East Pakistan

East Pakistan

Overview
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence
Bangladeshi Declaration of Independence
The independence of Bangladesh was declared by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through a message on 26 March 1971 just before he was arrested at about 1:30 a.m....

 on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 Province based on the 'Mountbatten Plan' in what was then British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 in 1947. Eastern Bengal was given to the Dominion of Pakistan
Dominion of Pakistan
The Dominion of Pakistan was an independent federal Commonwealth realm in South Asia that was established in 1947 on the partition of British India into two sovereign dominions . The Dominion of Pakistan, which included modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, was intended to be a homeland for the...

 and became a province of Pakistan by the name East Bengal
East Bengal
East Bengal was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Bangladesh. Both instances involved a violent partition of Bengal....

.
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Encyclopedia
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence
Bangladeshi Declaration of Independence
The independence of Bangladesh was declared by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through a message on 26 March 1971 just before he was arrested at about 1:30 a.m....

 on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 Province based on the 'Mountbatten Plan' in what was then British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 in 1947. Eastern Bengal was given to the Dominion of Pakistan
Dominion of Pakistan
The Dominion of Pakistan was an independent federal Commonwealth realm in South Asia that was established in 1947 on the partition of British India into two sovereign dominions . The Dominion of Pakistan, which included modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh, was intended to be a homeland for the...

 and became a province of Pakistan by the name East Bengal
East Bengal
East Bengal was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Bangladesh. Both instances involved a violent partition of Bengal....

. East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan in 1956 and later became the country of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 after the bloody Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 in 1971, which took place after the General Elections of 1970.

The East Pakistan had an area of 147,570 km2 (56,977 mi2), bordering India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 on all three sides (East, North, and West) and Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

 from South. East Pakistan was one of the largest provincial state of Pakistan, with largest population and shared a largest economic share. In 1971 a violent Liberation war
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 ended the writ of Pakistan, and Pakistan was divided as a result of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

. Finally, on 15 December 1971, East Pakistan was officially disestablished and became the independent state of Bangladesh.

History and partition


Pakistan was born in bloodshed and came into existence on 14 August 1947 confronted by seemingly insurmountable problems. As many as 12 million people—Muslims leaving India for Pakistan, and Hindus and Sikhs opting to move to India from the new state of Pakistan—had been involved in the mass transfer of population between the two countries, and perhaps two million refugees had died in the violence that had accompanied the migrations. Pakistan's boundaries were established hastily without adequate regard for the new nation's economic viability. Even the minimal requirements of a working central government—skilled personnel, equipment, and a capital city with government buildings—were missing. Until 1947, the East Wing of Pakistan, separated from the West Wing by 1,600 kilometres of Indian territory, had been heavily dependent on Hindu management. Many Hindu Bengalis left for Calcutta after partition, and their place, particularly in commerce, was taken mostly by Muslims who had migrated from the Indian state of Bihar or by West Pakistanis from Punjab.

1947-1956 era: Alliance with Pakistan


The Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 was divided into two provinces on 3 July 1946 in preparation for the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 - the Hindu-majority West Bengal and the Muslim-majority East Bengal. The two provinces each had their own Chief Ministers. In August 1947 West Bengal became part of India and East Bengal became part of Pakistan. Tensions between East Bengal and the western wing of Pakistan led to the One-Unit policy
One Unit
One-Unit was the title of a scheme launched by the federal government of Pakistan to merge the four provinces of West Pakistan into one homogenous unit, as a counterbalance against the numerical domination of the ethnic Bengalis of East Pakistan...

 by Bengali Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

 Muhammad Ali Bogra
Muhammad Ali Bogra
Nawabzada Mohammed Ali Bogra was a Pakistani statesman of Bengali origin, who served as the third Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1953 until 1955.-Early life:...

. In 1955, most of the western wing was combined to form a new West Pakistan province while East Bengal became the new province of East Pakistan. In 1955, Bogra appointed Abu Hussain Sarkar as Chief Minister and Amiruddin Ahmad as Governor.

Following the promulgation of 1956 Constitution
Constitution of Pakistan of 1956
The Constitution of 1956 was the fundamental law of Pakistan from March 1956 until the Revolution of October 1958.-Origins:Pakistan became independent of the United Kingdom in 1947. Under Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the Government of India Act, 1935 became, with certain...

