Karachi. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the humiliating defeat suffered by the Indian Army in the 1971 war over East Pakistan was a “big failure” of the Pakistan Army. He made this comment while targeting former Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa who had termed the defeat by India as a “political failure” of Pakistan. Bilawal made the remarks at a rally organized at Nishtar Park to mark the 55th foundation day of his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The PPP chairman spoke on the occasion about the history of his party and recalled the “achievements” of its founder and his maternal grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “When Zulfikar Ali Bhutto assumed power, people’s hopes were shattered and they were disappointed in every way,” Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying. “But he (Zulfikar) rebuilt the nation. and eventually brought back our 90,000 soldiers who were taken as prisoners of war (by India) due to ‘military failure’.
Those 90,000 soldiers were reunited with their families. And all this was made possible because of the politics of hope… of unity… and of inclusion. political failure” and the sacrifice of Pakistani soldiers was never properly recognised.
He had said that the number of soldiers who surrendered in the 1971 war was not 92,000 and only 34,000 were combatants, while others were from various government departments. At an event held at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi last week, Bajwa had said, “I want to set the record straight. First, the collapse of East Pakistan was not a military failure, but a political failure. The number of fighting soldiers was not 92,000, but only 34,000, the rest being from various government departments.
General Bajwa (61) retired on November 29. He was given a three-year extension in 2019 by former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Presently, Khan is the biggest critic of the Pakistan Army. India defeated Pakistan badly in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 and captured more than 90,000 of its soldiers and after this battle a new country came into existence as Bangladesh on the world map.