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Vijay Diwas: The ultimatum that Indian Army Chief gave Pakistan

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New Delhi, Dec 16: Surrender or be wiped out. This is what Indian Army Chief, General S H F J Manekshaw had told Pakistan.

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Vijay Diwas: The ultimatum that Indian Army Chief gave Pakistan

Indian Army Chief, General S H F J Manekshaw had asked the Pakistan army to surrender or face annihilation in the 1971 war says a new book which speaks about the pre-emptive attacks on the Indian Air Force bases on December 3 were immediately repulsed and it was clear by December 14 that Pakistan was not in a position to continue fighting.

The book, Reporting India: My Seventy Years Journey as a Journalist, by veteran journalist Prem Prakash says that while Pakistan's pre-emptive attacks were repulsed, Indian Army simultaneously moved into the then East Pakistan outflanking the Pakistan army there.

"The two had never moved together, especially after Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, during his visit to East Pakistan shortly before his death in 1948, proclaimed in Dhaka that Urdu would be the national language of the new state of Pakistan. The people of East Pakistan objected strongly. They were proud of their own Bengali language and culture.

Language riots broke out and were curbed but Bengali remained the language of East Pakistan. To placate the people of East Pakistan, an offer was made that Bengali be made the official language of Pakistan along with Urdu," says Prakash, who is Chairman of ANI.

The book says that Mujibur Rahman addressed a huge rally in Dhaka on March 7, 1971, asking for the lifting of martial law, for the army to be confined to barracks and transfer of power to the elected leader of assembly before March 25.

At the same time, Bengali judges refused to swear in Tikka Khan as governor, although this certainly did not deter the military rulers either in Rawalpindi or in Dhaka. Allowing Mujibur Rahman's deadline of March 25 to pass, Tikka Khan launched his genocidal crackdown on East Pakistan. Mujibur Rahman was arrested during the night of March 25 and immediately flown to West Pakistan, where he was put on trial and sentenced to death for sedition."

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