Signing of the Intrument of Surrender
Victory for Bangladesh
  • “Bijoy Dibos” or Victory day is a national holiday in Bangladesh 
  • Commemorates the victory of the Bangladesh forces over the Pakistani forces in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971

New Delhi. 16 December 2020. This is a day when a nation was born in the Indian peninsula and world knows it as Bangladesh. The Commanding officer of the Pakistani Forces General AAK Niazi surrendered with his forces to the allied forces of Bangladesh marking the end of the 9 month-long Bangladesh Liberation War and 1971 Bangladesh genocide and official secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.

In 1971 Bangladesh fought the Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan to become an Independent country, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and established the sovereign nation called Bangladesh. The war pitted East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan.

On 16 December 1971, Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Commander of Pakistan Armed Forces located in East Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender. The Instrument of Surrender was a written agreement that enabled the surrender of the Pakistan Eastern Command in the Bangladesh Liberation War, and marked the end of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 in the Eastern Theater.

The surrender took place at the Ramna Race Course in Dhaka on 16 December 1971. Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi and Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, Joint Commander of Indian and Bangladesh Forces, signed the instrument amid thousands of cheering crowds at the racecourse. 

Air Commodore A. K. Khandker, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, and Lieutenant General J F R Jacob  of the Indian Eastern Command, acted as witnesses to the surrender. 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, Air Commodore A. K. Khandker acted as witness to the surrender.

Lieutenant Jacob Rafael Jacob, Chief of Staff of the Indian Eastern Command, along with the other commanders of Indian naval and air forces, acted as witnesses on behalf of India. Aurora accepted the surrender without a word, while the crowd on the race course started shouting anti-Nazi and anti-Pakistan slogans.

The celebration of Victory Day has been taking place since 1972. The Bangladesh Liberation War became a topic of great importance in cinema, literature, history lessons at school, the mass media, and the arts in Bangladesh. The ritual of the celebration gradually obtained a distinctive character with a number of similar elements: Military Parade by the Bangladesh Armed Forces at the National Parade Ground, ceremonial meetings, speeches, lectures, receptions and fireworks displays. 

Victory Day in Bangladesh is a celebration in which popular culture plays a great role. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including the paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial at Savar in Dhaka District.

The day’s highlight is the national holiday parade on Dhaka’s National Parade Ground, hosted by the Bangladesh Armed Forces and involves personnel from the Bangadelsh Police, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Jail and Bangladesh Ansar. Presided by the President of Bangladesh in his capacity as Commander in Chief through the Armed Forces Division, it has been held since the 1970s as the principal national celebrations of the victory of the Bangladeshi people against the government of Pakistan, assisted by the Indian Armed Forces, and as such it is the principal holiday of the Armed Forces. A televised event with nationwide radio simulcast provided by Bangladesh Television and Radio Bangladesh, it is the country’s main military parade event of the year and is one of the biggest annual military parades in South Asia.

Victory Remembered : Bangladesh celebrates it’s birthday today