DHAKA, March 29 (BSS) - War analysts and 1971 veterans today said guerillas with ordinary backgrounds played the pivotal role in Liberation War that resulted in the emergence of Independent Bangladesh on December 16, 1971.
"The guerrilla fighters were the main driving force of the Liberation War. Keeping the slogan in the heart, they plunged into the war caring little about their lives," Sector Commander Major General CR Datta, Bir Uttam told BSS.
Fellow veterans and two other crucial stakeholders - the defeated Pakistani and ally Indian forces commanders - supplemented him several of them calling non-military guerillas as the blood circulation system of the war.
Indian army's then chief of general staff in eastern front lieutenant general JRF Jacob said the ordinary people of Bangladesh "deserve all credit".
"It is they who rose up . . . launched the Mukti fouz (guerilla fighters) . . . Indian army came in to their help at the final stage of the war," said Jacob as BSS approached him to recollect his 1971 memories as he was in Dhaka to receive an honour as a 1971 foreign friend.
"I must tell you one thing the Pakistani army was very well
trained, well equipped . . it was very difficult (to defeat them)
it was the Mukti Fouz who attacked them and created an
environment of fear so they could not move . . . a situation that
resulted in their (Pakistan's) defeat".
Commander of the defeated Pakistani force lieutenant general
AAK Niazi in his book 'Betrayal of East Pakistan' named a chapter
"Mukti Bahini", acknowledging the guerillas as freedom fighters though other Pakistani generals tended to call them "miscreants".
Niazi said at one stage of the war his troops lost their mobility to remain static in barracks or cantonments fearing Mukti Bahini assaults during their movements.
Sector commander retired major Rafiqul Islam, Bir Uttam, said "No liberation war can take place and no win can be achieved without participation of the people in the ultimate war while the 1971 war actually was a people's war fought by guerillas backed by villagers and not a conventional 'military war'".
"Students, teachers and commoners are the main striking forces of the war. The commoners in many cases played key role in the war and the contribution of guerrillas was remarkable. The victory in the war had achieved through the supreme sacrifices of the guerrillas," he said.
Rafiq said those who could not participate the war with firearms, but helped the freedom fighters with intelligence, food
and shelter risking their lives were no less then freedom
Sector Commander major general KM Shafiullah, who was the
first army chief of independent Bangladesh, said "guerrilla fighters were the heart of the Liberation War. The Pakistani occupation forces were forced to flee the country in face of guerrillas".
"All the people of the country were desperate to achieve the
victory and ready to do everything even to sacrifice lives for
it," he said.
Engineer Kamol Siddiqui, Bir Uttam, a 1971 veteran supplemented him saying the ordinary guerrillas fought the war while the entire nation backed them.
"The people of the entire country supported them like birds protecting their offspring under their wings," he said.