation caused the Pakistani Army to attack the Indian air base causing a war between a strong Indian Army and already weakened Pakistani Army.

More than half of Pakistan’s population was taken away from it, 93,000 soldiers captured , Pakistan surrendered publicly and it was the largest and most humiliating defeat of any country since the World War, all of this was planned and executed by a group of Individuals of the secret service of India, the invisible actor in the making of Bangladesh, The Research and Analysis Wing of India.

RAW continues to make us proud.More stories in this series to be continued.

Sources are Inside RAW by Asoka Raina and The Kaoboys and RAW by B Raman.