Straight Talk: Change of heart? Not quite

 

Abdul Mannan

// // I would have never known Mr. Yasser Latif Hamdani had it not been for the so called information technology revolution. Mr. Hamdani is a practicing lawyer in the Lahore High Court of Pakistan and runs his own blog and also writes for the Daily Times published from Pakistan. Blogs have become good source of information in many cases though brick bating through blogs are also very common. Obviously not many people in Pakistan write appreciating the achievements of Bangladesh something that Mr. Hamdani did. Writing for the Daily Times recently he congratulated the steps taken by the Bangladesh Government for clamping down on the Jamaat leaders for their war crimes in 1971 and lauded the contribution made by the people of East Bengal in creating Pakistan. He writes ‘Bengalis have never been any less proud as Muslims than Pakistanis. Say what they may, champions of the so-called ideology of Pakistan cannot deny that had it not been for peasant nationalism in Bengal, the Pakistan movement would have fallen flat on the its face. While opportunistic landowners jumped onto the Pakistan bandwagon in what became West Pakistan, it was the common man in the then East Pakistan who waged the struggle for a new nation.

It may also be remembered that Huseyn (sic) Shaheed Suhrawardy, the founder of the Awami League, was also one of the founding fathers of Pakistan.’ Hamdani traced how Pakistan drifted into a theocratic state under the military dictator General Zia Ul Hoque and congratulated Bangladesh for being successful in keeping at bay the preachings and teachings of Maudidi, the founder of Jamaat-e- Islam. However many Pakistanis still unfortunately refuse to recognize the realities of history and the events that led to the unfolding of the mayhem in 1971.

Every year on March 26 and December 16, I review the Pakistani media and try to learn how they view the events leading up to the tragedy of 1971. Usually the Pakistani press is silent on March 26. and a section tries to justify the events leading to the surrender of Pakistan Army to the joint command of Bangladesh and Indian forces on December 16, 1971. What was victory for us in 1971 was defeat for Pakistan. This is an irreversible history. The common people of Pakistan and its soldiers in 1971 were made to believe their invincibility until December 16. About four decades later how do they look at this day? Do they accept the reality and reconcile with the past? Well not always. Few years ago, during a visit to Lahore, I was invited by the founders of a private university in Punjab to come and give a talk to their students. The university was located in the heart of Punjab, a very affluent locality, inhabited mostly by the ‘Chowdrys’— the Punjabi landlords. About two hours drive from Lahore, the journey to the campus was wonderful. The Board President sent me his personal car along with a young lecturer from the university. On our way we discussed all possible issues under the sun, from childhood movie idols, Sabiha and Santosh of Lahore to Pakistani cricket. I recalled the days of the Little Master Hanif Mohammad and the hero of Pakistan’s historic Oval Test victory in 1954 Fazal Mahmood. The young lecturer however seemed a bit ignorant about the events of 1971. He vaguely remembered that once Bangladesh and Pakistan were one country and for some reason they split. His uncle told him that it happened because the Indian Hindus were always conspiring against the Muslims. After arriving at the campus, I was warmly welcomed by the entire Board and the Vice-chancellor and his colleagues. Following a very sumptuous lunch in a local restaurant I asked my hosts what should I be talking about. They had no idea and left it on my choice. In a situation like this, considering the audience and environment, I decided to speak on a general subject, like ‘coming of the knowledge society,’ and how Muslims were slipping into a dark age because they were shying away from the world of knowledge. The auditorium was packed with about few hundred students and faculty members and my one hour long talk was interrupted frequently with loud applause. While having coffee, I was surrounded by scores of young students and surprisingly quite a few even wanted my autograph. Casually I asked them if they had any idea about what happened to Pakistan in 1971? To my utter surprise not a single student had any idea; most even did not know once Bangladesh and Pakistan were one country. Some told that they were taught in school about how Hindus conspired in 1971 to break up Muslim Pakistan. I could only just pity my young friends. An entire generation had been denied the right of knowing their own country’s history. This is the generation that is expected to lead their country in future and no leader can lead a nation whose apathy towards its own history is so telling. Have things changed since my last visit to Pakistan? Not really.