, Major-General (retired) Iskander Mirza, who had been a soldier and civil servant, became minister of the interior; General Muhammad Ayub Khan, the Commander of Pakistan Army, became minister of defence; and Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali Chaudhry Muhammad Ali Chaudhry Muhammad Ali (Punjabi, ; (July 15, 1905 - December 2, 1980) was a Pakistani statesman who served as the fourth Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1955 to 1956.-Early life:...

, former head of the civil service, remained minister of finance. The main objective of the new government was to end disruptive provincial politics and to provide the country with a new constitution. The Federal Court, however, declared that a new Constituent Assembly must be called. Ghulam Mohammad was unable to circumvent the order, and the new Constituent Assembly, elected by the provincial assemblies, met for the first time in July 1955. Bogra, who had little support in the new assembly, fell in August and was replaced by Choudhry; Ghulam Mohammad, plagued by poor health, was succeeded as governor general in September 1955 by Mirza

1958-1960 era: Military Dictatorship


In East Pakistan the political impasse culminated in 1958 in a violent scuffle in the provincial assembly between members of the opposition and the police force, in which the deputy speaker was fatally injured and two ministers badly wounded. Uncomfortable with the workings of parliamentary democracy, unruliness in the East Pakistani provincial assembly elections and the threat of Baluch separatism in West Pakistan, on 7 October 1958 Mirza issued a proclamation that abolished political parties, abrogated the two-year-old constitution, and placed the country under martial law. Mirza announced that martial law would be a temporary measure lasting only until a new constitution was drafted. On 27 October he swore in a twelve-member cabinet that included Ayub as prime minister and three other generals in ministerial positions. Included among the eight civilians was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a former university lecturer. On the same day, the general exiled Mirza to London because "the armed services and the people demanded a clean break with the past." Until 1962 martial law continued and Ayub purged a number of politicians and civil servants from the government and replaced them with army officers. Ayub called his regime a "revolution to clean up the mess of black marketing and corruption.

1960-1966 era: years of neglecting



During the years between 1960 and 1965, the annual rate of growth of the gross domestic product per capita was 4.4 percent in West Pakistan versus just 2.6 percent in East Pakistan. Furthermore, Bengali politicians pushing for more autonomy complained that much of Pakistan's export earnings were generated in East Pakistan by the export of Bengali jute and tea. As late as 1960, approximately 70 percent of Pakistan's export earnings originated in the East Wing, although this percentage declined as international demand for jute dwindled. By the mid-1960s, the East Wing was accounting for less than 60 percent of the nation's export earnings, and by the time of Bangladesh's independence in 1971, this percentage had dipped below 50 percent. This reality did not dissuade Mujib from demanding in 1966 that separate foreign exchange accounts be kept and that separate trade offices be opened overseas. By the mid-1960s, West Pakistan was benefiting from Ayub's "Decade of Progress," with its successful "green revolution" in wheat, and from the expansion of markets for West Pakistani textiles, while the East Pakistani standard of living remained at an abysmally low level. Bengalis were also upset that West Pakistan, because it was the seat of government, was the major beneficiary of foreign aid.

1966-1970: The Eastern Military High Command


With Ayub Khan ousted from office in 1969, Commander of the Pakistani Army, General Yahya Khan became the country's second ruling Chief Martial Law Administrator
Chief Martial Law Administrator
The office of the Chief Martial Law Administrator was a senior government post created in countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia that gave considerable executive authority and powers to the holder of the post to enforce martial law in the country. This office has been used mostly by...

. Both Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 and Mujib strongly disliked General Khan, but patiently endured him and his government as he had promised to hold an election in 1970. During this time, strong nationalistic sentiments in East Pakistan were perceived by the Pakistani Armed Forces and the central military government. Therefore, Khan and his military government wanted to divert the nationalistic threats and violence against non-East Pakistanis. The Eastern Military High Command
Evolution of Pakistan Eastern Command plan
The Eastern Military High Command of the Pakistan Armed Forces was a field-level military command headed by an appointed senior 3-star officer, who was designated the Unified Commander of the Eastern Military High Command...

 was under constant pressure from the Awami League, and requested an active duty officer to control the command under such extreme pressure. The high flag rank officers, junior officers and many high command officers from the Pakistan's Armed Forces were highly cautious about their appointment in East-Pakistan, and the assignment of governing East Pakistan and appointment of an officer was considered highly difficult for the Pakistan High Military Command.

