Attack on Government House, Dhaka- 1971 Indo - Pak War

36 × 24 inches

  Every year on 16 December “Victory Day”  is celebrated by two countries...India and Bangladesh. On this very day in 1971, General Niazi, the Supreme Commander of the Pakistan Military in East Pakistan surrendered to the Indian Defence Forces along with 93,000 troops. Unfortunately the decisive role IAF played in this unprecedented victory is not known to many.

Two days before this surrender, four MiG-21s airborne from Guwahati attacked  the Government House at Dacca, then official residence of AM Malik, Head of the East Pakistan Government. Inside the building East Pakistan’s Cabinet had begun an emergency meeting to discuss the political measures to avoid the looming surrender of their army at Dacca.  Exactly 55 minutes after the meeting began, 128 rockets fired by the MiG Formation hit the Government House with deadly precision. It turned out to be the last-ever meeting of the Cabinet. AM Malik,  survived the attack along with his Cabinet – but resigned on the spot. According to an UN official who happened to be with Governor at that time, Mr. Malik said a small prayer, and then produced a small paper on which he wrote down his resignation with trembling hands. . It seems the rocket attack had proved to be the proverbial last straw on the camel's back.   Among the burning ruins; the nervous system, as it were, of decision-making had been instantly destroyed. 

Air Chief Marshal PC Lal in his brief to the press had later stated that after the surrender,  Niazi was asked as to why he packed off so quickly with 93000 troops after having made a very definite statement on the 13th evening about defending Dacca for months. He was unable to speak at that time, possibly for emotion or the lack of ability to speak. But he turned around and pointed to the Wings of our Air Force Officers.

.........This painting on the Governors’ House in Dhaka is a tribute to all those brave airmen who brought glory to the nation with their valour and grit and to remind us each day of the IAF motto...  Touch the Sky with Glory!!


(Today this a sprawling colonial era building in the middle of Dhaka is the official residence of President of Bangladesh and known as Bongabhabon !!)



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