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Simla Accord

Simla Accord

A devastating defeat in 1971 which led to separation of more than half of a country’s population and split of large proportion of land which was East Pakistan or East Bengal from West Pakistan, it was a time when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto came to power after the so called popular elections.  More than 90,000 of Pakistani troops were captured by India and up to 20,000 of civilians. Pakistan was not at all in the position of bargain and many things had to be settled in that summit. Indra Gandhi prime minister of India invited Bhutto government to prepare for a summit which was to be held in place called ‘Simla’.

Bhutto left for Simla on 28th June 1972 accompanied with her Harvard return daughter Benazir Bhutto to negotiate post-war arrangements between India and Pakistan. Talks begin on various issues such as returning of POWs (prisoners of War), recognition of Bangladesh, Kashmir issue, and withdrawal of forces from international borders. Bhutto came to a relatively stronger position after having a weak position in the beginning. On 2nd July talks went on and after so much exertion and negotiation Bhutto managed to get India return all Pakistani territory, and restored trade and communication between each other. He converted a cease fire line in Kashmir into LOC (Line of Control).  The only issue on which he was not able to get India on agreement was returning of 90,000 troops which were eventually returned by India in 1974 because they could not afford their burden. Simla Accord includes in in one of the Bhutto’s biggest achievements, this was a time when Bhutto’s diplomatic skills were tested the most and he was able to negotiate very well. The success of Simla summited can be estimated that it got unanimous approval of National Assembly after Bhutto’s return to Pakistan.

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