Pakistani Army experienced one of the heaviest setbacks in 1971, when East Pakistan separated from West Pakistan. The war was instigated after the 1970 elections, which were won by East Pakistan’s Awami League. The party’s leader Sheikh Mujibur Rehman presented his famous six points to prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, to form a government, which were refused by the prime minister. President Yahya Khan tried to curb the rebellion initiated in East Pakistan after Bhutto’s refusal to surrender his premiership, in the form of various operations to capture and kill the ‘rebels’. India, on the contrary, sided with East Pakistan wholeheartedly and welcomed banished leaders and refugees.

India’s involvement caused politicians in Pakistan to stage demonstrations urging the government to take military action against Indians. In retaliation to the state of affairs in West Pakistan, India started deploying troops at East Pakistan-India border.

On December 3, Pakistani air force launched a strike on 11 airfields in north-western India, including Agra, marking the official start of 1971’s war. However, facing major failure in air and ground strikes, Pakistani troops surrendered on December 16 with as much as 90,000 prisoners of war and a heavy death toll.

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