Bangladesh is celebrating the 50th Victory Day, the day it earned freedom from an oppressive Pakistani military regime.
On 16 December 1971, Lt. Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Chief Martial Law Administrator of East Pakistan and Commander of Pakistan Army forces located in East Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender, flanked by Lt.Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora of the Indian army.
At the time of surrender only a few countries had provided diplomatic recognition to the new nation.
Over 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to the Indian and Bangladesh forces, making it the largest surrender since World War II.
Bangladesh was born as an independent country under the leadership of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the cost of supreme sacrifice of three million people and the honour of nearly half a million women.
Though the pandemic Covid-19 has almost paralyzed the whole world barring the people from attending any public gathering in person, the celebration of the Victory Day this year has a different dimension.
The day is set to be celebrated in the Mujib Borsho, on the occasion of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu from March 2020-March 2021, just ahead of the country’s golden jubilee of independence to be celebrated in 2021.
On behalf of President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina their representatives laid the wreath at the altar of the National Memorial with the rise of the sun at about 6:34 am.
Both of them paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Memorial in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, marking the 50th Victory Day.
After placing the wreath, the representatives stood there in solemn silence for a while as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the Great War of Liberation in 1971.
On the night of 5 March 1971, the Pakistani army in East Pakistan in the form of a people’s war of liberation as well as the destruction falling into the War of Independence began.
The Pakistani military junta of March at night many ordinary citizens, students, teachers, intellectuals, police killed. Was arrested in the 1970 general election landslide victory of Awami League Leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the head of the Bengalis. Before his arrest in the early hours of March 6, he declared the independence of Bangladesh. To save the lives of nearly 1 million people took refuge in neighboring India.
The villages from late March, the Pakistani military began to spread. Awami League supporters and especially the Hindus were victims of their wrath. Crowds of people began to flee towards the border with India. The stream of refugees that began in April and continued until November at the nearly one million refugees took shelter in India.
April 17, 1971 for the conduct of the war was the formal establishment of the provisional government of Bangladesh Meherpur in Kushtia district, sub-division of baidyanathtola in the village. In the absence of the president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the government was formed. Acting President Syed Nazrul Islam was the responsibility is vested in the prime minister Tajuddin Ahmed and over.
Bangladesh’s first government was sworn in front of local and foreign journalists officially began duties. The swearing-in ceremony for the reading of the Declaration of Independence on March 6 in the country was officially declared as an independent sovereign state.
Bangladesh sought admission to the UN with most voting in its favour, but China vetoed this as Pakistan was its key ally.
The United States, also a key ally of Pakistan, was one of the last nations to accord Bangladesh recognition.
To ensure a smooth transition, in 1972 the Simla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan. The treaty ensured that Pakistan recognised the independence of Bangladesh in exchange for the return of the Pakistani PoWs. India treated all the PoWs in strict accordance with the Geneva Convention, rule 1925 released more than 93,000 Pakistani PoWs in five months. Further, as a gesture of goodwill, nearly 200 soldiers who were sought for war crimes by Bengalis were also pardoned by India.
Radical islamist militias Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams- the auxiliary forces of the Pakistan Army built to assist it during raids on the local populace. Urdu-speaking Biharis in Bangladesh also helped the Pakistani military in mass murder, deportation and genocidal rape. Dhaka was the scene of numerous massacres, including Operation Searchlight and the Dhaka University massacre.
B’desh government has organized elaborate programs to celebrate the day at the national level, maintaining the health guidelines in face of the global pandemic Covid-19.
The programs include a 31-gun salute, placing of wreaths at the monuments to pay homage to martyrs, hoisting of the national flags atop all government, semi-government and private offices as well as offices of autonomous bodies across the country, decorating city streets with miniature national flags and colourful festoons, and illumination of important buildings and establishments, roads and street islands at night.
Improved diets will be served to inmates of jails, hospitals, orphanages, and vagrant homes across the country.