Tag Archives: Simla Agreement


Janauary 8: President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto accompanied Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Chaklala airport.

January 10:

sheikh_mujib_return2.JPGSheikh Mujib Returns to Dhaka via London, with a stop-over in New Delhi.

Mujib’s first diplomatic achievement: Indian troops leave Bangladeshi soil, dispelling any fear of a new occupation by a new colonizer.

* Mujib speaks at New Delhi on his way from Pakistan to Dhaka (audio file from BBC)

Banglapedia’s entry on The Constitution of Bangladesh including the major amendments.


Sheikh Mujib returns to an Independent Bangladesh as millions of people greeted him

(Image credit: tovarish_udn from Flickr)

Evolution of Fundamental Principles of 1972 – Bangladesh Constitution. The Four Founding Principles: Democracy, Socialism, Secularism, and Bangalee Nationalism are adopted by the new government to be the foundations of a constitution for the newborn nation.

January 30: While looking for his missing brother Shahidullah Kaisar, film-maker Zahir Raihan disappears — his car is found outside an enclave serving to protect the Biharis; the anti-liberation forces are still believed to be active in their subversive roles against pro-liberation intelligentsia.

The Tragedy of the Stranded Biharis:

Pakistan refuses to accept this ethnic group, who had originally emigrated from the state of Bihar, India during the Partition, and were mostly aligned with the West Pakistanis before and during the War; the Bangalees cannot accept them for their complicity in the genocidal atrocities of the Pakistani army (as Al Shams); the Red Cross sets up a number of enclaves, including the Geneva Camp in Dhaka, in order to protect them from further violence by Bangalee mobs.

February 19: Sheikh Mujib and Indira Gandhi signs the 25-year treaty of friendship and cooperation between Bangladesh and India in Dhaka.

Mujib and Indira siging 25 year friendship treaty

March 1: Sheikh Mujib went to the Soviet Union on an official visit.

March 17: The allied Indian army left Dhaka at the request of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

June: Report of a Commission of Enquiry into the events in East Pakistan undertaken by International Commission of Jurists, Geneva

In September 1971 an international conference of jurists convened in Aspen, Colorado, by the ICJ and the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies called upon the International Commission of Jurists to set up a Commission of Enquiry into the events in East Pakistan. A Commission of three prominent international lawyers was accordingly appointed in November with the following terms of reference:

‘To enquire into the reported violations of human rights and the rule of law in East Pakistan since March 1, 1971, and, insofar as they are shown to be well-founded, to enquire into their nature, extent and causes and to report, with recommendations.’

The Indian Government and the provisional Government of Bangladesh agreed to cooperate fully with the Commission, but unfortunately the former Pakistan Government refused their cooperation, contending that the subject of the enquiry was a purely internal matter.

Part I: Introduction
Part II: Outline of Events in East Pakistan
1-25 March, 1971
25-March-18 December, 1971
Part III: Legal Position under Pakistan Law
Part IV: Legal Position under International Penal Law
Part V: Right of Self-determination in International Law
Part VI: The Role of the United Nations
Part VII: The Role of India
Summary of Conclusions


Bhutto winth daughter Benazir and Indira at Simla: all were assassinated later in their lives

July 2: Prime Minister Bhutto and his Indian counterpart Indira Gandhi have signed an agreement in Simla, India, declaring their resolve “to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon.”

The Indian army will withdraw from West Pakistani territory occupied since 1971 war.

The complete text of Simla agreement.

The Simla Talks at the behest of the Indira Gandhi Government over the fate of the Pakistani Prisoners of War end up in unconditional pardoning of all; in return the Pakistani governmernt agrees to return all the Bangladeshi Civil Servants and Army Officers held in various concentration camps since 1971; however, it also refuses to admit the Biharis stranded in Bangladesh opting for Pakistani citizenship.

Sheikh Mujib also pardons most of the native (Bangalee) Collaborators, except for those accused of criminal activties.

Nov: 617 Indian POWs held since 1971 War are unilaterally released by Bhutto.

November 4: Bangabandhu announced that the first general election in Bangladesh would be held on 7 March, 1973

December 16: On the first anniversary of liberation the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh was adopted.