East Pakistan's Armed Forces, under the military administration
Military administration
Military administration identifies both the techniques and systems used by military departments, agencies, and Armed Services involved in the management of the armed forces...

s of Major-General Muzaffaruddin and Lieutenant-General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Lieutenant-General Sahabzada Yaqub Ali Khan is a retired 3 star rank general in the Pakistan Army who the was the international face of Pakistan for three decades. He served as Foreign Minister of Pakistan from 1982 to 1991 during the dying days of Cold War and then caretaker Foreign Minister...

, used an excessive amount of show of military force to curb the uprising
1969 uprising in East Pakistan
1969 uprising in East Pakistan was a democratic political movement in East Pakistan that took place in 1969. The uprising consisted of a series of mass demonstrations and sporadic conflicts between government armed forces and the demonstrators...

 in the province. With such action, the situation became highly critical and civil control over the province slipped away from the government. On 24 March, dissatisfied with the performance of his generals, Yahya Khan removed General Muzaffaruddin and General Yaub Khan from office on 1 September 1969. The appointment of a military administrator was considered quiet difficult and challenging with the crisis continually deteriorating. Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan, Chief of Naval Staff
Chief of Naval Staff (Pakistan)
The Chief of the Naval Staff, abbreviated as CNS, is the highest ranking officer in the Pakistani Navy unless a 4-star naval officer is appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. The current Chief of the Naval Staff is Admiral Asif Sandila who commands the Navy. The CNS reports...

 of Pakistan Navy
Pakistan Navy
The Pakistan Navy is the naval warfare/service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan's Navy is responsible for Pakistan's coastline along the Arabian Sea and the defense of important civilian harbors and military bases...

, had previously served as political and military adviser of East Pakistan to former President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 Ayub Khan. Having such a strong background in administration, and being an expert on East Pakistan affairs, General Yahya Khan appointed Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan
Syed Mohammad Ahsan
Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan HQA, SPk, DSO, was a senior three-star admiral who was the 4th Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy from October 20, 1966 to August 31, 1969...

 as Martial Law Administrator
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

, with absolute authority in his command. He was relieved as Chief of Naval Staff, and received extension from the government. On 1 September Admiral Ahsan assumed the command of the Eastern Military High Command, and became an unified commander of Pakistan Armed Forces in East-Pakistan. Under his command, the Pakistani Armed Forces were removed from the cities and deployed along the border. The rate of violence in East Pakistan dropped, nearly coming to an end. Civil rule improved and stabilized in East Pakistan under Martial Law Administrator Admiral Ahsan's era. The next year, in 1970, it was in this charged atmosphere that parliamentary elections were held in the country in December 1970.

The 1971: The Final years


The tension
Turmoil
Turmoil means chaos or disorder. It also has the following uses:*Turmoil , a 1984 video game released by Bug Byte*The Triplane Turmoil series, a 1996 video game by Finnish Dodekaedron Software and its sequel...

 between East and West-Pakistan reached a climax in 1970 when the Awami League, the largest East Pakistani political party, led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bengali nationalist politician and the founder of Bangladesh. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its Prime Minister. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its...

, won a landslide victory in the national elections in East Pakistan. The party won 167 of the 169 seats allotted to East Pakistan, and thus a majority of the 300 seats in the Parliament. This gave the Awami League the constitutional right to form an absolute government. Khan invited Mujib to Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

 to take the charge of the office, and negotiation between Military government and Awami Party held on. Bhutto was shocked with results, and threatened his Peoples Party
Pakistan Peoples Party
The Pakistan Peoples Party , is a democratic socialist political party in Pakistan affiliated with Socialist International. Pakistan People's Party is the largest political party of Pakistan...

's members to attend the inaugural session at the National Assembly
National Assembly of Pakistan
The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also compromises the President of Pakistan and Senate . The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad...

. Bhutto famously heard saying "break the legs" if any member of his party dared enter and attending the session. However, fearing capitalization on West Pakistan, and East Pakistani separatism, Bhutto demanded Mujib to form a coalition government. After a secret meeting held in Larkana
Larkana
Larkana or Larkano is the fourth largest city in the north-western part of Sindh Province, Pakistan, and is located within Larkana District.The old name of larkano is chandka which was changed in 1901. In August 2000 Larkana celebrated its hundred years of existence...

