If you want to know, how did Bangladesh gain freedom from Pakistan, you will love this amazing guide.
Before its separation from Pakistan, Bangladesh was known as “East Pakistan”. In the same way, present-day Pakistan was known as “West Pakistan“.
After the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, Pakistan comprised of two wings: East and West.
Let me explain all this to you in detail.
What is Bangladesh?
It is a densely populated country in South Asia. As I mentioned earlier, it was said to be the eastern wing of Pakistan before the partition.
It was named the People’s Republic Of Bangladesh because the name refers to the ‘People Of Bengal’ or the ‘Country Of Bengal‘.
Bangladesh is the 8th most populous country in the world because of its massive population of 164.7 million (2020).
The national language of Bangladesh is Bengali.
This takes us straight to our next topic, how did Bangladesh gain freedom from Pakistan?
How did Bangladesh gain freedom from Pakistan?
Overview: Pakistan faced a constitutional crisis when the Awami league under Mujeeb Ur Rehman won the 1970 elections. Sheikh Mujeeb was arrested. Moreover, the influence of Mukhti Bahni gradually increased. As a result, Awami League leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared East Pakistan’s independence as the state of Bangladesh on 26 March 1971.
Note that soon after the independence of Pakistan, conflicts started between East and West Pakistan.
Khawaja Nizamuddin (Governor General of Pakistan, 1948) and Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy (Prime Minister Of Pakistan, 1956) worked tirelessly for the well-being of “East Pakistan”.
However, problems between the two wings of Pakistan gradually grew. Here are some things that you should know:
- East Pakistan wanted Bengali to be the national language. But, people from West Pakistan accepted Jinnah’s view of Urdu as the official language.
- East Pakistan wanted more seats in the national assembly.
This is because they had a 10% higher population. This demand was not fulfilled as well. As a result, the problems increased.
- East Pakistan’s demand for provincial autonomy was neglected.
- The people of East Pakistan were “neglected”.
Yes! This is what they thought. Here’s why.
In some cases, the export earnings from “Bangladesh” were used for the development of West Pakistan.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Now, let’s explore more reasons why Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan.
Reasons for the creation of Bangladesh:
Bangladesh had an extremely weak industrial base due to fewer industries.
Moreover, this industrial base was further damaged by natural calamities such as floods and cyclones.
The people of Bangladesh were aggrieved when statistics revelaed that every West Pakistani was 10% richer than an East Pakistani.
You should note that Bangladesh was one of the largest exporters of jute all around the world.
But, it was still underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure. As I mentioned earlier, the export earnings of East Pakistan were used on the development of the West.
Due to all this, there was a strong sense of seperation among East Pakistanis.
Bangladesh had a higher population than West Pakistan. Therefore, they wanted more seats than West Pakistan in the national assembly.
Do you know what happened next?
This demand was turned down by the West. As a result, the people of East Pakistan were not happy.
Plus, there was a “political monopoly“.
The majority of political figures came from West Pakistan. This (along with the denial of Bengali as the official language) further escalated the problems.
This is because of administrative problems.
The constitutional crisis:
The most important? Let’s find out.
Let’s talk about the elections of 1970. Awami League was a political party of East Pakistan under Mujeeb Ur Rehman. The Awami League’s victory caused a massive constitutional crisis.
Even though Awami League won the elections, the leaders of the West did not allow Sheikh Mujeeb to form the government.
In simple words, they denied him.
Instead, he was arrested. Moreover, General Yahya Khan started the operation searchlight. This operation aimed at crushing Bengali separatist ideas.
Meanwhile, Mukhti Bahni was formed.
But, what exactly was it?
This group funded by the Indian government aimed at liberating Bangladesh. The influence of this group started to increase.
Gradually, political unrest increased. This is how the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971 led to the formation of Bangladesh.
The most important reason, right?
East Pakistan was constantly damaged by floods and cyclones. However, the Pakistani government failed to provide timely relief facilities to the residents.
However, the Indian government did so. All this created a sense of separatism.
Due to these factors, East Pakistan announced it to the Republic of Bangladesh.
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Now, let me answer some of your questions.
What was Mukhti Bahni?
It was a separatist militant body that was created in the early 1970s. This body played a massive role in the creation of Bangladesh.
Here’s what you should know.
This body that was constantly funded by the Indian government with arms and ammunition. This is the reason why they became influential.
According to multiple sources, the troops of Mukhti Bahni were trained by Indians. In this way, it became a body that made it inevitable for the Pakistani government to stop the crisis in Pakistan.
Now, let’s talk about Operation Searchlight:
What was the operation searchlight?
It was a military operation started by the chief of army staff, General Yahya Khan.
It aimed at crushing Bengali nationalism to finish the ideas of separatism. Moreover, restrictions on media and newspapers were imposed. Plus, massive killing was also seen.
Meanwhile, the Indo-Pak war also broke out in 1971. This is considered to be the final nail in the coffin.
Here’s what you should know about this war.
India announced the second Indo-Pak war in 1971 following the constitutional crisis in Pakistan
At this stage, Pakistan lost its support from its eastern wing. This is because Bangladesh rejected to support Pakistan in the war.
President, General Yahya Khan quickly dispatched troops to East Pakistan. But, India did not allow Pakistans aircraft to pass through India.
As a result, 93,000 Pakistani troops were taken as prisoners by India. Shortly afterwards, Bangladesh was liberated!
With this, our topic “how did Bangladesh gain freedom from Pakistan” is covered.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
What do you think? What was the most important factor that led to the creation of Bangladesh? Do let me know. Thank you for reading.
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