Among the important achievements of the Sheikh Mujibur Rahman government:

The re-organization of the administrative system, adoption of the constitution, rehabiliation of ten million people people, restoration and development of communication system, expansion of education, supply of fre books to students upto class five and at low price to students up to class eight, effective ban on all anti-Islamic and anti-social activities like gambling, horse races, liquor, establishment of Islamic foundation, re-organization of Madrassa Board, establlishedment of 11,000 primary schools, nationalization of 40,000 primary schools, establishment of women’s rehabilitation centre for the welfare of distressed woman. Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust, waiving tax upto 25 bighas of land, distribution of agricultural inputs among farmers free of cost or at nominal price, nationalization of banks and insurance companies abandoned by the Pakistais and 580 industrial units, employment to thousands of workers and employees, construction of Ghorashal Fertilizer Factory, primary work of Ashugangj Complex and establishment of othe new industrial units and reopening of the closed industries.

Another landmark achievement of the Bangabandhu government was to gain recognition of almost all countries of the world and the United Nations membership in a short period of time.

Text of Simla Agreement & War Criminals

Simla Agreement on Bilateral Relations between India and Pakistan was signed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and President of Pakistan, Z. A. Bhutto, in Simla on July 2, 1972. The Agreement was ratified on July 28, 1972 and came into force from August 4, 1972.


The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan are resolved that the two countries put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations and work for the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship and the establishment of durable peace in the subcontinent so that both countries may henceforth devote their resources and energies to the pressing task of advancing the welfare of their people.

In order to achieve this objective, the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan have agreed as follows:

(i) That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries.
(ii) That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them. Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation and both shall prevent the organisation, assistance or encouragement of any acts detrimental to the maintenance of peace and harmonious relations.
(iii) That the prerequisite for reconciliation, good neighbourliness and durable peace between them is a commitment by both the countries to peaceful coexistence respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
(iv) That the basic issues and causes of conflict which have bedeviled the relations between the two countries for the last 25 years shall be resolved by peaceful means.
(v) That they shall always respect each other’s national unity, territorial integrity, political independence and sovereign equality.
(vi) That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, they will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.
Both governments will take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other. Both countries will encourage the dissemination of such information as would promote the development of friendly relations between them.
In order progressively to restore and normalise relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that:
(i) Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land, including border posts, and air links, including over flights.
(ii) Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote travel facilities for the nationals of the other country.
(iii) Trade and cooperation in economic and other agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible.
(iv) Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted.
In this connection delegations from the two countries will meet from time to time to work out the necessary details.

In order to initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace, both the governments agree that:
(i) Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their side of the international border.
(ii) In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the ceasefire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognised position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from the threat or the use of force in violation of this line.
(iii) The withdrawals shall commence upon entry into force of this agreement and shall be completed within a period of 30 days thereof.
This agreement will be subject to ratification by both countries in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures, and will come into force with effect from the date on which the instruments of ratification are exchanged.
Both governments agree that their respective heads will meet again at a mutually convenient time in the future and that in the meanwhile the representatives of the two sides will meet to discuss further the modalities and arrangements for the establishment of durable peace and normalisation of relations, including the questions of repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian internees, a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir and the resumption of diplomatic relations.


The national encyclopedia of Bangladesh Banglapedia records the event as:

Simla Agreement a peace settlement reached between India and Pakistan following the WAR OF LIBERATION of Bangladesh in 1971 which India supported as an ally. The Pakistan army surrendered on 16 December 1971, and the whole army was taken to safety as Prisoners of War. Bangladesh was eager to try them as war criminals. Releasing the prisoners from the Indian custody and keeping them away from the threatened war trial became a grave national issue for the government of Pakistan. On the other hand, India needed to restore normal relations with Pakistan in order to restore its image as a peace loving nation. Pakistan Prime Minister Z.A Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi met in a summit meeting at Simla (28 June-2 July 1972) and signed the peace treaty.

According to the terms of the agreement, India and Pakistan decided to put an end to all hostilities and establish friendly relations between them in all affairs- regional and international and restore the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir as on 17 December 1971. Under this agreement India returned all prisoners of war to Pakistan without holding any trial. India also made a ‘package deal’ with Pakistan, not mentioned in the agreement, under which Pakistan was to accord diplomatic recognition to Bangladesh and open negotiations for mutually exchanging the citizens opting for Bangladesh and Pakistan. [Asha Islam]


A careful reading of the text shows that in the agreement, the signatories Prime minister India Gandhi of India and President Z. A. Bhutto of Pakistan were more concerned for normalizing the bilateral relations of India and Pakistan. There was off-the-record understanding for the diplomatic recognition of Bangladesh by Pakistan. The question of genocide and war crimes is either ignored or neglected and India returned all prisoners of war to Pakistan without holding any trial.

Composed by Dr. M. Razzaque from BUET