, Mujib agreed to give Bhutto the charge of Presidency with Mujib as Prime minister. General Yahya Khan and his military government kept unaware of such development and under pressured by his own military government, refused to allow Rahman to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

. This increased agitation for greater autonomy in the East. The Military Police arrested Mujib and Bhutto and placed them on Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. The news spread as like a fire in East and West Pakistan, and the struggle for independence began in East Pakistan.

The senior high command officers in Pakistan Armed Forces, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

, a former Karachi University professor of political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

, began to force General Yahya Khan to take an armed action against Mujib and his party. Bhutto later distanced himself from Yahya Khan after he was arrested by Military Police along with Mujib. Soon after the arrests, a high level meeting was chaired by Yahya Khan. During the meeting, chaired by General Yahya Khan, high commanders of Pakistan Armed Forces unanimously recommended for an armed and violent military action. East-Pakistan's Martial Law Administrator
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 Ahsan, unified commander of Eastern Military High Command
Evolution of Pakistan Eastern Command plan
The Eastern Military High Command of the Pakistan Armed Forces was a field-level military command headed by an appointed senior 3-star officer, who was designated the Unified Commander of the Eastern Military High Command...

 (EMHC), and Air Marshal
Air Marshal
Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

 Mitty Masud, Commander of Eastern Air Force Command
Evolution of Pakistan Eastern Command plan
The Eastern Military High Command of the Pakistan Armed Forces was a field-level military command headed by an appointed senior 3-star officer, who was designated the Unified Commander of the Eastern Military High Command...

 (EAFC), remained the only officers to object the plans. When it became in common-sense that a military action in East Pakistan is inevitable, Admiral Ahsan resigned from his position as Martial Law Administrator in protest, and immediately flew back to Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, West Pakistan. Disheartened and isolated, Admiral Ahsan took early retirement from the Navy and quietly settled in Karachi. Once the Searchlight
Operation Searchlight
Operation Searchlight was a planned military operation carried out by the Pakistan Army to curb the Bengali nationalist movement in the erstwhile East Pakistan in March 1971. Ordered by the central government in West Pakistan, this was seen as the sequel to "Operation Blitz" which had been...

 and Barisal
Operation Barisal
The Operation Barisal was a Pakistan naval operation in 1971 intended to free Barisal, East Pakistan from Mukti Bahinis and the dissidents/armed personnel of the Pakistan Defence Forces. It was the part of Operation Searchlight.-External links:*...

 commenced, Air Marshal Masud flew to West Pakistan, and unlike Admiral Ahsan, tried to stop the violence in East Pakistan. When he was failed to attempt to meet General Yahya Khan, Masud too resigned from his position as Commander of Eastern Air Command, and took retirement from Air Force.

Dissolution of East Pakistan



Lieutenant-General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan was sent in to East Pakistan in emergency, following a major blow of the resignation of Vice Admiral Ahsan. General Yaqub temporarily assumed the control of the province, as he was made the unified commander of Pakistan Armed Forces. General Yaqub mobilized the entire major forces in East Pakistan, and were re-deployed in East Pakistan.

On 26 March 1971, the day after the military crackdown on civilians in East Pakistan, Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh. All major Awami League leaders including elected leaders of National Assembly and Provincial Assembly fled to neighboring India and an exile government
Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
The Provisional Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh , popularly known as the Mujibnagar Government, was the government in exile of Bangladesh based in Kolkata, India during the Bangladesh Liberation War...

 was formed headed by Mujibur Rahman. While he was in Pakistan Prison, Syed Nazrul Islam was the acting President with Tazuddin Ahmed as the Prime Minister. The exile government took oath on 17 April 1971 at Mujib Nagar, within East Pakistan territory of Kustia district and formally formed the government. Colonel MOG Osmani was appointed the Commander in Chief of Liberation Forces and whole East Pakistan was divided into eleven sectors headed by eleven sector commanders. All sector commanders were Bengali officers from defected Pakistan Army
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

. This started the Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

 in which the freedom fighters
Mukti Bahini
Mukti Bahini , also termed as the "Freedom Fighters" or FFs, collectively refers to the armed organizations who fought against the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War. It was dynamically formed by Bengali regulars and civilians after the proclamation of Bangladesh's independence on...

, joined in December 1971 by 400,000 Indian soldiers
Indian Armed Forces
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force, supported by three paramilitary forces and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.The President of India is...

