In the history of the India-Pakistan conflict, 1971 holds great significance due to the war between the two nations. This article aims to shed light on the countries supporting Pakistan during this crucial period.
Additionally, it will explore the reasons behind the war’s initiation and other nations’ involvement in the conflict. Let’s delve into the details to gain a better understanding.
Reasons for the 1971 India- Pakistan War
The war between India and Pakistan in 1971 was primarily rooted in the tensions between East and West Pakistan. East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) had a majority Bengali population, while West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan) was predominantly Urdu-speaking. The imposition of Urdu as the official language without considering the linguistic and cultural differences of East Pakistanis led to widespread discontent.
Moreover, East Pakistan felt neglected regarding economic development and resource allocation. Despite its abundant resources, most funds were directed towards West Pakistan, exacerbating feelings of discrimination among the East Pakistani population.
The brutalities committed by the Pakistani army in East Pakistan further fueled the conflict, with massacres and heinous crimes being perpetrated against innocent people.
Support for Pakistan
During the India-Pakistan War of 1971, Pakistan received support from various countries for a range of motivations. The United States, concerned about the potential increase of Soviet influence in South Asia and Southeast Asia, extended support to Pakistan.
Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally and its alignment with the US during the Cold War played a significant role in American support.
In addition to the US, several other countries supported Pakistan during the conflict. The United Kingdom, France, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, and Saudi Arabia all supported Pakistan during the war.
Role of Different Countries
Various countries provided tangible support to Pakistan in different ways. Jordan, Turkey, Iran, UAE, and France provided aircraft support to the Pakistani Air Force in its engagements against the Indian Air Force.
Indonesia contributed a naval vessel to aid Pakistan’s fight against India. Sri Lanka allowed Pakistani aircraft to refuel at its airbases, providing logistical support.
Although willing to support Pakistan, China refrained from direct involvement due to the presence of the USSR in the conflict. The USSR played a crucial role in preventing the US and the Royal Navy from launching direct attacks on India, effectively countering external threats.
US Naval Fleet against India
The United States deployed its 7th Fleet of the Navy to save Pakistan from defeat in the Bay of Bengal. The UK also sent a naval fleet to the Arabian Sea. However, India had already secured a defense treaty with the USSR, which prevented direct conflict and deterred the US and UK from carrying out their planned actions.
The Indian Navy, led by its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, showcased its determination and capabilities in defense against the US Navy. The support of the USSR further bolstered India’s position and deterred external threats.
Mukti Bahini and Indian Support
The Mukti Bahini, a group of trained civilians from East Pakistan, played a crucial role in combating the Pakistani forces. Trained and supported by the Indian armed forces, the Mukti Bahini significantly contributed to the liberation of Bangladesh.
The India-Pakistan War of 1971 witnessed the support of various countries for both sides of the conflict. While Pakistan received support from
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Why did the war start between India and Pakistan in 1971? The war originated from the tensions between East and West Pakistan, primarily due to language disparities, economic inequality, and neglect of East Pakistan by the West Pakistani government.
2. Which countries supported Pakistan during the India-Pakistan War of 1971? Several countries, including the USA, UK, France, UAE, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, and Saudi Arabia, supported Pakistan during the war.
3. Why did the United States help Pakistan during the war? The United States supported Pakistan to counter the potential increase of Soviet influence in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally and its alignment with the US during the Cold War also influenced American support.
4. How did India counter the US Naval Fleet? India’s defense treaty with the USSR ensured support against the US Naval Fleet. The presence of the Soviet Navy in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea prevented the US and the Royal Navy from launching direct attacks on India.
5. What was the role of the Mukti Bahini in the conflict? The Mukti Bahini, a group of trained civilians from East Pakistan, played a significant role in fighting against the Pakistani forces. They were trained and supported by the Indian armed forces.