Lt Gen Niazi, Commander of the Pakistani Forces in East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) signing the surrender document for Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora. Watching the ceremony are Vice Admiral N Krishnan (FOC-in-C Eastern Naval Command), Maj Gen K V Krishna Rao (GOC, 8 Div - Behind the Vice Admiral), Air Marshal H C Dewan (AOC-in-C, Eastern Command) , Lt Gen Sagat Singh (GOC, IV Corps), Maj Gen J F R Jacob (Chief of Staff, Eastern Army Command) and Maj Gen Gandharv Nagra (GOC, 101 Communication Zone)
Conflict in Asia:
Poised for War
Section: The World, Page 28, TIME, Dec. 6, 1971
The first warning that a serious clash occurred came in an announcement over Radio
For months, border battles had broken out almost daily between troops of the two nations. The conflict that finally erupted last week along the 1,300 mile frontier was plainly big enough to raise the specter of a major conflagration on the subcontinent. The presence of Indian troops on
Rigid restrictions on news coverage by both governments made the exact shape of the conflict murky, but it was clear that battles had occurred roughly half a dozen sites along the borders. At week's end, a combination of Indian regulars and Bengali Mukti Bahni (the East Pakistani liberation forces, which oppose
After the Indians and guerrillas had moved about six miles inland and seized the
TIME Correspondent William Stewart paid a visit to Boyra last week. "Refugee camps are scattered along the road, but there are no soldiers in sight," he cabled. "In fact, not until we reach the small city is there any sign of fighting. We sit down in a semicircle in front of the briefer -- Lieut. Colonel C.L. Proudfoot. In blazing Bengal sun there are three Pakistani tanks (U.S.- made Chaffees) and an old assortment of captured material; American machine guns and Chinese ammunition. Proudfoot explains that Pakistani tanks have been probing the border near Boyra since Nov. 17. On the night of Nov. 20-21, he said, a number of tanks were heard approaching Boyra. The tanks reached and began firing on Indian positions. A squadron of 14 Indian tanks (Soviet-made PT 76s) crossed into
The Indian and Pakistani accounts differed in a number of details. Initially, Pakistani spokesmen in
There was no disagreement over the essentials of the battle and its dangerous significance. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi went before Parliament in
The elements of this supercharged situation have become all too familiar to the rest of the world:
- a swiftly growing independence movement in the much exploited eastern wing of
- the ruthless crackdown by Yahya's tough West Pakistani troops last March and a resulting exodus that sent nearly 10 million Bengali refugees flooding into india;
- a flourishing guerrilla movement that now numbers as many as 100,000 adherents, fervently committed to the creation of a free Bangla Desh (Bengal Nation) in East Pakistan, and all but openly aided by
. New Delhi
Last Week's intensified fighting sent alarms through the world's capitals, and there was flurry of activity in
For their part, the Russians sent a stern note to President Yahya urging him to seek a political solution that would end the bitter civil war in East Pakistan and halt the influx of refugees into
Today, Not Tomorrow
The solution, in the view of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, is to bring the U.N. into the picture. "This is the time, now, today, not tomorrow, for the Security Council to act," he said. But the fact is that, even though all the big powers are anxious to avert a conflict on the subcontinent, none are rushing to place the issue before the U.N. Security Council for fear that they might prove to be unable to agree. Lying in his hospital bed in
The protagonists in this conflict are two extraordinarily strong-willed, even stubborn leaders. At 54, Yahya is a tough-talking professional soldier who rarely shows any inclination for compromise and exhibits his impatience at the drop of an epithet. "Stop reminding me every day," he once snarled at Pakistani journalists when they asked about his repeated promises of a return to democracy for his country. "The people did not bring me to power. I came myself." The stocky former army chief of staff, a Pathan who came to power in 1969 when widespread strikes and disorders forced President Ayub Khan to step down, showed his quick temper last week during an impromptu speech at a late night dinner in
Child of the Nation
The remark was not only ungallant, it was imprudent. For when it comes to tough-mindedness, Mrs Gandhi is at least a match for Yahya Khan. As the only daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, she was carefully groomed for leadership and grew up an adored and beloved "child of the nation." From her father she inherited a sense of grace under pressure, but where he was the idealist, she is much more the pragmatist. As one political commentator observed: "Her father was a dreamer who did not act decisively. The people loved Nehru, but they are impressed by Indira's ability to make decisions and make them firmly and fast. " In elections last March. Indians gave Indira, who like Yahya Khan is 54 years old, an overwhelming two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Hostility to Hatred
But partition came, and what had been Hindu-Moslem hostility was soon converted into Indian-Pakistani hatred. The very next year, the two countries were at war with each other in the Vale of Kashmir. Even today, Kashmir lies a festering wound between
The issue stems from
"Mischievous and Wicked"
The differences have also shaped both countries' foreign policies. As Nehru created a policy of neutrality and sought to establish
Sharing neither borders nor cultures, Pakistan's divided parts, separated by a thousand miles of Indian territory, make it a political anomaly, at odds not only with India but with itself as well. As Jinnah put it shortly after independence, there was little to hold the country's two divergent wings together except "faith." It was not enough. Last December, when the nation went to the polls in first free elections in its history, East Pakistanis gave an overwhelming endorsement to the Awami League and its leader, Sheik Mujibur Rahman, 51 who had pledged to bring the exploited wing greater autonomy.