, faced the Pakistani Armed Forces of 365,000 plus Paramilitary and collaborationist forces
Razakar
Razakar is an Urdu word for volunteer and may historically refer to:*Razakars : Islamist East Pakistani militia that aided the Pakistan Army against the Mukti Bahini during the Bangladesh Liberation War...

. An additional approximately 25,000 ill-equipped civilian volunteers and police forces also sided with the Pakistan Armed Forces. A bloody guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 was insued in East Pakistan. The Pakistan Armed Forces were unable to counter such threats. Poorly trained and inexperienced in guerrilla tactics, Pakistan Armed Forces and their assets were successfully sabotage by the Bangladesh Liberation Forces. On April 1971, Lieutenant-General Tikka Khan succeeded General Yaqub Khan as Commander of unified forces. General Tikka Khan led the massive violent and massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

 campaigns in the region. He is held responsible for killing hundreds of Bengali people in East Pakistan, mostly civilians and unarmed fighters. For his role, General Tikka Khan gained the title as "Butcher of Bengal". General Khan faced an international reaction against Pakistan, and therefore, removed General Tikka as Commander. He installed a civilian administration under Abdul Motaleb Malik on 31 August 1971, which proved to be ineffective. However, during the meeting, with no high officers willing to assume the command of East Pakistan, Lieutenant-General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi volunteered for the command of the East Pakistan. Inexperienced and the large magnitude of this assignment, the government sent Vice-Admiral Mohammad Shariff
Mohammad Shariff
Admiral Mohammad Shariff, , , is a retired four-star naval officer and a career war veteran. Admiral Mohammad Shariff took over the command of Pakistan Navy on 21 March, 1979, when a three-star vice-admiral, Hasan Hafeez Ahmed, died in office...

 as second-in-command of General Niazi. Admiral Shariff served as the deputy unified commander of Pakistan Armed Forces in East Pakistan. However, General Niazi proved to be a failure and ineffective ruler. Therefore, General Niazi and Air Marshal Enamul Haque, Commander of Eastern Air Force Command (EAFC), were failed to launch any operation in East Pakistan against Indian or its allies. Except Admiral Shariff who continued to press pressure on Indian Navy till the end of the conflict. Admiral Shariff made it nearly impossible for Indian Navy to entered its naval forces througe shores, due to mines and well effected plan made by Admiral Shariff. The Indian Navy was unable to entered in East Pakistan through shores and Pakistan Navy was still offering resistance. Therefore, The Indian Army, from all three directions of the province, entered in the East Pakistan. The Indian Navy then decided to wait near the Bay of Bengal until the Army reaches the shores.

The Indian Air Force had dismantle the capability of Pakistan Air Force in East Pakistan. Air Marshal Enamul Haque, Commander of Eastern Air Force Command (EAFC), was brutally failed to protect any Armed Forces assets against the raids taken by Indian Air Force. In all, the Indian Air Force enjoyed the complete air superiority in East Pakistan, with PAF offering no resistance.

On 16 December 1971 the Pakistan Armed Forces finally surrendered to the joint liberation forces of Bangladesh freedom fighters and Indian army. Headed by Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Arora, commander of Western Army Command of Indian Army. General AAK Niazi, the last unified commander of Pakistan Armed Forces, signed the surrender letter. Over 93,000 personnel, including General Niazi and Admiral Shariff, were taken as Prisoner of War
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

. On 16 December 1971 the East Pakistan was finally disintegrated as a part of Pakistan. The Eastern Military High Command, civilian institutions, and paramilitary forces were collapsed and disbanded. Mujib returned to free Bangladesh on 10 January 1972 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Bangladesh quickly gained recognition from most countries and with the signing of the Shimla Accord, most of the countries accepted the new state. Bangladesh joined the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 in 1974.

Government


On 14 October 1955 the last governor of East Bengal (Amiruddin Ahmad) became the first Governor of East Pakistan. At the same time the last Chief Minister of East Bengal became the first Chief Minister of East Pakistan. This system lasted until the military coup of 1958 when the post of Chief Minister was abolished in both East Pakistan and West Pakistan. From 1958 to 1971 the administration was largely in the hands of the President of Pakistan and the Governor of East Pakistan who at times held the title of Martial Law Administrator
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

.

