Wednesday, 19 January, 2022

December 7, 1971

Occupation forces retreated, new areas freed

On December 7, 1971, exactly one year after the landslide victory of Awami League in the general election, Bangladesh was busy fighting the battle for its existence as the West Pakistani power mongers imposed a war on Bangalees refusing to respect people’s verdict.

Freedom fighters and Indian army had cornered the Pakistani occupation forces in all frontiers making them bound to retreat. Therefore, the number of free areas was increasing in the country.

This day, fierce clashes took place in different places which caused casualties for both sides. But freedom fighters had outplayed Pakistan army in most of the war zones. Consequently, different districts like Jashore, Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj, Sherpur and Kurigram freed from the clutches of Pakistan army.

The 9th division of Indian army reached Jashore Cantonment from the northern side. They entered without any resistance and became astonished seeing the desolated army establishment.

Pakistan army absconded from the cantonment, leaving huge arms, ammunitions and control room maps behind.

On December 7 in 1971, in the break of dawn, Indian paratroopers dropped near Sylhet airport. They attacked the main base of Pakistan army in Sylhet.

Within the afternoon, the Pakistani general in-charge of Sylhet was compelled to surrender with his troops.

A fierce skirmish took place at Bhaluka in Mymensingh as Major Afsar’s troops attacked the police station, a camp of Pakistan army, from three sides.

Allied Force took control of Chandina and Jafarganj. Turbulent wars continued in Cumilla and Laksham.

A violent bloodshed between two forces centering Kartowa Bridge on Bogura-Rangpur highway stormed the area.

This day, Pakistan President Yahya Khan had sent a message to US President Richard Nixon, pleading for US support to resist the ‘aggression’.

In his message, Yahya told Nixon that if India succeeds in its objective, the loss of ‘East Pakistan’ with a population of 70 million people will also be a threat to the security of South Asia.

It would bring under Soviet domination the region of Assam, Burma, Thailand and Malaysia, the message said.

On December 7, 1971, the UN General Assembly by vote of 104 to 11 with 10 abstentions called on India and Pakistan to institute an immediate ceasefire and withdraw troops from each other’s territory. Pakistan accepted the resolution but India refused.

As the War of Independence climaxed, this day Yahya made Nurul Amin, a leader of Bangalee origin, the Prime Minister as his last effort to save Pakistan.

Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev urged for a peaceful solution of the war without intervention of any outsiders. US decided to stop providing financial aid to India.

New York Times on the day observed that the image of American nation had largely been tarnished for the naked support extended by Washington to Islamabad.