On 3 December 1971, the War of Liberation took a new turn as the Pakistan Air Force, in an evil attempt to divert international attention about Bangladesh’s struggle for independence to a different angle, launched a strike on Indian Air Force bases on this day. India, burdened with more than 10 million Bangladeshi refugees since the Pakistani invasion on 25 March 1971, considered the Pakistani air strike as an open act of unprovoked aggression, which marked the official start of the Indo-Pakistani War.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out several attacks against Pakistan, and within a week, IAF aircraft dominated the skies of East Pakistan. It achieved near-total air supremacy by the end of the first week, as the entire Pakistani air contingent in the East was grounded because of Indian and Bangladesh airstrikes.
Sea Hawks from the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant also struck Chattogram, Barishal and Cox's Bazar, destroying the eastern wing of the Pakistan Navy and effectively blockading the East Pakistan ports, thereby cutting off any escape routes for the stranded Pakistani soldiers.
Due to the synchronized intensified attacks by Indian forces and Bangladeshi Muktibahini, the Pakistani invader forces were totally cornered and demoralized, and they had no alternative to surrend. And in less than two weeks after launching airstrike on India, the Pakistani forces were compelled to surrender on 16 December 1971. On that day a new country, Bangladesh, was born in the globe ending nine months of bloody war.
Lt. Gen A. A. K. Niazi, Commander of Pakistan Army forces located in East Pakistan, signed the Instrument of Surrender on this most glorious day in the history of Bangladesh. Over 94,000 Pakistani troops surrendered making it the largest surrender since World War II.
The Simla Agreement was signed between in 1972. The treaty ensured that Pakistan recognised the independence of Bangladesh in exchange for the return of the Pakistani Prisoners of War. All the Prisoners of War were treated strictly in accordance with the Geneva Convention, 1925. More than 93,000 Pakistani war prisoners were released in five months.