The India-Pakistan War of 1971 was a conflict between India and Pakistan that took place from December 3rd to December 16th, 1971. The war resulted in the creation of Bangladesh, which was formerly known as East Pakistan.
The conflict was sparked by political and ethnic tensions between East and West Pakistan. East Pakistan had been politically marginalized by the West Pakistani government, which was dominated by Punjabis and other West Pakistani ethnic groups. East Pakistan, on the other hand, was predominantly Bengali and had long been treated as a second-class citizen.
The situation escalated when the Pakistani military launched a crackdown on East Pakistan, which resulted in a mass exodus of refugees into India. India, which had already been providing shelter to millions of refugees from East Pakistan, was forced to intervene.
On December 3rd, 1971, the Indian Air Force launched a preemptive strike on Pakistani airfields in the western part of the country, and the Indian Army advanced into East Pakistan. The Pakistani military responded by launching a counterattack, but they were unable to stop the Indian advance.
The conflict was brief but intense. Indian forces quickly gained the upper hand, and on December 16th, 1971, Pakistan surrendered. The war resulted in the largest military surrender since World War II, with more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers taken prisoner.
The war also had significant political and humanitarian consequences. The creation of Bangladesh as an independent country was a major blow to Pakistan, and it marked a significant shift in the balance of power in South Asia. The war also resulted in the displacement of millions of people and a humanitarian crisis that lasted for years.
The India-Pakistan War of 1971 remains a contentious issue between the two countries. Pakistan sees it as a betrayal by its former ally, the United States, which provided military and diplomatic support to India during the conflict. India, on the other hand, views it as a victory for democracy and a turning point in the country's history.
In conclusion, the India-Pakistan War of 1971 was a significant event in the history of South Asia. It resulted in the creation of Bangladesh and had far-reaching political and humanitarian consequences. While the conflict has long since ended, its legacy continues to shape the relationship between India and Pakistan.