Military presence


Since its unification with Pakistan, the East Pakistan ground forces had consisted of only one infantry brigade, which was made up of two battalions, the 1st East Bengal Regiment and the 1/14 or 3/8 Punjab Regiment in 1948. These two battalions boasted only five rifle companies between them (an infantry battalion normally had 5 companies). This weak brigade, under the command of Brigadier Ayub Khan (local rank Major General – GOC 14 Division), together with a few East Pakistan Rifles wings, was tasked with defending East Pakistan during the Kashmir War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
The India-Pakistan War of 1947-48, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu from 1947 to 1948. It was the first of four wars fought between the two newly independent nations...

. The Pakistan Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...

 and Navy
Pakistan Navy
The Pakistan Navy is the naval warfare/service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan's Navy is responsible for Pakistan's coastline along the Arabian Sea and the defense of important civilian harbors and military bases...

 had little presence in the region. Only one Combatant Squadron, No. 14 Tail Choppers, was active in East Pakistan. This unit was commanded by a Squadron Leader or Major. The Navy had only four gunboats, inadequate to function in deep water. The Marines
Pakistan Marines
The Pakistani Marines , are the Marine Corps and amphibious corps service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The Pakistani Marines are a special military operations service branch of the Pakistani Navy and part of Pakistani Armed Forces, responsible for providing force projection from the sea,...

 were also present, tasked to carried out shoreline and riverine operations. All these services operated under a unified command structure, the Eastern Military High Command
Evolution of Pakistan Eastern Command plan
The Eastern Military High Command of the Pakistan Armed Forces was a field-level military command headed by an appointed senior 3-star officer, who was designated the Unified Commander of the Eastern Military High Command...

, led by a general officer of three-star rank equivalent.

Governors

Tenure Governor of East Pakistan Political Affiliation
14 October 1955 – March 1956 Amiruddin Ahmad Muslim League
Muslim League (Pakistan)
Muslim League was the original successor of All India Muslim League that led the Pakistan Movement achieving an independent nation. After formation of Pakistan, the party was renamed to Muslim League which came to an end soon after Qaid-e-Azam's death on the first marshal law in 1958.-History:On...

March 1956 – 13 April 1958 A. K. Fazlul Huq
A. K. Fazlul Huq
Not to be confused with the cricket ground in Dhaka Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Sher-e-Bangla Abul Kashem Fazlul Huq was a well-known Bengali statesman in the first half of the 20th century...

 
Muslim League
Muslim League (Pakistan)
Muslim League was the original successor of All India Muslim League that led the Pakistan Movement achieving an independent nation. After formation of Pakistan, the party was renamed to Muslim League which came to an end soon after Qaid-e-Azam's death on the first marshal law in 1958.-History:On...

13 April 1958 – 3 May 1958 Hamid Ali (acting) Awami League
3 May 1958 – 10 October 1958 Sultanuddin Ahmad  Awami League
10 October 1958 – 11 April 1960 Zakir Husain
Zakir Husain (governor)
Zakir Husain was a politician who served as the Governor of East Pakistan and Interior Minister of Pakistan, both in the General Ayub Khan military regime.-Early life:...

 
Muslim League
Muslim League (Pakistan)
Muslim League was the original successor of All India Muslim League that led the Pakistan Movement achieving an independent nation. After formation of Pakistan, the party was renamed to Muslim League which came to an end soon after Qaid-e-Azam's death on the first marshal law in 1958.-History:On...

11 April 1960 – 11 May 1962 Lieutenant-General Azam Khan
Azam Khan (general)
Lieutenant General Muhammad Azam Khan was a senior general of the Pakistan army who served under General Ayub Khan, the first military ruler of Pakistan. As a general, Khan oversaw the suppression of anti-Ahmadiyya violence following the Lahore riots of 1953, and served as the top army commander...

, PA
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 
Military Administration
11 May 1962 – 25 October 1962 Ghulam Faruque
Ghulam Faruque
Khan Bahadur Ghulam Faruque Khan was a politician and industrialist of Pakistan. He belonged to the village Shaidu in Nowshera District. Nowshera is the home of the famous Pashtun Tribe the Khattaks of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan...

 
Independent (politician)
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

25 October 1962 – 23 March 1969 Abdul Monem Khan
Abdul Monem Khan
Abdul Monem Khan was the governor of erstwhile East Pakistan before being independent Bangladesh— from 28 October 1962 to 23 March 1969. He was a loyal aide of Ayub Khan and infamous for repression on the Bengali nationalists during the regime...