On last December 16, two prominent Pakistani English Daily News papers carried one editorial and four op-eds on events of 1971. The oldest English language daily ‘The Dawn’ (published from Karachi) carried two op-eds, one by Misha Hussain titled ‘Joy Bangla’ and the second one by Saima Shakil Hussain titled ‘ Lest we forget.’ Misha Hussain is a Bangladesh born free-lance journalist living in Scotland while Saima Hussain is the editor of Dawn’s ‘Book & Authors’ magazine. The Nation, owned by Nawa-e-Waqt Group in Lahore published an editorial titled ‘Recalling Dhaka’s Fall’ and its editor Shireen M Mazari published an op-ed titled ‘Same enemies; same blunders?’ along with another analysis by one Tariq Majeed titled ‘Forced surrender in 1971.’ Nawa-e-Waqt previously had a strong Jamat-e-Islami leaning. I do not know about their current loyalty. Its editor Shireen Mazari is an academic, defense analyst, journalist and a politician with Imran Khan’s Tehreq-e-Insaf. Tariq Majeed, I presume is a contributor.

Misha Hussain narrates the usual festivities of Bangladesh’s Victory Day and quotes few people who disclose their usual frustration with independent Bangladesh. He talks about the Awami League-BNP nationalism issue tussle and how the school history books keep on changing with the change of the government. There are all those talks about poverty, the Human Development Index of UNDP, the Hill Tracts issue. He does not forget to mention the people’s struggle for democracy and the young generation’s desire to see the war criminals brought to justice. Saima Hussain feels emotional on this day and is angry with what happened in 1971. She writes ‘at times, I become so overwhelmed by my own feelings that tears come to my eyes. The mistakes, the injustices, the terrible suffering, and the barbaric treatment, both of a people and ideal.’ She mentions her first reading of Brigadier Siddiq Salik’s book ‘Witness to Surrender’ (Urdu Version: Mainey Dhaka Doobtay Dekha) in 1978 and realized why they were taught the concocted history in school. She writes about the positive contribution made in understanding the people of the two countries when Pakistani writer/translator Asif Farrukhi and Bangladeshi professor of English Niaz Zaman collaborated to compile an anthology titled ‘Fault Lines: Stories of 1971’ where they chose to render various Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, and Bangla writings into English.

The Nation’s editorial ‘Recalling Dhaka’s Fall’ mentions 1971 was all about power sharing and the usual enemy India, its intelligence agency RAW took advantage to break up Pakistan. The editorial mentions RAW ‘inducted and trained and supplied mukti bahini force of 80,000 consisting of Hindus, into the scene, posing as local freedom fighters.’ The most audacious comments came from Shireen Mazari. She thinks the break up of her country was because of a collective conspiracy of India, Soviet Union and indirectly the US, and United Nations. She writes ‘at the time the US feigned support by trying to “send in” the Sixth Fleet-but in reality that never happened and UNSC was not allowed to call for a ceasefire till the Soviet Union, the US and its allies were sure of the loss of East Pakistan.’ Mazari goes further and says ‘luckily for Pakistan, the Two Nation theory proved its strength and so an independent Muslim nation of Bangladesh was created instead of East Pakistan being swallowed into Indian West Bengal!!’ Tareq Majeed, expressing his opinion in an usual rhetoric, often shared by many Pakistanis of his variety says ‘the political chaos in 1971 culminating in secession of Pakistan’s Eastern Wing was the result of a plan executed jointly by USA, Israel, Britain, India and former Soviet Union…..East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, may still one day rejoin with the parent country…..The Muslims of Bangladesh have realized that they were misled by design into looking upon Indians as their friends and West Pakistanis as enemies.’

The irony is that people like Mazari and Majeed or the young lecturer’s uncle and many others in Pakistan still either fails to acknowledge the reality of history and the backdrop that led to the creation of independent Bangladesh or decides to sleep over, even after four decades, though the existence of Pakistan is now at stake partly due to the same mistakes repeated even after the creation of Bangladesh. Independence of Bangladesh was obvious due to the colonial attitude of the Pakistan rulers towards its majority people who fought for its creation in the forties. Disparity and inequality between the two wings of Pakistan and political and cultural oppressions just speeded the creation of Bangladesh. It was not the fruit of Indian or other conspiracies. The fact was rather a foregone historical conclusion resulting from the perpetual conspiracy hatched by the ruling clique against the people of East Bengal since the early days of partition.

