DHAKA, Lieutenant Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, the then commander of the eastern command of Pakistani forces, was near to tears during his troops surrender to allied forces on the Race Course Maidan in Dhaka, on December 16, 1971.
Journalists James P. Sterba of the New York Times in his report titled In
Dacca, the Killings Persist Amid Revelry and Peter O'Loughlin of The Times
of London in his report headlined Pakistani General, Near to Tears, Signs at
Racecourse Ceremony described the surrender. The reports were published on
December 16 and 17 of 1971 respectively.
Giving an eye account to the surrender, journalist James P. Sterba wrote in
his report, General Aurora produced the surrender papers and General Niazi
stood up, read them carefully, sat and penned his signature. Then the
Pakistani commander, now appearing on the verge of tears, stood again, slowly
unstrapped his pistol and handed it to General Aurora.
Besides General Niazi walked Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, commander of
India's eastern forces, wearing a chartreuse turban. General Niazi, his face
expressionless, was also cursed. General Aurora was smiling. The Indian
commander's aide opened a black leather briefcase and took out a brown manila
envelope, the report stated.
When the surrender was signed, on a wooden table on the grass, a company of
Indian soldiers and a platoon of Pakistani stood with their rifles as Indian
tanks rumbled by into the city, the report said.
Describing the period prior to sign the surrender document, the report also
said, Maj Gen Rao Firman Ali, West Pakistan's military adviser to the old
civil government, stood isolated and silent as insult were barked at him by
young Bengalis.Butcher. One yelled at the man who had talked privately of
the fruitlessness of attempting to stop the inevitable independence of East
All the while a young Bengali held the flag of Bangladesh just above the
Pakistani general's (Niazi) head soon after penning the surrender papers,
the report continued.
Describing the hatred of Bengalis towards the Pakistani occupation forces
for their inhuman atrocities on them during the War of Liberation, James P.
Sterba also wrote, A Bengali, searching for the Pakistani officers, shouted,
Where are the killer bastards?
Journalist Peter O'Loughlin of The Times of London in his report headlined
Pakistani General, Near to Tears, Signs at Racecourse Ceremony wrote,
Shooting still sounded in the background as in fading light, crowds
surrounded a table set up in front of Dhaka Racecourse and Lt. Gen. A.A.K.
Niazi, looking grim, signed the terms of surrender.
Hundreds of Bengalis shouting Joy Bangla were kept back by Indian troops
who cordoned off the Racecourse. General Niazi was near to tears as he moved
away, surrounded by cheering Bangladesh people the report said.
Quoting Lt Col. B. P. Hikhye, an Indian officer who witnessed the surrender
ceremony, he also wrote, Then Aurora stripped Niazi's insignia of rank off
his shoulders it is the custom.
The Pakistan troops who had arms laid them down, Aurora was raised on the
shoulders of the crowd and every Indian officer was mobbed by people throwing
flowers, the report said.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)