The National Museum has preserved the historic makeshift stage consisting of a table and two chairs used by Pakistan’s last military commander AAK Niazi to sign the surrender document on December 16, 1971, and has kept it for display as a liberation war relic, PTI reported.
Being the first-ever surrendering ceremony done in public, it was unknown how the stage was set until in 2012, when an Indian war veteran named Brigarider General Sant Singh revealed to Bangladesh’s officials Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) news agency, that he was the man who arranged the historic ceremony.
The BSS report said, “The makeshift stage, for the event regarded as the world’s first-ever such surrender ceremony in public, was held on a makeshift stage mainly consisting of a table and two chairs, which are now kept at the National Museum for display as a major 1971 war relic.”
Singh, 94, recalling the event said that as the Pakistani commander agreed to surrender, India’s Major General JFR Jacob asked him to arrange the event.
He said, “I thought a table and two chairs will be needed for signing the ‘instrument of surrender’ and so I looked around for a suitable table and the chairs at General Niazi’s office.”
He added that he was in a rush and did not get the time to select an appropriate corner at the Racecourse.
Years later, Major General Shafiullah, who led the force during the war was asked to set the stage at Racecourse, he realised that the task has already been done.
He said, “I saw the task has been done already by somebody else. Till today (that day) I have no idea who did it.”
Further investigations were done, and Singh was awarded the second MVC after he captured Mymensingh and Madhpur in Bangladesh while he was leading the battle.
The Bangladesh Liberation war, fought with the help of India broke after a sudden crackdown at midnight on March 25 by the Pakistani troops and ended on December 16.
The same year marked Pakistan’s defeat in Dhaka. According to statistics, three million people died during the nine-month conflict.
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