Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said the breakup of the country that led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 was a “military failure”.
The "debacle had created many challenges" for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led by his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he added.
Bilawal, also PPP chairman, made the comments on Wednesday at the Nishtar Park rally, organised to mark the 55th Foundation Day of his party, days after former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa called the "East Pakistan loss a political failure."
"When Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took over the government, the people were broken and had lost all hope," he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
"But he rebuilt the nation, restored the confidence of the people and finally brought our 90,000 troops back home who had been made prisoners of war due to 'military failure.' Those 90,000 soldiers were reunited with their families. And that all was made possible due to politics of hope... of unity... and inclusion," Bilawal added.
Days before his retirement, General Qamar rejected that 92,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered in the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.
Qamar said: "I want to correct the record. The fall of East Pakistan was not a military but a political failure. The number of fighting soldiers was not 92,000, it was rather only 34,000, the rest were from various government departments."