The prospect of the political balance of power moving from
Swarm of Locusts
A confidential report recently to Mrs. Gandhi's cabinet concluded: "The most alarming prognosis is that not even 10% of the Hindu evacuees may choose to go back. If this becomes the reality, it might be disastrous for
The dire forecasts are confirmed by a World Bank report released in September.
The setback came at a time when the country was just beginning to show some economic headway. With a $50 billion gross national product,
Economic pressures are also building in
In the light of all this, some West Pakistanis are privately beginning to concede that it may finally be necessary to do what the generals spilled so much blood to avoid: give up
There were also indications last week that Yahya is beginning to feel threatened by political opposition in the West. Charging that "some of its leaders are in collaboration with the enemy and are trying to foment revolt in
Many Pakistanis fear that in the event of war, the odds will be overwhelmingly in
The worst fear of diplomatic observers was that
Another theory holds that
There were two chief possibilities under consideration by Yahya, both posing the prospect of a referendum for East Pakistanis to decide their status after a two- or three-year cooling-off time. One proposal suggested that Mujib be released and that he and his Awami League be at least partly reinstated during the waiting period. The other involved keeping Mujib under house arrest in
Danger of Escalation
Indira agreed to adopt a wait-and-see course. Only a week before, Yahya had made a mildly hopeful remark that "if the nation demands his [Mujib's] release, I will do it." Simultaneously, four appeals for Mujib's release, all of suspiciously obscure origin, appeared in the government-supervised press in
In the meantime, however, several hard-lining West Pakistani generals got the wind of the proposal and informed Yahya that they were opposed to any sort of negotiations with Mujib. They argued that
Late last week, Yahya took time out to attend the dedication ceremonies of a new heavy-machinery factory outside
The message was clear -- peace, not war -- but whether the subcontinent's bitter antagonists would heed it was very much in question.
Hindu and Moslem: The Gospel of Hate
Overnight, families that lived as friendly neighbors for decades in
That was 24 years ago. Today, the religious animosities that have already wrapped the past and present of one-fifth of humanity seem to have become permanent. Not only do Hindu and Moslem troops of the two countries clash at borders, but Hindu and Moslems civilians also frequently tear at one another in cities and towns. In
The 468 million Hindus and 181 million Moslems who share the teeming subcontinent are divided by social and cultural differences that go far deeper than the economic and religious prejudices, that divide, say, the catholics and the Protestants of Northern Ireland. The Hindus inhabits a world peopled by deities, in which material things and the individual are fundamentally unimportant. He lives a life carefully circumscribed by a whole host of social, cultural and religious taboos. All outsiders are suspect, but beef-eating Moslems are particularly "unclean". (Moslems, for their part, regard Hindus and other nonbelievers as infidels.) Almost all of the subcontinent's Moslems -- 89%, by one authoritative estimate -- are descendants of low-caste Hindus who converted to Islam, which emphasizes individuality and equality under a single deity. They did so primarily to escape the inexorably rigid social and religious restrictions imposed on them as "Untouchables" by the Hindu caste system.
The Hindu-Moslem struggles go back centuries. Some 1,500 years before Christ, tall, fair-skinned Aryans invades the subcontinent, subjugated the dark-skinned Dravidians who inhabited it and imposed on them the caste system. But during the millenniums after Christ, plunderers from
By the 18th century, the Mogul Empire was in decline, and rebellious armies under Hindus and, later, Sikh leadership had begun to pull it apart. The British finished the job, and as they began to annex great swatches of the old Mogul Empire.
