NEW DELHI: Making a strong statement against India’s arch enemy, Minister of State for External Affairs and former Army chief Gen VK Singh equated the atrocities committed by Pakistan forces in Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, in 1971 with those of Nazi forces.
Gen Singh was speaking at a seminar organised on the 45th anniversary of the victory of the Indian armed forces after a 13-day long war in 1971, better known as the Bangladesh Liberation War. General Singh ascension to the post of the Indian Army Chief marked the beginning of a new era, as before him, the Army Chiefs had seen action in one of the fronts during the 1971 war.
"The type of atrocities which went on in Bangladesh (before liberation) is something which probably the world has forgotten," General Singh said during a seminar on '1971 India-Pakistan War and the Liberation of Bangladesh' organised by India Foundation at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.
The 1971 war has been historic for a decisive military history that led to the creation of Bangladesh from erstwhile East Pakistan. India had played a key role in the training of Mukti Bahini.
"I do not think the people of Bangladesh of that period have forgotten, but the coming generations, probably have founded easier to put it somewhere in the corner and forget. Those who have probably read some of those accounts (of atrocities), they defy or belittle what the Nazis did during their period," the Minister said.
The MoS claimed 1971 to be a watershed moment in the history of South Asia as it altered its geography and debunked the two-nation theory that led to the creation of Pakistan. India has shaped its identity based on secularism as against Pakistan’s based on Islam.
The former Army Chief also spoke about the military importance of the operation as 93,000 Pakistani soldiers had surrendered to the Indian Army after the 13 days campaign by the Indian forces. “This kind of victory was achieved in the shortest possible period... when there was a big power which was ensuring that we do not liberate a country which was oppressed for so many years," Singh said.