Monday, June 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Surrendered pistol was not Niazi’s: Gen Nagra
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 29
Even as the pistol surrendered by Pakistan’s military commander, Lt- Gen A.A.K. Niazi, in 1971 is stated by the Indian Army to be in safe custody at the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun, the “symbol of Pakistan’s surrender” was, in fact, never used by the General.

Recalling the events leading up to Pakistan’s surrender, Maj-Gen G S Nagra, who was the first general officer to enter Dacca said when the formal surrender was arranged at the Dacca Maidan, the defeated General had to surrender something as a token of accepting defeat. General Niazi was left with no option but to procure a weapon to hand over to the Indian forces.

“General Niazi never wore a pistol. Nor do Pakistani army officers carry swords,” General Nagra, who commanded No.2 Division during the march to Dacca, recalled. “As per tradition, people surrender swords at such occasions,” he added.

There were reports that the pistol surrendered by General Niazi was stolen from the National Museum in New Delhi yesterday. The Army today clarified that the pistol reported stolen had been surrendered by some other Pakistani officer.

General Nagra said that though Pakistani forces had surrendered “informally” before him, the formal ceremony where the instrument of surrender was signed by General Niazi before Lt-Gen J.S. Aroura, the then Eastern Army Commander on December 16, required Niazi to “surrender something”.

General Niazi was “forced” to wear a pistol while coming to sign the surrender document. “The pistol probably belonged to some officer in his headquarters,” General Nagra remarked.


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