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Pakistanis in Bangladesh Surrender.
Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora receives Niazi's Surrender in Dhaka

Surrender2.jpg (71107 bytes)

Lt Gen Niazi, Commander of the Pakistani Forces in East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) signing the surrender document for Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora. Watching the ceremony are Vice Admiral N Krishnan (FOC-in-C Eastern Naval Command), Maj Gen K V Krishna Rao (GOC, 8 Div - Behind the Vice Admiral), Air Marshal H C Dewan (AOC-in-C, Eastern Command) , Lt Gen Sagat Singh (GOC, IV Corps), Maj Gen J F R Jacob (Chief of Staff, Eastern Army Command) and Maj Gen Gandharv Nagra (GOC, 101 Communication Zone)

Dec 16 DHAKA The Pakistani forces in East Pakistan have surrendered formally to the Indian Army today. The surrender was signaled by the signing of the surrender document by Lt Gen A A K Niazi, the Army Commander of all Pakistani forces in the area.

Accepting the surrender from India was Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, the GOC in C , Eastern Army Command. After signing the document at about 4.30pm, the Pakistani Commander handed over his Personal Pistol and Lanyard to Gen Aurora and removed his badges of rank. With that a cheer went up in the Dacca race course and Dacca became the free capital of a free country, Bangladesh.

Earlier Lt Gen Aurora inspected a combined Guard of Honour offered by Local Pakistani troops as well as the Indian Army troops which have come into Dacca. This is the first time such an event has occurred in History. Lt Gen Aurora was accompanied by his wife.

The Surrender ceremony was only the conclusion of hectic negotiations that went on since morning. In response to Gen Mankeshaw's message yesterday to the Pakistani troops, a radio signal was received at 8.00 am today morning confirming acceptance of a surrender and asking for an extension of the hold in Air operations in the Eastern Sector.

This was duly granted and even the land operations were ordered to cease and by 1.00 pm, the Chief of Staff, Eastern Command, Maj Gen J F R Jacob was in Dacca meeting the Pakistani commanders and showing them the draft of the Surrender Document. An Indian Army battalion had already entered Dacca earlier

at around 10.40 and was given a tumultuous welcome by the crowd. The Pakistanis accepted the terms in the Surrender document and was initialed by 2.45pm. As soon as HQ , Eastern Command was notified, Top officials of the Indian Army's Campaign in East Pakistan took off from Calcutta to Agartala airfield. From there on, the Indian delegation was flown to Dacca by Mi-4 helicopters.

The Surrender document said that all Pakistani, military, paramilitary and civilian forces would lay down arms and surrender to the Indian Army. Though they are under the joint command of India and Bangladesh, all of them will be treated as per the Geneva Convention. Gen Aurora has given his solemn assurance, that the prisoners will be treated with Dignity  and respect that soldiers are entitled to under the Convention. Protection would be given to civilians and minorities in Bangladesh.

The surrender ceremony was held at the historic Dacca racecourse. As Niazi signed the document and handed it over to Gen Aurora. Aurora  signaled  acceptance  by signing on the document. Then on a nod from Aurora, Gen Niazi took out his pistol, removed the bullets and handed over the firearm to Gen Aurora. The ceremony was covered by several journalists and press persons from all across the world.

"with that he has handed over East Pakistan as free Bangladesh" reported one officer on the scene.

The Pakistani Army HQ has signaled the local formations elsewhere to arrange for surrender ceremonies individually. Accordingly several Pakistani formation commanders contacted their Indian Commanders and arranged the surrender processes.

9 Division Surrender
Maj Gen Ansari welcomes Maj Gen M S Barar

In the Jhenida sector, Maj Gen Ansari surrendered to Maj Gen M S Barar, GOC 4 Division. Further to the north, Maj Gen Nazar Hussain of 16 Pak Inf Division surrendered formally to Maj Gen Lachman Singh Lehl VrC in a surender ceremony by offering his arms and signing a document.

Surrender at 57 Mtn Division
Maj Gen Mohd Kazi offers his pistol to Maj Gen B F Gonsalvez

Maj Gen Mohd Kazi offered his surrender to Maj Gen B F Gonsalvez, GOC 57 Div. Several other surrender ceremonies took place all across including Sylhet and Khulna. The total number of POWs is expected to be in the range of 90,000 plus.

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