Indo-Pak 1971 War: Pakistan Army had surrendered after reading this one line letter, Captain Nirbhay told the whole story
New Delhi. The war fought between India-Pakistan in 1971 had lasted for several days, but after the arrival of the 2nd Para Battalion Group, the Pak army had surrounded the capital of Bangladesh in Dhaka. Meanwhile, a letter was sent to the Lieutenant General of Pakistan Army AAK Niazi, but the Pak Army spread here and there in Dhaka attacked Captain Nirbhay and his team carrying the letter. Somehow the letter of that one line was sent to the officer of Pak Army. And on reading that line of letters, 93 thousand officers and soldiers of the Pak Army surrendered.
Retired lieutenant general Nirbhay Sharma says, ‘We were standing on his border outside Dhaka city. The Indian Army was surrounded by Dhaka from all sides. On the morning of 16 December, Major General G. A message from Nagra was received through his ADC Captain Mehta. This message is our CO Col KS. Pannu’s name came. The message was to send a letter to General Niazi. CO sir selected me to send the letter.
I was to go with Captain Mehta. At 10.45 am, I joined Major Sethi, Lieutenant Tejendar and Captain Mehta of my team in Dhaka. This was the first time the Indian Army was entering Dhaka. We were riding in a jeep and were going to be a part of history while carrying the message of surrender.
He says that in a letter to that line, the message of Lieutenant General Nagra to Lieutenant General Niazi was, ‘My dear Abdullah, I am here. The game is up, I suggest you give yourself up to me and I will take care of you. ‘General Niazi and General Nagra knew each other before the Indo-Pak partition. Retired lieutenant general Nirbhay Sharma says that General Niazi was ready for surrender, but he had placed certain conditions, which was rejected by our Army Chief General Sam Manekshaw. He says, “We did not know that the Pakistani army has not received orders to surrender yet.” When we reached near a bridge, bullets were fired on us.
Then I screamed with all my strength and asked to stop firing. The firing stopped, but they took away our weapons. He was a junior commissioned officer of the Pak Army. I told him in a warning tone that even if we put our hands up, its results will not be right. The Indian Army has surrounded Dhaka from all around and their General Niazi is ready to surrender.
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He says, ‘I asked him to call his senior. Then one of his captains arrived there. I also told him about the letter with all the things. Then he took us to one of his commanders who took a letter from us and asked us to stay for some time. After about half an hour, Major General Mohammad Jamshed came in front of us and sat in a jeep and walked with us. Jamshed was sitting between me and Major Sethi. Jamshed was in a khaki dress.
Nirbhay Sharma says that a Pakistani jeep was following us. We were going back to our hideout. Once again firing started on us. Major Sethi was shot in the leg and Tejendar was also shot and he was martyred there. After some time we reached our hideout. General Nagra was there with Colonel Pannu. In this way, Major General Mohammad Jamshed handed over his pistol to General Nagra and surrendered.
It should be noted that later Captain Nirbhay Sharma rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. After retiring, he was also the Governor of Arunachal and then Mizoram. He was also a member of the Union Public Service Commission. And most importantly, General Sharma did a lot of work against terrorism in Kashmir and the North-East. He was also awarded PVSM, UYSM, AVSM and VSM awards for his bravery from time to time.