Bangladesh War for Independence

Anamaria Diaz

Background

The Bangladesh war for independence began on March 26, 1971 and ended on December 16, 1971. The war began because of an East Pakistani party, the Awami League, having won an election by a landslide and wanted greater autonomy, or self-government, for the region. On the night of March 25th thousands of people were killed when Pakistani troops launched an operation to keep Bangladeshis from seeking independence. The war ended after India invaded the country to help overcome the Pakistanis. The war took place in the Indian subcontinent. On the Indian side, nearly 2,000- 3,000 people were killed and 4,058 people were wounded. On the Pakistani side about 8,000 were killed and 10,000 were wounded.

Effects of War on People

During the war many women (about 200,000) were tortured, raped and killed. Tens of thousands of soldiers were taken prisoners of war. People in West Pakistan were left very upset at the weak surrender of the army in East Pakistan. After the war, Pakistan didn't get international support and had to function on their own with only the help of the USA.


Pakistani schools and communities tend to rush through this embarrassing subject. In fact we went ahead and asked some students if they were taught about the accusations of genocide or rape by the Pakistani army and they replied "That's wrong, that's propaganda!" others replied "The Pakistani army is a professional army. They are Muslims. They couldn't have done that to their brothers and sisters over there."