The proud Moslems, warriors and horsemen rather than merchants and intellectuals, turned inward and all but abandoned the field to Hindus. As Historian Arnold Toynbee described it, "A British arbiter had decreed that the separate Islamic nation,
But why have the divided Hindu and Moslem states not been able to maintain a separate peace? Gandhi always thought that a common thread of Indianness would somehow hold the two together. But the explosion of Hindu-Moslem hatred after partition was enough to poison a whole generation of Indians and Pakistanis. In the meantime, a new generation has grown up on both sides -- one that does not even remember the days not so long ago when all thought of themselves as Indians.
A letter from the publisher TIME, December 6, 1971
We first heard the news of the fighting between
To sort out all the contradictory reports, TIME immediately assigned six correspondents to the story. Bill Stewart and Jim Shepherd covered the Indian side from their base in
"I came to
From the correspondents' files, and from background research assembled by Reporter-Researcher Susan Altcheck, Contributing Editor Marguerite Johnson wrote the cover story. A veteran of TIME's Art section, Margyerite shifted to World last winter after taking a five-month long excursion around the globe by freighter, Jetliner and Trans Siberian Railroad. Upon her return, she was assigned to what seemed at the time a relatively tranquil part of the world:
India and : Pakistan
Over the Edge
Section: The World, Page 28, TIME, Dec. 13, 1971
Darkness had just fallen in
"Gentlemen," said the briefing officer, "I have to tell you that this is not a practice blackout. It is the real thing. We have just had a flash that the
Who attacked whom was still open to question at week's end, and probably will be for sometime. Nor was it clear whether any formal declaration of war had been issued. But the fact was that for the fourth time since the two nations became independent from
As usual, the two sides offered substantially differing accounts -- and both barred newsman from the battle fronts. According to Indian sources, the Pakistani attack came at 5:47 p.m., just as dusk was falling. The sites seemed selected for their symbolic values much as their strategic importance:
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who had just finished addressing a mass rally in
"I speak to you at a moment of great peril to our country and our people," she began, "some hours ago, soon after 5:30 p.m., on the third of December,
According to the very different
Earlier in the week, newsmen including TIME's Louis Kraar, reported Pakistani movements at
The next morning, Prime Minister Gandhi went before the Indian Parliament, "This morning the government of
The conflict had its genesis last March when the Pakistani President and his tough military regime,
- moved to crush the East Pakistani movement for greater autonomy,
- outlawed the Awami League, which had just won a majority in the nation's first free election,
- arrested its leader, Sheik Mujibur Rahman, and
- launched a repressive campaign that turned into a civil war with
East Pakistan's Bengalis fighting to set up an independent Bangla Desh (Bengal Nation).
Nearly 1,000,000 people were killed and 10 million refugees streamed into
The Bloody Birth of
Out of War,
a Nation Is Born
Section: The World, Page 28, TIME, Dec. 20, 1971
"Jai Bangla! Jai Bangla!" From the banks of the great Ganges and the broad Brahmaputra, from the emerald rice fields and mustard-colored hills of the countryside, from the countless squares of countless villages came the cry, "Victory to
Thus last week, amid a war that still raged on, the new nation of
The breakaway of
There were even heavier and bloodier battles, including tank clashes on the Punjabi plain and in the deserts to the south, along the 1,400-mile border between
The U.N. did its best to stop the war, but its best was not nearly good enough. After three days of procedural wrangles and futile resolutions, the Security Council gave up: stymied by the Soviet nyets, the council passed the buck to the even wordier and less effectual General Assembly. There, a resolution calling for a cease-fire and withdrawal of Indian and Pakistan forces behind their own borders swiftly passed by an overwhelming vote of 104 to 11.