The good thing is everyone in Pakistan does not think of events leading to 1971 as Shireen Mazari or her likes. A new generation small in number; people like Yasser Latif Hamdani, Saima Shakil Hussain and quite a few others appreciates the events of history. May be the heart is changing, but the change is dismally slow.

Professor Abdul Mannan is a former Vice-chancellor, University of Chittagong. Currently he teaches at ULAB, Dhaka

First published in the Daily Sun

29 Comments

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29 responses to “Straight Talk: Change of heart? Not quite

  1. Fellow-Pakistani

    Bangladesh should have been an independent country right from the beginning i.e. in 1947. After all what was common between West Pakistanis and East Pakistanis except religion (Islam)? West Pakistan and East Pakistan were no more similar than what is
    between Pakistan and Iran.

    Quaid-I-Azam M. A. Jinnah should have done in 1947 that Bangladesh did recently. He should have banned Jamaat-I-Islami on the pretext that it opposed creation of Pakistan, just the way it opposed creation of Bangladesh in 1971.

  2. Parvez

    Most Pakistanis know what happened in 1971. They are being polite and good host. Let it go at that and move on.

  3. Talha

    Jinnah actually did propose the solution of an independent Bangladesh but the Bengalis wanted to join Pakistan.

    Similarly, the religious parties had not yet formed when Jinnah was alive, after his unfortunate demise, the treacherous religious parties gained ground and started their nonsense campaigns.

    As for the independence of Bangladesh, a high number do know what happened. As I was discussing with a couple of people recently. We all agreed that the separation of Pakistan occurred because of west Pakistan’s own deeds.

    Bangladesh (then East-Pakistan) used to contribute 70% to our federal revenue but only got little of it in return.

  4. Perspective

    West Pakistan and East Pakistan were no more similar than what is between Pakistan and Iran.

    Back when I was a kid, I read a Khushwant Singh article about how Calcutta always welcomed Punjabis. Didn’t understand the point of his article for the longest of times.

  5. Tilsim

    I would agree that most Pakistanis realise that it was the shortsightedness and abusive attitudes of the West Pakistani leadership that were the main reasons for the separation. Should we mourn what happened 40 years ago, nearly? I don’t think so. We need to focus on the present and the future.

  6. Kashif Jahangiri

    @Talha

    “Bangladesh (then East-Pakistan) used to contribute 70% to our federal revenue but only got little of it in return.”

    The contribution of East Pakistan was not even 50%.

    I suggest you read the book “The Agony of Pakistan written by Sir Zafarulla Khan, our first foreign minister who later became the president of the UN General Assembly and then the president of the International Court of Justice. On page 115, it says:

    * East Pakistan’s revenue receipts increased from Rs169m in 1947-48 to Rs1,789m in 1969-70. During the same period, the revenue receipts of Dacca Municipality increased from Rs1.6m to Rs16.3m and that of Chittagong Municipality from Rs0.75m to Rs15m.

    * In 1947, there were no jute mills in East Pakistan. By 1970, it had 55 jute mills processing 3 million bales of jute.

    * Between 1947 and 1970, the number of post offices in East Pakistan doubled from 3,000 to 6,000 and telephone connections increased from 3,000 to over 50,000.

    * Between 1947 and 1970, the length of high-type roads in East Pakistan increased from 240 miles to 2,400 miles and low-type roads from nil to 1,400 miles.

    * The handling capacity of Chittagong port was increased from 0.5m tons in 1947 to 4.7m tons in 1969. An additional port established in Chalna had a handling capacity of over 2m tons.

    * In 1947, there were only two small airports (Dacca and Chittagong). By 1970, there were a number of small airports and airstrips while the Dacca Airport was upgraded to handle jet planes.

    * Of the total developmental loans of Rs15,266m made available by the government of Pakistan between 1947 and 1970, more than 55 per cent went to East Pakistan.

    * Between 1960 and 1969, of the total revenues of Rs8,0451m contributed by East Pakistan, an amount of Rs3,884m (48 per cent) was refunded to it as provincial allocation. During the same period, of the total revenue of Rs22,371m contributed by West Pakistan, an amount of Rs4,000m (18 per cent) was refunded to it as provincial allocation.