 
Civil Administration
23 March 1969 – 25 March 1969 Mirza Nurul Huda  Civil Administration
25 March 1969 – 23 August 1969 Major-General Muzaffaruddin, PA
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 
Military Administration
23 August 1969 – 1 September 1969 Lieutenant-General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Lieutenant-General Sahabzada Yaqub Ali Khan is a retired 3 star rank general in the Pakistan Army who the was the international face of Pakistan for three decades. He served as Foreign Minister of Pakistan from 1982 to 1991 during the dying days of Cold War and then caretaker Foreign Minister...

, PA
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 
Military Administration
1 September 1969 – 7 March 1971 Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan
Syed Mohammad Ahsan
Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan HQA, SPk, DSO, was a senior three-star admiral who was the 4th Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy from October 20, 1966 to August 31, 1969...

, PN
Pakistan Navy
The Pakistan Navy is the naval warfare/service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan's Navy is responsible for Pakistan's coastline along the Arabian Sea and the defense of important civilian harbors and military bases...

 
Military Administration
7 March 1971 – April 1971 Lieutenant-General Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Lieutenant-General Sahabzada Yaqub Ali Khan is a retired 3 star rank general in the Pakistan Army who the was the international face of Pakistan for three decades. He served as Foreign Minister of Pakistan from 1982 to 1991 during the dying days of Cold War and then caretaker Foreign Minister...

, PA
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 
Military Administration
April 1971 – 31 August 1971 Lieutenant-General Tikka Khan
Tikka Khan
General Tikka Khan, HJ, HQA, SPk, was a senior four-star general in the Pakistan Army who served as the first Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army from 3 March 1972 to 1 March 1976. Before his four-star assignment, Khan was a Martial Law Administrator of erstwhile East-Pakistan...

, PA
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 
Military Administration
31 August 1971 – 14 December 1971 Abdul Motaleb Malik  Independent
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

14 December 1971 – 16 December 1971 Lieutenant-General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, PA
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 
Military Administration
16 December 1971 Province of East Pakistan dissolved

Chief Ministers

Tenure Chief Minister of East Pakistan Political Party
August 1955 – September 1956 Abu Hussain Sarkar Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal
Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal
Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal , a small Marxist-Leninist political party in Bangladesh. SKSD was formed in 1969 by sympathizers of the Revolutionary Socialist Party of India in East Pakistan....

September 1956 – March 1958 Ata-ur-Rahman Khan Awami League
March 1958 Abu Hussain Sarkar Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal
Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal
Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal , a small Marxist-Leninist political party in Bangladesh. SKSD was formed in 1969 by sympathizers of the Revolutionary Socialist Party of India in East Pakistan....

March 1958 – 18 June 1958 Ata-ur-Rahman Khan Awami League
18 June 1958 – 22 June 1958 Abu Hussain Sarkar Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal
Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal
Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal , a small Marxist-Leninist political party in Bangladesh. SKSD was formed in 1969 by sympathizers of the Revolutionary Socialist Party of India in East Pakistan....

22 June 1958 – 25 August 1958 Governor's Rule
25 August 1958 – 7 October 1958 Ata-ur-Rahman Khan Awami League
7 October 1958 Post abolished
16 December 1971 Province of East Pakistan dissolved

See also

  • Partition of British India
    Partition of India
    The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

  • East Bengal
    East Bengal
    East Bengal was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Bangladesh. Both instances involved a violent partition of Bengal....

  • West Pakistan
    West Pakistan
    West Pakistan , common name West-Pakistan , in the period between its establishment on 22 November 1955 to disintegration on December 16, 1971. This period, during which, Pakistan was divided, ended when East-Pakistan was disintegrated and succeeded to become which is now what is known as Bangladesh...

  • Bangladesh Liberation War
    Bangladesh Liberation War
    The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

  • Biharis
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
    Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
    The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan's December 3, 1971 pre-emptive strike on 11 Indian airbases...

  • The Blood telegram
    Archer Blood
    Archer Kent Blood was an American diplomat in Bangladesh. He served as the last American Consul General to Dhaka, East Pakistan. He is famous for sending the strongly worded Blood telegram protesting against the atrocities committed in the Bangladesh Liberation War.-Biography:Archer Blood was...


External links