The Pakistanis, with their armies in retreat, said they would honor the cease-fire provided
In any case, a cease-fire is not now likely to alter the military situation in the East. As Indian infantrymen advanced to within 25 miles of
Forty workers died and more than 100 others were injured when they were caught by air strikes as they attempted to repair huge bomb craters in the
For its part, the Pakistani army was said to have killed some Bengalis who they believed informed or aided the Indian forces. But the reprisals apparently were not on a wide scale. Both civilian and military casualties were considered relatively light in
The first major city to fall was Jessore. TIME's William Stewart, who rode into the key railroad junction with the Indian troops, cabled: "
"Nevertheless, two Pakistani battalions slipped away, while the other two were badly cut up. The Indian army was everywhere wildly cheered by the Bengalis, who shouted: "Jai Bangla!" and "Indira Gandhi Zindabad! (Long live Indira Gandhi!)" In Jhingergacha, a half-deserted city of about 5,000 near by, people gather to tell of their ordeal. "The Pakistanis shot us when we didn't understand," said one old man. "But they spoke Urdu and we speak Bengali."
By no means all of
Demoralized and in disarray, the Pakistani troops were urged to obey the "soldier-to-soldier" radio call to surrender, repeatedly broadcast by Indian army Chief of Staff General Sam Manekshaw, "Should you not heed my advice to surrender to my army and endevour to escape," he warned , "I assure you certain death awaits you." He also assured the Pakistanis that if they surrendered they would be treated as prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention. To insure that the Mukti Bahini would also adhere to the
Pakistani prisoners were reported surrendering in fair numbers. But many others seems to be fleeing into the countryside, perhaps in hopes of finding escape routes disguised as civilians. "In some garrison towns stout resistance is being offered, " said an Indian spokesman, " and although the troops themselves wish to surrender, they are being instructed by generals: `Gain time, Something big may happen. Hold on.' " He added sarcastically that only big thing that could happen was that the commanders of the military regime in
All week long, meanwhile, the Pakistani regime kept up a running drum-fire about
Late last week, however, President Aga Mohammed Yahya Khan's government appeared to be getting ready to prepare its people for the truth: the east is lost. An official spokesmen admitted for the first time that the Pakistani air forces was no longer operating in the East, Pakistani forces were "handicapped in the face of a superior army war machine," he said, and were out numbered six to one by the Indians in terms of men and material -- a superiority that seems slightly exaggerated.
Sikhs and Gurkhas
As the fate of
The battle have pitted planes, tanks, artillery against each other, and in fact both material losses and casualties appear to have run far higher than in the east. Most of the sites were the very places where the two armies slugged it out in their last war in 1965. Yet there were no all-out offensives. The Indian army's tactic was to maintain a defensive posture, launching no attacks except where they assisted its defenses.
Old Boy Attitude
The bloodiest action was at Chhamb, a flat plateau about six miles from the cease-fire line that since 1949 has divided the disputed Kashmir region almost equally between
Except for Chhamb and other isolated battles, both sides seemed to be going about the war with an "old boy" attitude: "If you don't really hit my important bases, I won't bomb yours." Behind all this, of course, is the fact that many Indian and Pakistani officers, including the two countries' commanding generals, went to school with one another at
"To an outsider," TIME's Marsh Clark cabled after a tour of the western front, "the Indian army seemed precise, old-fashioned and sane. `The closer you get to the front, the more tea and cookies you get,' one American correspondent complained. But things get done. Convoys move up rapidly, artillery officers direct their fire with dispatch. Morale is extremely high, and Indian officers always refer to the Pakistanis, though rather condescendingly, as `those chaps.' "
On a visit to Sehjra, a key town in a Pakistani salient that pokes into Indian territory east of
"As we come up on the border, the Indian commander receives us. He recounts how his Gurkha soldiers kicked of the operations at 9 o'clock at night and hit the well-entrenched Pakistanis at midnight. `I think we took them by surprise,' he says, and an inspection of the hooch of the Pakistani area commanding officers confirms it. On his bed is a suitcase, its confusion indicating it was hastily packed. There are several shirts, some socks. And his trousers. Nice trousers of gray flannel made, according to the label, by Mr. Abass, a tailor in
South of Sehjra, Indian armored units have been plowing through sand across the
The western part of
The fact that
The first is a doubt that the people of Azad Kashmir, as the Pakistani portion is called, would welcome control by
Still, the war was beginning to take its toll on the people of
"Pakistanis have taken to caking mud all over their autos in the belief that it camouflages them from Indian planes. In nightly blackouts, the road traffic moves along with absolutely no lights, and fear has prevailed so completely over common sense that there has probably been more bloodshed in traffic accidents than in the air raids. The government has begun urging motorists only to shield their lights, but peasants throw stones at any car that keeps them on. In this uneasy atmosphere, Pakistani antiaircraft gunners opened up on their own high-flying sabre jets one evening last week. At one point, the military stationed an antiaircraft machine gun atop the
There was little joy in New Delhi, however, over the Nixon Administration's hasty declaration blaming India for the war in the subcontinent, or over U.N. Ambassador George Bush's remark that India was guilty of "aggression" (see: The US: A policy in shambles). Indian officials were shocked by the General Assembly's unusually swift and one-sided vote calling for a cease-fire and withdrawal of troops.