    * The only steel mill was established at Chittagong and the only newsprint plant was set up at Khulna.

    Clearly, the above facts failed to impress our Bengali brothers who parted ways with us. Their problems were not economic, not at least after 1960.

    The seed of Bengali nationalism was planted in the early years of Pakistan when processions were taken out in East Pakistan against the adoption of Urdu as the national language. Our elders were treating their Bengali brothers as their subjects. For most part, the governor of East Pakistan would be from West Pakistan. There was little representation of East Pakistanis in armed forces and civil bureaucracy.

    Articles like this are very purposive as these provoke thoughts in our minds on what we are doing to the Pakistan we are now left with. We are constantly repeating the same mistakes and are being as naive as ever on the sufferings of our fellow Pakistanis. Once again, we are being dismissive.

    Those who say that East Pakistan should have separated long before 1971 as there was nothing in common between East and West Pakistanis (except for religion) are being overly simplistic. There is nothing in common between the various sections in the 4 provinces of the Pakistan we are left with. We are now fast becoming a bunch of different nations locked in a geographic boundary.

    Thank you Mr. Mannan for your contribution.

  7. PEER SCHAMWHOREISCH RIDZVAUN AL-MURTAZA NAQVI-ALBUKHARI

    There is no doubt that the Ass-tablishment of Pakistan [circa 1950-1971] did not treat the East Pakistanis in an honest-to-goodness or dignified fashion at all. Denied them all Equal Opportunity. We have indigenouslyu fostered much undisclosed filth and scandalizing scum among (and what consists of!) our rulers who have made a habit of paranoidly abusing merit and habitually discouraging talent. In what was West Pakistan (now Pakistan with “West” shed way, synonymous “discarded”) , beginning around 1969 merit became a dirty word. In that concocted world make-believe and The New Brown Raj, any distinction between East and West became muddled and scrambled – -0 confused beyond redemption. Our ego-ricketed generals of the day who used to dream about chotta pegs in Delhi Gymkhana with lovely, curvacious lawlees … fell on their foul faces and fat bellies.

    RECALL SVP that Many Muslim girls were brutally gang-raped (and ruthlessly murdered in East Pakistan, originally in an effort to “change their race”. In Pakistan the demented play politriocs and doctors while looting and decimating the Bank (as well as credibility of Pakistan).

    DDr. Syyedna Iqbal Geoffrey visited Dacca in 1968 and 1969 and proposed a Confederation of East and West Pakistan; but there were no takers. Great ideas are resisted by vermin from scumbags of sycophancy and felony.

    To err is human … great ideas do not die and are always voices of microminority (and vices off the majority-in-power) … I feel an outstanding renaisance can be created if even today a Confederation of East and West Pakistan is created. But for that, to begin with, there has to be both genuine transparency and relentless and bold accountability. Retired bureaucrats, corrupt and chameleon judges of 1960-2006 and bogus lawyers (who have reduced vakalawt to the oldest profession in practice) must be subjected to harshest and most stringent scrutiny. The split can be healed but not by professional quacks. changE needs brilliance and solid vision. It deserves tea and sympathy. Not running with the hounds and hunting with the hares.

    By the way, it is not legitimate, nor is it fair to say the least, that West Pakistan is called “PAKISTAN”; and Bharat described as “INDIA” simpliciter. Think about that!!

  8. amar

    the peer writes:
    “By the way, it is not legitimate, nor is it fair to say the least, that West Pakistan is called “PAKISTAN”; and Bharat described as “INDIA” simpliciter. Think about that!!”

    What naming alternative(s) do you suggest? Don’t just reject – then suggest a better alternative.

  9. ali

    Well said sir, nobody takes Shireen Mazari seriously here in Pakistan. She is a known memeber of the army’s propaganda machinery.

  10. iqbal akhund

    Fellow Pakistani
    ‘Bangladesh should have been an independent country right from thebeginning’

    In 1947 Suhrawardy did indeed propose that East Bengal and Assam should be a separate independent entity. Jinnah was willing to consider this proposal but the Congress turned it down. As it had , the cabinet mission plan.

  11. YLH

    Yes. It was Suhrawardy-Sarat Bose plan. Nehru shot it down to be precise.

