Hello defence lovers! We are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Bangladesh liberation war. On such an occasion let us look at some 50-year-old examples of how the Pakistani military used to fool their people and trick them into believing that they were winning the war. In this article “Decoded: 50-year-old Pakistani Fiction Vs Fact”, we will take the help of 50-year-old Pakistani Newspaper Dawn’s front pages published between 4th December 1971 to 19th December 1971.
Pakistani Fiction #1
This is the front page of Dawn’s, published on 4th December 1971. The first line says “West Pakistan attacked at 7 points”. Then it says “It’s Now all-out war” followed by “PAF bombed 7 Indian airfields including Agra”. It creates an impression on the minds of the readers that India is the aggressor, not Pakistan. According to Pakistani fiction #1, India attacked Pakistan on the western front, and Pakistan in retaliation bombed 7 Indian airfields.
Now let us discuss the facts. On 3rd December at 1740 hours, Pakistan launched operation Chengiz Khan, under which Pakistan launched pre-emptive strikes on 11 Indian forward airbases, not “7”. These bases are airbases of Amritsar, Ambala, Agra, Awantipur, Bikaner, Halwara, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Pathankot, Bhuj and Srinagar. Apart from these bases two air defence radar stations at Amritsar and Faridkot were also attacked. Inspired by Israeli air raids, the PAF failed to inflict heavy damage to the IAF fighters, as Indian leadership had very well anticipated that. When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was informed about this she referred to General Yahya Khan as a “fool”. This is how Pakistan officially became the aggressor in the Bangladesh liberation war.
The newspaper also kept Pakistani people in darkness about the massive attacks on Karachi Harbour. The Indian Navy had launched operation trident on the night of 3-4th December in which it made the biggest bonfire of the Karachi harbour. The Pakistani ships PNS Shah Jahan, PNS Khaibar and PNS Muhafiz were sent to their watery graves. Thus was a desperate attempt by the Pakistanis to cover up their losses.
Pakistani Fiction #2
So now we have Dawn’s front page, published on 5th December 1971. As we can see “49 Indian jets downed” is the biggest headline. However, Pakistani leadership was in such a state of shock due to Operation Trident, that it started daydreaming. According to neutral sources, IAF had suffered a total loss of 45 aircraft, most of which were destroyed on the ground and that too in the later stages of the war[source]. Though the Pakistanis have this trait of daydreaming and over-exaggerating their success in their blood. That’s why even after 50 years after the conflict, during the post-balakot airstrikes skirmishes, Pakistan claimed that it had shot down 2 Indian jets, one Mig 21 and one Su 30MKI, to cover up its loss of its F 16, just like it lost 4 F-104 starfighters during operation Chengiz khan, 50 years ago.
Between the columns, there is a small headline that says “They Kill Civilians”. The only problem in this line is instead of “they” it should be “we”. The Indian armed forces received overwhelming support from civilians of Bangladesh. It was Pakistan who killed and raped more than 3 lakh, Bengali civilians.
Pakistani Fiction #3
Here is the dawn’s front page of 6th December 1971. The headline says “Big gains on land, in the air”. Let’s discuss the facts. It is true that by 6th December Pakistan had few marginal gains in southern Kashmir’s Chamb. But exaggerating those gains as “big gains” when Pakistan had lost the entire district of Jessore and Gazipur in Bangladesh, and Shakargarh Salient in the western front is purely fictional.
Again Pakistan claims that its airforce had shot down 74 Indian aircraft by that time. But by mistake, it quoted the number of the Indian Airforce’s kills. Over the period of the war, IAF had shot down 94 Pakistani aircraft.
Pakistani Fiction #4
Now let us have a look at the 7th December’s Dawn. The big headline says “PAF sinks missile boat”. However, this statement is quite wishful and reflects Pakistan’s desire for revenge of Operation Trident. We can understand Pakistan’s pain. It’s natural that the most delightful scene for you will be to see the Osa class missile boats sink when these coastal defence missile boats had made the biggest bonfire of your one and only naval harbour and had destroyed thousands of tons of oil in a situation when the enemy had imposed a naval blockade and preventing any supply of much-needed oil and ammunition. However, another big blow from these OSA class missile boats was yet to come in form of operation Python.
Again Pakistan blames India for killing civilians after committing the heinous crime of operation searchlight in which innocent Bengali people were brutally killed and women were raped by Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan exceeded all limits of hypocrisy.
And yes we can also understand that Pakistan is preoccupied with the victory celebrations of its marginal gains in Kashmir’s Chamb after losing significant territory in the eastern front.
Now we think that this is enough for today, if you want us to bring part-2 of this Pakistani Fiction vs fact series then do tell us in the comment section below and For More such interesting articles don’t forget to turn on notifications by clicking the bell icon on the bottom left-hand side.