Pakistani Instrument of Surrender

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Instrument of Surrender of Pakistan
Lt. Gen. A. A. K. Niazi of the Pakistan Army signing the Instrument of Surrender under the direction of Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora of the Indian Army and Bangladesh Forces[1]
Ratified16 December 1971
LocationDacca, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
Signatories A. A. K. Niazi
Jagjit Singh Aurora
SubjectSurrender of the Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command
PurposeEnding the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

The Pakistani Instrument of Surrender (Bengali: পাকিস্তানের আত্মসমর্পণের দলিল, romanizedPākistānēr Atmasamarpaṇēr Dalil) was a written agreement between India, Pakistan, and the Provisional Government of Bangladesh[2] of the Armed Forces Eastern Command on 16 December 1971,[1][3][4] thereby ending the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 with the formal establishment of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in erstwhile East Pakistan. The surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers was the largest surrender in terms of number of personnel since the end of World War II.[5][6]

The event, known as Victory Day, is celebrated as a national holiday in Bangladesh; it is also celebrated by the Indian Armed Forces.

Surrender ceremony[edit]

The Swadhinata Stambha (lit.'Independence Monument') in Suhrawardy Udyan (formerly known as the Ramna Race Course), which stands at the place where the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender was signed in 1971.

The surrender ceremony took place at the Ramna Race Course in Dacca, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), on 16 December 1971: A. A. K. Niazi of the Pakistan Army formally surrendered to Jagjit Singh Aurora, an Indian Army officer and joint commander of the Bangladesh Forces. A. K. Khandker, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh Forces, represented the Provisional Government of Bangladesh at the ceremony.[7]

Also present from the Pakistani Eastern Command were Mohammad Shariff of the Pakistan Navy and Patrick Desmond Callaghan of the Pakistan Air Force, both of whom signed the agreement alongside Niazi.[citation needed] Sagat Singh, Commander of the Indian IV Corps; Hari Chand Dewan, Commander of the Indian Eastern Air Command; and J. F. R. Jacob, Chief of Staff of the Indian Eastern Command; all acted as witnesses on behalf of India.[citation needed]

Niazi accepted the surrender while the crowd on the race course promptly erupted in celebrations.[8]

Text of the instrument[edit]

The Instrument of Surrender
Scanned copy of the 1971 Pakistani Instrument of Surrender, Bangladesh Ministry of Liberation War Affairs

The document is now public property under the governments of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and can be seen on display at the National Museum in the Indian capital of New Delhi. The text of the Instrument of Surrender is as follows:[9][10]

The PAKISTAN Eastern Command agree to surrender all PAKISTAN Armed Forces in BANGLA DESH to Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA, General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Indian and BANGLA DESH forces in the Eastern Theatre. This surrender includes all PAKISTAN land, air and naval forces as also all para-military forces and civil armed forces. These forces will lay down their arms and surrender at the places where they are currently located to the nearest regular troops under the command of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA.

The PAKISTAN Eastern Command shall come under the orders of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA as soon as this instrument has been signed. Disobedience of orders will be regarded as a breach of the surrender terms and will be dealt with in accordance with the accepted laws and usages of war. The decision of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA will be final, should any doubt arise as to the meaning or interpretation of the surrender terms.

Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA gives a solemn assurance that personnel who surrender shall be treated with dignity and respect that soldiers are entitled to in accordance with the provisions of the GENEVA Convention and guarantees the safety and well-being of all PAKISTAN military and para-military forces who surrender. Protection will be provided to foreign nationals, ethnic minorities and personnel of WEST PAKISTAN origin by the forces under the command of Lieutenant-General JAGJIT SINGH AURORA.

<signed> <signed>

General Officer Commanding in Chief
Indian and BANGLA DESH Forces in the
Eastern Theatre
16 December 1971

Martial Law Administrator Zone B and
Commander Eastern Command (PAKISTAN)
16 December 1971



  1. ^ a b "The Surrender Document". The New York Times. 17 December 1971. Archived from the original on 16 December 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  2. ^ Burke, S. M. (1974). Mainsprings of Indian and Pakistani foreign policies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-6172-5. OCLC 234380949. ...continuing deadlock over the release of some 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war, including 15,000 civilian men, women and children, captured in East Pakistan (the few hundred prisoners captured by each side on the Western front were exchanged on December 1, 1972).
  3. ^ Sirajul Islam; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir, eds. (2012). "Prisoners of War, Trial of". Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. OL 30677644M. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Flashback: From behind the barbed wire". Dawn. 16 December 2012. Archived from the original on 16 December 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  5. ^ Koul, Bill K. (2020). The Exiled Pandits of Kashmir: Will They Ever Return Home?. Springer Nature. p. 254. ISBN 978-981-15-6537-3. Archived from the original on 27 July 2023. Retrieved 20 January 2022. More than 90,000...., the largest ever since World War 2.
  6. ^ "Country marks 50 years of 1971 war". The Hindu. 16 December 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 26 January 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2022. It was the largest military surrender after the Second World War and the Indian armed forces, along with Mukti Bahini, liberated Bangladesh in a span of just 13 days and also the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers, the largest surrender of armed forces post Second World War.
  7. ^ Howard S. Levie (January 1974). "The Indo-Pakistani Agreement of August 28, 1973". American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 68 (1): 95–97. doi:10.2307/2198806. JSTOR 2198806. S2CID 246007433.
  8. ^ Kuldip Nayar (3 February 1998). "Of betrayal and bungling". Indian Express. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  9. ^ "The Instrument of Surrender". Virtual Bangladesh. 2015. Archived from the original on 17 March 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  10. ^ "The Separation of East Pakistan". Story of Pakistan. 1 June 2003. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2020.