India’s victory in 1971 War was a ‘landmark event’, shattered the prestige of Pakistan’s military: IAF chief RKS Bhadauria

NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria has said that India’s victory in the 1971 War was a “landmark event in global history.” The IAF chief also said that the victory of Indian armed forces in the 1971 War shattered the prestige of Pakistan’s military and led to the creation of Bangladesh.

“The victory in the 1971 War was a landmark event in global history. On the signing of the instrument of surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka, East Pakistan ceased to exist and Bangladesh was born,” IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said at an event in Delhi.

Taking a dig at Pakistan, the IAF chief went on to say that the Indian armed forces compelled over 93,000 Pakistani soldiers to surrender, which was the largest military surrender after the Second World War.

“The largest military surrender after the Second World War shattered the prestige of Pakistan military and left 93,000 Pakistani prisoners in captivity,” Bhadauria said.

The Indian Army and locals from Jammu and Kashmir last month celebrated the golden jubilee of India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 War, which saw the liberation of Bangladesh.

“Swarnim Vijay Varsh” Yatra was organised in a colourful manner from Srinagar 15 Corps Army headquarters to various places in Srinagar.  Army officers, jawans, ex-servicemen, school children, local youth, members of local bodies, police, civil officers and others participated in the rally.

The IAF chief had earlier reviewed the progress of the ongoing manned and unmanned airpower projects and operational trials in Bengaluru during his two-day visit to various defence establishments.

He had visited the Indian Air Force units and flight test establishments and facilities of Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited at Bengaluru on August 23 and August 24.

During his visit to the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bhadauria was given an overview of ongoing projects and briefed on the progress of operational trials. During his interaction with personnel, the IAF chief spoke of the unique and challenging role of ASTE, noted its laudable achievements and re-emphasized the need for staying ahead of the curve in order to leverage its expertise in delivering the requirements of IAF operational units.

He also visited the Software Development Institute (SDI), the unit tasked with undertaking the development of avionics software. He noted that the sustained focus on critical projects by the Institute had contributed significantly to increasing the operational and functional capability of IAF.

As part of the visit, he met and interacted with the test crew and engineers of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), DRDO and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). 

During his visit to Bengaluru, the IAF chief flew a sortie in a Tejas MK1 final operational clearance fighter. Last year, the air force had inducted the first final operational clearance (FOC)-standard Tejas light combat aircraft into squadron service.

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