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What caused the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971

"Uncovering the Roots of Conflict: The Causes of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971"

By Globe Trotter's JournalPublished about a year ago 3 min read
What caused the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
Photo by UX Gun on Unsplash

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was a conflict that lasted for 13 days, from December 3 to December 16, between India and Pakistan. The war resulted in the independence of East Pakistan, which became the new nation of Bangladesh. The conflict was one of the most significant events in the region and had far-reaching impacts on both India and Pakistan. In this article, we will examine the causes of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.

One of the primary causes of the war was the political turmoil in East Pakistan. East Pakistan was home to a majority of the Bengali population, while West Pakistan was dominated by Punjabis and Sindhis. This led to a sense of discrimination and marginalization among the Bengalis, who felt that their culture and language were not being given the respect they deserved. The situation was further exacerbated by the 1970 elections, in which the Awami League, a political party from East Pakistan, won a majority in the National Assembly. However, the military government in West Pakistan refused to transfer power to the Awami League, leading to widespread protests and unrest in East Pakistan.

"The war resulted in the independence of East Pakistan, which became the new nation of Bangladesh."

Another cause of the war was the refugee crisis that arose from the political turmoil in East Pakistan. Millions of Bengalis fled from East Pakistan to India, putting a strain on India's resources and leading to tensions between the two countries. India accused Pakistan of perpetrating a genocide against the Bengalis and providing support to separatist groups in East Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan accused India of supporting the rebels and interfering in Pakistan's internal affairs.

The situation was further complicated by the involvement of external powers. The United States and China were two of the major players in the conflict, with the US supporting Pakistan and China backing India. This heightened tensions between the two countries, as each sought to gain the upper hand in the region.

"The United States and China were two of the major players in the conflict, with the US supporting Pakistan and China backing India."

The final straw that led to the outbreak of the war was the preemptive attack by the Pakistan Air Force on Indian military bases on December 3, 1971. India responded with a full-scale invasion of East Pakistan, launching a ground offensive in the east and a naval blockade in the west. The Indian military quickly gained the upper hand, and Pakistan was forced to surrender on December 16. The war resulted in the independence of Bangladesh and the repatriation of over 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war to Pakistan.

"India accused Pakistan of perpetrating a genocide against the Bengalis and providing support to separatist groups in East Pakistan."

The aftermath of the war had far-reaching effects for both India and Pakistan. For India, the victory boosted the country's image on the international stage and cemented its status as a regional power. For Pakistan, the defeat was a major blow to the country's morale, and the nation's military and political leaders faced criticism for their handling of the conflict. The war also strained relations between India and Pakistan, leading to a long period of hostility and distrust between the two nations.

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 also had a significant impact on the region as a whole. It resulted in the creation of Bangladesh, which has since become an independent nation with its own unique cultural and political identity. The war also exposed the deep-seated political, social, and economic tensions that exist between the different regions of the Indian subcontinent.

In conclusion, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 was caused by a complex combination of factors, including political turmoil in East Pakistan, a refugee crisis, the involvement of external powers, and military action by Pakistan. The war had far-reaching impacts on both India and Pakistan, leading to the independence of Bangladesh and setting the stage for future conflicts in the region. Today, the events of 1971 serve as a reminder of the importance of understanding the roots of conflict and working towards a more peaceful and equitable future.

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