NEW DELHI, June 27: A former Indian army chief who led the country to victory against Pakistan in 1971 in a war that resulted in the formation of Bangladesh has died at the age of 94, officials said on Friday.

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, celebrated as a master strategist, died of illness at a military hospital in southern India early Friday, the defence ministry said.

Manekshaw joined the military when India was under British rule and led a counter-offensive against the Japanese army in Burma during World War II. He is best remembered for his role in the India-Pakistan war of 1971.

“Field Marshal Manekshaw was without doubt one of India’s greatest soldiers and a truly inspiring leader,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a condolence message.—AFP

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