Saturday, 22 January, 2022

December 11, 1971

Pak army start surrendering to Allied Force

  • Rajib Kanti Roy
  • 11 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The joint forces of Muktibahini (freedom fighters) and Indian army advanced further towards Dhaka, signaling imminent defeat of the Pakistan occupation forces in the war.

On December 11, 1971, Pakistan army sensed real trouble as the Allied Force, equipped with modern arms and ammunition, was about to enter Dhaka and carry out final assault on the occupation forces.

The whole defence system of Pakistan army collapsed on the day as hundreds of officers and soldiers started surrendering to the Allied Force. Consequently, 12 important areas of the country, including Hili, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Tangail, Mymensingh, Kushtia and Noakhali were freed from the occupation forces on the day.

The Allied Force faced strong resistance at the Hili frontier. Another group of Pakistan troops surrendered in the early morning of the day in the face of a combined operation in Gaibandha’s Govindaganj Pakistani base on Bogura-Rangpur highway.

Tangail was totally liberated from the clutches of Pakistan army on this day. Freedom fighters entered Tangail town and took control of the district.

Kaderia Bahini took part in 333 face-to-face fights with the Pakistani military in different areas of the district during the nine-month Liberation War.

After six days of siege and fierce fighting by the freedom fighters and joint forces against the Pakistan troops, Jamalpur was liberated in the morning on this day.

The Pakistani forces, including six officers of the 21st Baloch Regiment and 522 soldiers, stationed at Jamalpur garrison surrendered to the Allied Force. Some 212 Pak army men were killed and 200 were injured in the war on the day.

The freedom fighters led by Company Commander Faizur Rahman hoisted the victory flag of independent Bangladesh at old Wapda Bhaban at the headquarters of the occupation forces in Jamalpur.

In Haluaghat, a brigade of Pakistan troops started fleeing after huge bloodshed. They destroyed numerous bridges while retreating towards Tangail. Another Pakistani brigade left Mymensingh and took shelter in their base.

On this day, Lt General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Commander of Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army, inspected anti-aircraft guns at Dhaka airport. He asked his troops to resist the Allied Force at any cost. He expressed optimism that the Pakistan army would glorify its valour. Later, he talked to international journalists.

He went to the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka on the day. Major Siddique Salik, the public relations officer (PRO), ISPR East Pakistan of Eastern Command, was with him during the visit.

He writes in his famous memoir Witness to Surrender that six to seven nurses approached Niazi there and told that they were afraid of the freedom fighters.

Niazi assured them that a large amount of foreign aid was coming and there was no reason to worry. He told the nurses that they would not be allowed to fall into the hands of the Muktibahini.

“If help does not come, we will kill you before you fall into the hands of the Muktibahini,” he said.

Major Salik writes in his book that Niazi showed confidence to boost the morale of his troops but he was very nervous about the consequence.

On this day in 1971, the US pressured both India and Pakistan to accept the ceasefire proposal of the UN General Assembly. White House spokesperson Ronald Ziegler said US president Richard Nixon was consulting the situation with his security adviser Henry Kissinger.

The air attack by Allied Force remained stopped temporarily following UN’s request of evacuating foreign nationals from Dhaka. Major General Rao Farman Ali of the occupation forces urged emergency ceasefire to evacuate Pakistanis from Dhaka.

A spokesperson of Pakistan army told media that the situation of the eastern region is not good. He, however, said Pakistan army will never surrender, and this matter is out of the context.

On this day, ‘East Pakistan’ government imposed a curfew in Dhaka with effect from 3:00pm.