Pakistani Instrument of Surrender

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Pakistani Instrument of Surrender
Created 16 December 1971
Signatories Lt.Gen. A A K Niazi
Lt.Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora
Purpose Surrender of the Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command in the Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

The Pakistani Instrument of Surrender (Bengali: পাকিস্তানের আত্মসমর্পনের দলিল, Pākistānēr ātmasamarpanēr dalil) was a written agreement that enabled the surrender of the Pakistan Armed Forces on 16 December 1971 at the Ramna Race Course garden in Dacca. It ended the nine-month long Bangladesh War of Independence and marked the liberation of the former East Pakistan as the new republic of Bangladesh. The war had earlier began on 25 March 1971, after West Pakistan launched Operation Searchlight and the 1971 Bangladesh genocide, leading to a guerrilla war with the Bengali Mukti Bahini. India intervened on 3 December 1971 in support of the Bangladesh Forces, and also targeted West Pakistani territory. Within two weeks, the Pakistani military surrendered in the eastern theatre after a lightning campaign by the Mitro Bahini- the Bangladesh-India Allied Forces.

Lieutenant-General A A K Niazi, Martial Law Administrator of West Pakistan, surrendered to Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, Joint Commander of Indian and Bangladesh Forces. Air Commodore A. K. Khandker, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh Forces, represented the Provisional Government of Bangladesh at the surrender. The Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi announced in the Indian parliament that "Dacca was the free capital of a free country".[1] She was joined by Humayun Rashid Choudhury, Head of the Bangladesh Mission in New Delhi, who thanked the Indian leader and people for their support. Subsequently, around 93,000 West Pakistani PoWs were transferred to India under the Geneva Convention,[2] the largest since World War II.[3] They were later repatriated in 1973 under the terms of the Delhi Agreement.[4]

The day is commemorated as Victory Day, a national holiday in Bangladesh; and as Vijay Diwas on the Indian military calendar.

Surrender ceremony[edit]

Lt Gen A A K Niazi signing the Instrument of Surrender under the gaze of Lt Gen J S Aurora. Standing immediately behind (L-R) Vice Admiral Krishnan, Air Marshal Dewan, Lt. Gen Sagat Singh, Maj Gen JFR Jacob (with Flt Lt Krishnamurthy peering over his shoulder). Veteran newscaster, Surojit Sen of All India Radio, is seen holding a microphone on the right.

Also present were Vice-Admiral Mohammad Shariff, Commander of the Pakistani Naval Eastern Command and Air Vice-Marshal Patrick D. Callaghan of the Pakistan Air Force's Eastern Air Force Command, who signed the agreement. On behalf of Bangladesh, Group Captain A. K. Khandker acted as witness to the surrender. Lt. Gen Sagat Singh, Commander of the Indian IV Corps, Air Marshal Hari Chand Dewan, Commander of Indian Eastern Air Command, Maj Gen JFR Jacob, Chief of Staff of the Indian Eastern Command, acted as witnesses on behalf of India. The signing of the document marked the end of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and the creation of Bangla Desh (later reduced to a single word). Lt. Gen. Aurora accepted the surrender without a word, while the crowd on the race course erupted in celebrations.[5]

Text of the Instrument[edit]

The text of the surrender is now a public property of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani governments and the text of the document can be seen on display in the National Museum in New Delhi. The text of the Instrument of Surrender document was as follows:[6][7]

The PAKISTAN Eastern Command agree to surrender all PAKISTAN Armed Forces in BANGLA DESH to Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA, General Officer Commanding in Chief of Indian and BANGLA DESH forces in the Eastern Theater. This surrender includes all PAKISTAN land, air and naval forces as also all para-military forces and civil armed forces. These forces will lay down their arms and surrender at the places where they are currently located to the nearest regular troops under the command of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA.

The PAKISTAN Eastern Command shall come under the orders of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA as soon as the instrument has been signed. Disobedience of orders will be regarded as a breach of the surrender terms and will be dealt with in accordance with the accepted laws and usages of war. The decision of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA will be final, should any doubt arise as to the meaning of interpretation of the surrender terms.

Lieutenant General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA gives a solemn assurance that personnel who surrender shall be treated with dignity and respect that soldiers are entitled to in accordance with provisions of the GENEVA Convention and guarantees the safety and well-being of all PAKISTAN military and para-military forces who surrender. Protection will be provided to foreign nationals, ethnic minorities and personnel of WEST PAKISTANI origin by the forces under the command of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA.

<signed> <signed>

General Officer Commanding in Chief
India and BANGLA DESH Forces in the
Eastern Theatre
16 December 1971

Martial Law Administrator Zone B and
Commander Eastern Command
16 December 1971



  1. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2008). India after Gandhi: The history of the world's largest democracy (Indian ed.). India: Picador. ISBN 978-0-330-50554-3. 
  2. ^ Orton, Anna (2010). India's Borderland Disputes: China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Epitome Books. p. 117. ISBN 9789380297156. Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  3. ^ "Jamaat claims denied by evidence". The Daily Star. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Levie, Howard S. "The Indo-Pakistani Agreement of August 28, 1973". Vol. 68, No. 1 (Jan., 1974), pp. 95–97. American Journal of International Law. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Kuldip Nayar (3 February 1998). "Of betrayal and bungling". Indian Express. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  6. ^ [1] The Instrument of Surrender on Virtual Bangladesh History
  7. ^ SoP. "The Separation of East Pakistan". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 20 July 2012.