From East Pakistan to Bangladesh: Recollections of 1971 Liberation War
Whereas India and West Pakistan won their freedom from the British in 1947, East Pakistan got new colonial masters. So the story has to begin, as has been done in this book for the first time, from the personalities who created Pakistan, the military coups and assassinations that led to political instability, the ruling cliques that jostled for power and pelf, and the misdeeds which created fault-lines between the two wings of Pakistan. This was the backdrop to the genocide carried out by Pakistan’s army, which initially led to the resistance of East Pakistani troops and eventually necessitated India’s training and equipping of Mukti Bahini and joint operations with India’s armed forces. At the same time, dramatic events were also taking place on the world stage, in New York at the UN, in Washington, Dhaka and Islamabad which make for riveting reading. These developments had repercussions on international relations that were felt for decades, such as the unnatural axis between Washington, Beijing and Islamabad and the enduring ties between India and Bangladesh. Brig R P Singh, who was then a Captain in the Indian Army, was associated with the Bangladesh liberation struggle from start to the end. The book is a valuable addition to the literature on geopolitics as well as the subcontinent’s military history. The author provides an insightful, first-hand account of the challenges faced by the war-torn newly independent nation.