In 1971, Pakistan was torn apart by a political crisis under-pinned by economic grievance. An acceptable negotiated settlement proved impossible to achieve, and force was used to impose a solution. Pakistan’s attempt to assert the authority of an increasingly discredited Military Government over the 73 million Bengali population of East Pakistan was a gamble. To attempt a ‘security’ solution depending for its successful implementation on only some 60,000 under-equipped troops considerably lengthened the odds. The presence of a powerful and unsympathetic neighbour able and willing to offer sanctuary, and more besides, to those resisting the ‘occupation’ of their homeland rendered Pakistan’s regional position hopeless.
KeywordsArmed Resistance Indian Force Guerrilla Force Indian Border Indian Territory
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