Call for Armaments
Meanwhile, there was still the danger that other nations could get involved.
The memories are still fresh of those who died of cholera on the muddy paths to
How stable is the new nation? Economically,
One of the main conditions of
Last week Yahya announced the appointment of a 77-year old Bengali named Nurul Amin as the Prime Minister-designate for a future civilian government, to which he has promised to turn over some of his military regime's power. Amin figured in last December's elections, which precipitated the whole tragedy. In those elections Mujib's Awami League won 167 of the 169 Assembly seats at stake; Amin, an independent who enjoyed prestige as an elder statesman, won one of the two others. But he is essentially a figure head, and former Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was appointed his deputy, which means that he will have the lion's share of the power. That may come sooner than expected. There were reports last week that Yahya's fall from power may be imminent. Bhutto is a contentious, pro-Chinese politician who was instrumental in persuading Yahya in effect to set aside the results of the election and to keep Mujib from becoming Prime Minister of Pakistan.
- Syed Nazrul Islam, 46, acting President in the absence of Mujib, a lawyer who frequently served as the Sheik's deputy in the past. He was active in the struggle against former President Ayub Khan, and when Mujib was thrown in jail, he led party through crises.
- Tajuddin Ahmed, 46, Prime Minister, a lawyer who has been a chief organizer in the Awami League since its founding in 1949. He is an expert in economies and is considered one of the party's leading intellectuals.
- Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed, 53, Foreign Minister, a lawyer who was active in the Indian independence movement and helped found the Awami League.
The most immediate problem is to prevent a bloodbath in
The Walk Back
Is there any chance that the Pakistanis may yet engineer a startling turn of the tide, rout the Indians from the East and destroy the new nation in its infancy? Virtually none. As Correspondent Clark cabled: "Touts who are betting on the outcome between
And so at week's end the streams of refugees who walked so long and so far to get to
"Man's history is waiting in patience for the triumph of the insulted man," Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel-prize winning Bengali Poet, once wrote. Triumph he had, but at a terrible price. With the subcontinent at war, and the newborn land still wracked by bone-shattering poverty, the joy in
The Bloody Birth of
A Policy in Shambles
Section: The World, Page 28, TIME, Dec. 20, 1971
The Nixon Administration drew a fusillade of criticism last week for its policy on
Senator Edward Kennedy declared that the Administration had turned a deaf ear for eight months to "the brutal and systematic repression of East Bengal by the Pakistani army," and now was condemning "the response of
The critics were by no means limited to ambitious politicians. In the New York Times, John P. Lewis, onetime U.S. A.I.D. director in India (1964-69) and now dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, wrote: " We have managed to align ourselves with the wrong side of about as big and simple a moral issue as the world has seen lately; and we have sided with minor military dictatorship against the world's second largest nation." In
Since March, when the Pakistani army staged a bloody crackdown in East Bengal, murdering hundreds of thousands of civilians and prompting 10 million Bengalis to flee across the Indian border, the
In the past five years,
The Administration's current anger, however, stems from a more recent incident. During her trip to
Last week, in an attempt to justify
It can be argued, however, that
It is true that the new
- destroyed whatever chance it had to be neutral in the East Asian conflict;
- tended to reinforce the Russia-India, China-Pakistan lineup;
- Seemingly placed itself morally and politically on the side of a particularly brutal regime, which, moreover, is an almost certain loser; and
- made a shambles of its position on the subcontinent.
: Easy Victory, India
Section: The World, Page 28, TIME, Dec. 27, 1971
"My dear Abdullah. I am here," read the message to the general in beleaguered
Less than an hour later, Indian troops rode triumphantly in to
Late that afternoon as dusk was beginning to fall, General Niazi and Lieut. General Jagjit Singh Aurora, commander of
Thus, 13 days after it began, the briefest but bitterest of the wars between
Considering the magnitude of the victory,
Although both sides claimed at week's end that the cease-fire was being violated, serious fighting did appear to be over for the present. Initial fears that
- repatriation of
's 60,000 regular troops in the East, Pakistan
- release of Sheik Mujibur Rahman, whom the
Bangladeshgovernment has proclaimed President but who is still imprisoned in West Pakistanon charges of treason.
