Which countries supported Pakistan during the India-Pakistan War of 1971?

Why did the war start between India and Pakistan?

Basically it was between East and West Pakistan. East Pakistan (current Bangladesh) was Bengali majority but politicians of West Pakistan made Urdu the official language without thinking of East Pakistanis who spoke the Bengali language. Not only this but leaders of East Pakistan were not getting as much importance as west Pakistani (current Pakistan). East Pakistan was rich in resources but these resources were being used and money was being spent more on West Pakistan than East Pakistan. This made people of East Pakistan angry. When East Pakistan raised concern over this not, only did the Pakistani army massacre innocent people of East Pakistan but also raped their women. All limits of brutality were crossed in East Pakistan by Pakistani soldiers. Because of such massacre, Bangladeshi (then East Pakistan) refugees started coming in India. When this number becomes more than lakhs it became a concern for India. It was the moral duty of India to save them. The then PM Indira Gandhi told field marshal Sam Manekshaw to launch an attack on East Pakistan but he refused and told that they will do this on right time.

PM Indira Gandhi visited the US but president Nixon didn’t show any support towards India. That made PM Indira Gandhi do a defence treaty with USSR.

Why did US help Pakistan?

US helped Pakistan because they thought that if India won the war with the help of USSR. Influence of USSR will increase in South Asia. As well as in South East Asia. Other than this Pakistan was a major non-NATO ally of the US. Pakistan was with US during the cold war.

Who supported Pakistan?

Pakistan was supported by many countries like USA, UK, France, UAE, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia.

Jordan, Turkey, Iran, UAE and France gave their aircrafts support to Pakistani airforce against IAF.

Indonesia gave a naval vessel to Pakistan for fighting against India.

Sri Lanka helped Pakistan by allowing Pakistani aircraft to refuel at Sri Lankan airbases.

China also wanted to support but because of USSR; China did not dare to attack India neither tried to help Pakistan. And it was only the USSR who stopped US and Royal Navy from attacking India.

Why did US send Navy fleet against India?

Even after the support of many countries, Pakistani forces were about to lose the war. Seeing this US wanted to interfere directly in conflict.

To save Pakistan from India, US sent its 7th fleet of Navy in the Bay of Bengal. At the same time, UK sent one of it’s Navy fleet in the Arabian sea.

They both wanted to attack India but PM Indira Gandhi was smart enough. She had already done a defence treaty with USSR.

USSR intelligence found that aircraft carrier Eagle of Royal Navy is coming towards the Arabian sea. So USSR sent its 10th operative battle group to counter American and Royal Navy.

On 13th December 1971 USSR’s Navy came in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea. And on 14th December Royal Navy aircraft carrier Eagle and America Navy’s 7th fleet came closer to Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal respectively.

But when they saw Russian/Soviet Navy defending India with nuclear submarines. Royal aircraft carrier Eagle went towards Madagascar and 7th fleet returned.

How prepared was India against US?

Though US Navy’s 7th fleet was being led by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS enterprise with many nuclear-powered submarines. In fact, it was the most powerful Navy fleet. But brave Indian Navy was ready to fight with US with its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant which was leading eastern command of Indian Navy. INS Vikrant was about 1/3rd of USS enterprise.

But USSR showed it’s friendship and didn’t let US and UK attack on India.

On 15th December 1971 Indian soldiers forced Pakistani soldiers to surrender in Dhaka. This is the largest surrender of soldiers. And Bangladesh becomes an independent country.

The Mukti Bahini?

Mukti Bahini was a group of trained civilians of East Pakistan who also fought against Pakistan. They were trained by Indian armed forces. They were fully supported by Indian forces.

This was the story of the 1971 war.

Though India interfered for the liberation of Bangladesh but still I saw a question on Quora which hurt me a lot.


They should understand that only for them India interfered in Pakistan’s issue. And even was ready to fight with the US.

I know that all Bangladeshis don’t think so, but it really hurts.

Thanks for reading.

source: Quora


  1. I saw the Bangladesh army personnel escorted by Indian army at Asansol Railway station .They were headed to Ranchi and placed in P.O.W camp . Indian defence men stationed near each carriage came out and guarded the train .After refreshments the train headed for Ranchin ,I was working in IISCO Burnpur . Came to see off a friend at Asansol.

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