‘Surrender or you will be wiped out’: Field Marshal Manekshaw’s warning to the Pak Army during the 1971 war

On Wednesday, the Indian Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) posted a photo of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw strategizing with other army officers during the 1971 war on the Instagram photo and video sharing app to commemorate the 50th anniversary of India’s victory over Pakistan.

The photo was shared with the caption: “” You surrender or we exterminate you “was the message conveyed by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw to Pakistan on December 13, 1971”.

“The field marshal has kept his words as the world sees the unprecedented surrender of over 93,000 Pakistani soldiers.”

India celebrates “Swarnim Vijay Varsh” on the occasion of India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war, which made Bangladesh an independent country.

Prime Minister Modi, along with several Defense Ministry officials, paid tribute to the National War Memorial in New Delhi and kicked off the event’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The 1971 war was fought between the Pakistani army and the allied forces of the Muktibahini of Bangladesh and the Indian army led by field general Sam Manekshaw. The Pakistani government chose not to recognize the Awami League’s victory in the 1970 elections, after which the leader of the Awami League, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, called for a national strike. Pakistan, fearing that East Pakistan will continue to demand greater autonomy, arrested Rehman and imprisoned in Lahore on charges of sedition.

After arresting Rahman, Pakistani Prime Minister Yahya Khan sent General Tikka Khan to Dhaka to stem the insurrection. In March 1971, General Tikka Khan launched a crackdown on Bangladesh’s political leaders, students and minorities. Tikka Khan’s actions were, according to several observers, nothing short of a war crime.

The Pakistani prime minister dragged India into war when the Pakistani Air Force attacked India’s airbases in Amritsar, Ambala, Agra, Awantipur, Bikaner, Halwara, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Pathankot, Bhuj, Srinagar on 3 December and Uttarlai. The Indian Air Force quickly repelled the attacks and simultaneously moved to East Pakistan.

On December 14, it was clear that Pakistan’s forces were exhausted and Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw asked Niazi, commander of the Pakistani forces, to surrender unconditionally to the Indian army. Ninety-three thousand Pakistani soldiers surrendered to the Indian army on this day in 1971, making it the largest surrender since World War II.