- disposition of various chunks of territory that the two countries have seized from each other along the western border.
Mrs. Gandhi may well try to ransom Mujib in exchange for release of the Pakistani soldiers.
In the chill, arid air of
President Yahya Khan had declared the conflict a jihad (holy war) and, even while surrender was being signed in the East, he was boasting that his nation would "engage the aggressor on all fronts." He became the first political victim of the conflict. At week's end, Yahya announced that he would step down in favor of Deputy Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, head of the Pakistan People's Party. A rabid anti-India, pro-China politician who served as Foreign Minister in the government of former President Ayub khan, Bhutto was the chief architect of
Ali Bhutto, who had a brief interview with President Nixon last Saturday concerning "restoration of stability in South Asia," will return to Islamabad this week to head what Yahya said would be "a representative government." A dramatic emotional orator, who tearfully stalked out of the U.N. Security Council last week to protest its inaction on the war. Bhutto has recently made little secret of his displeasure with the military regime,"The people of
Yahya's overconfidence had undoubtedly been fed by the outcome of the two nations' previous tangles, all of them inconclusive territorial disputes that altered little and allowed both sides to claim victory. This time, though, the Indians felt they were fighting for a moral cause.
of the Tanks Battle
In the East, Indian troops skirted cities and villages whenever possible in order to avoid civilian casualties, a strategy that also scattered the demoralized Pakistani forces and led to their defeat. After the signing of the surrender, a military spokesman in
Although General Aurora was firm in his insistence that the Mukti Bahini disarm, it was unlikely that the bloodshed could be totally halted for sometime. The new government of
Indian anger at
Mrs. Gandhi made several gestures to try to dampen the anti-American feeling, and refused to allow debate in the Indian Parliament on the
For that reason, there is no feeling in
Meanwhile the huge task of reconstruction in
The State Dept has made it plain that
"We Know How
the Parisians Felt"
Section: The World, Page 28, TIME, Dec. 27, 1971
Time Correspondent Dan Coggin, who covered the war from Pakistani side, was in
For twelve tense days,
The Indian air force had knocked out the Pakistanis' runways and, outside of the limited range of ack-ack guns, Indian planes could fly as freely as if they were at an air show. I was surprised at the extent to which
In the final two days of fighting, the Indians put rockets on the governor's house, starting a small fire and bringing about the prompt resignation of the Islamabad-appointed governor and his cabinet of so-called dalals , or "collaborators." They fled to the eleven-story Hotel Intercontinental, a Red Cross neutral zone that became a haven for foreigners, minorities and other likely targets. Thanks to three gusty British C-130 pilots who made pinpoint landings on the heavily damaged airfield, all who wanted to go went, including two myanah birds and a gray toy poodle named "Baby" that had been on tranquilizers for a week.
Also at the hotel were all of ex-Governor A.M. Malik's cabinet members, who were mostly hand-picked opportunists from minor parties. They are expected to face trial as war criminals. Their wives and other Pakistani women lived in fear, and the frequent moaning from their rooms at the Intercontinental contrasted eerily with the noisy candlelight poker and chess games of the correspondents who were not standing four-hour guard duty to keep out intruders. The hotel roof could hardly have been a better place for TV crews to grind away at air strikes. During the raids, shrapnel was occasionally fished out of the swimming pool, and a large time bomb planted in the hotel was disarmed and replanted in a trench on the nearby lawns. Beer soon ran out, but there was always fish or something else tasty for those cured of curry.
Outside the city, reporters had to go looking for the war, and for the first few days they found the countryside, more often than not, as peaceful as
One of the bloodiest was a Jamalpur, north of
"It's a great day for a soldier," beamed the Indian field commander, bush-hatted Major General Gandharv Nagra, who led the first red-bereted troops in. "For us, it's like going to Berlin," The scene at the Dacca garrison's cantonment seemed bizarre to an outsider, although it was obviously perfectly natural for professional soldiers of the subcontinent. Senior officers were warmly embracing old friends from the other side, amid snatches of overhead conversation about times 25 years ago. Top generals lunched together in the mess, and around general headquarters it was like an old home week at the war college.
After the surrender of