The Third Indo-Pakistani War and the Birth of Bangladesh

Stanley Wolpert

in India and Pakistan

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520266773
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948006 | DOI:
The Third Indo-Pakistani War and the Birth of Bangladesh

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From its birth, Pakistan was plagued by the insoluble division of its territory into two wings, with a thousand miles of northern India between them. The Pakistan Resolution unanimously adopted by Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Muslim League in Lahore in 1940 had been drafted by a committee chaired by the League's most popular Bengali leader, A. K. Fazlul Haq. In the December 1970 elections, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Awami League, whose Six Points called for the virtual independence of East Pakistan's Bangladesh from West Pakistan's military junta, won 160 seats, all but two of the contests in the East. On the other hand, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party won only 81 seats in the West. Mujibur Rahman should, therefore, have become Pakistan's newly elected prime minister the very day all those votes were finally counted early in 1971. However, neither Bhutto nor Yahya Khan could accept the idea of turning their entire country over to Bengalis. This chapter chronicles the events leading to the third Indo-Pakistani war and the birth of Bangladesh, as well as Indira Gandhi's rise to power.

Keywords: India; Pakistan; war; elections; Mujibur Rahman; Awami League; Bangladesh; Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; Indira Gandhi; Yahya Khan

Chapter.  2649 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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