Thursday, August 04, 2005

1971 War - Did India meet its objective/s ?

Simla Agreement, July 1972 picture courtesy:

Recently, the US State department release volumes of material related to 1971 India-Pakistan war. This publication provides an inside look at the US perspective on this war in vivid detail. The US tilt towards Pakistan at the highest level becomes very clear from this document. What makes this documnet even more interesting are the details of the taped conversations between Secretary Henry Kissinger and President Nixon.

According to this document,India had 3 objectives for going to war with Pakistan in 1971*
  1. Liberate Bangladesh
  2. Re-take Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
  3. Destroy Pakistani Military Power
(* Source: CIA communique from Delhi to Washington on Dec 7, 1971 - page#716)

It is now history that India met its first objective of liberating Bangladesh, but what about the other two ? Was India forced to end the war sooner (by the super powers US & Soviet Russia)?

In the interest of history, it would be nice to see similar publications from India and Pakistan on this war to set the record straight.

I realize many in the blogoSphere are too young to have experienced this war. I was in Chennai at that time and vaguely remember this war. Of course, being in South, there was very little impact on Chennai due to this war. All I remember were the 'black outs' enforced by Home Guards.

What do you know / remember about this war ?

Next Post: Was there a mole in the Indian Cabinet during the 1971 war ?


  1. Point 1. Liberate Bangladesh? Why? Strategic.! isn't it.! We didn't want PAK on both sides.!

    Point 2. Filler

    Point 3. Filler.!!

    We achieved what we wanted..!

    I remember the black outs and living near Tambaram AFB, was even scared.

    I also remember how everyone praised Manek Shah and Mrs.Gandhi.!!

    Look forward to your next post.

  2. Narayanan

    Yes, Mrs. Gandhi and General Manek Shah were universally praised in India.. In fact, Mr. Vajpayee called her 'Kali' and stuff..

    The just release US govt documents make a very interesting reading.. it would be a worthwhile effort to understand India's motivations for going to war and the role/s played by the Super Powers...

  3. Apart from Liberating Bangladesh, other two objectives are not met, and that failure is still haunting us all these years. Leaders mistake is Nation's headache.