  12. Kashif Jahangiri

    @Mr. Akhund,

    If I am not wrong, cabinet mission plan was a story of 1946 and not 1947. The acceptance of the cabinet mission plan did not mean that Quaid-e-Azam considered that East and West Pakistan should be two separate countries. The cabinet mission plan was only a confederation of the united India under 3 separate units. I think we would be comparing apples with oranges if we take the acceptance of the cabinet mission plan as akin to the acceptance of Bangladesh as a separate country.

  13. PMA

    The injustice that was done to our Bengali brothers during the first twenty-three years of our history is indeed unforgivable. The progress that independent Bangladesh has made in the last forty years is remarkable. We Pakistanis wish them best of everything.

  14. Kashif Jahangiri

    Apols, Mr. Akhund,

    I just visited the page again and realised that I confused your point totally with the cabinet mission plan. My apologies, once again.

  15. Fellow-Pakistani

    @KJ:
    “Those who say that East Pakistan should have separated long before 1971 as there was nothing in common between East and West Pakistanis (except for religion) are being overly simplistic. There is nothing in common between the various sections in the 4 provinces [more accurately 5 and if hazara province materialize then 6 and perhaps with Siraiki province then 7] of the Pakistan we are left with. We are now fast becoming a bunch of different nations locked in a geographic boundary.”

    At least there is not 1000 mile enemy territory between borders of these 4 to 7 geographically adjoining provinces.
    personally, i’m of the opinion that all 4 to 7 provinces of pakistan should become independent countries and then make some sort of loose confideration like UAE or EU. This was they all will have their independent constitutions, and they all will prosper just the way bangladesh is prospering. With Azad Kashmir also practially an independent nation. Moreover we will get rid of stupid 1973 constitution and its 2nd ammendment. How is that?
    Then none of these 4-7 provinces will have any qualms with India over Kashmir. Provinces won’t need to feed ‘Pak Army’, and money can be better spent on teaching their citizens on how to become good humans and accept difference of opinion and agree to disagree with fellow humans.

  16. Kashif Jahangiri

    @Fellow Pakistani
    “At least there is not 1000 mile enemy territory between borders of these 4 to 7 geographically adjoining provinces.”

    I take it brother that you have withdrawn the reason you had communicated in your earlier posting as follows:

    “After all what was common between West Pakistanis and East Pakistanis except religion (Islam)? West Pakistan and East Pakistan were no more similar than what is between Pakistan and Iran”.

    Brother, it is neither religion nor a language nor a clan that makes a nation. India is a far diverse country and by your definition she can only be a loose confederation. But no, the progress it is making as a country may not have been possible as small units. Afterall, size does matter.

    Your points on decentralisation are fully taken. Only a continued and uninterrupted spell of democracy can lead us to that level.

  17. PEER SCHAMWHOREISCH RIDZVAUN AL-MURTAZA NAQVI-ALBUKHARI

    To this extent I would personally agree with the “Fellow-Pakistani” that within Pakistan we should (carve out and) have a Seraiki Sueba, Hazara Province ; and that Kashmir should be an independent sovereign country (like Nepal).

    What I meant was that when East and West Pakistan were separated, the Bengalis had better , more superior and won-by-won more legitimate claim to be “PAKISTAN”. Loosers are not choosers.

    I may suggest alternate names, were there any takers beyond speciously debating the provocative proposal. That, however, is a secondary conundrum , water underneath the bridges phenomenon.

    But, behold! the suggestion is live that “Pakistan” and Bangladesh combine themselves into a broad-minded, just Confederation deserves striving and is worth harvesting. Such ideas do not emanate from crooked bureaucrats or retired judges or their pre-planned pollution and pugnacious progeny.

    In Pakistan, to set an example as a role model, nobody should be allowed to own/reside in a house bigger than 500 square yards (One Kanal) after 2020. Land prices will tumble instanter by an estimated 95%.

    By the way on Monday, the 8th Nov ’10 in Lahore High Court (Rt Hon Lord Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed) Syyedna Iqbal Jafree SASC will be arguing the WP that the Governor House in Lawhore be subdivided into 786 five-marla prestigious plots where world’s topmost 786 architects (most will design for free) be invited to design townhouses, one each, … resulting in The 8th Wonder of the Modern contemporary world. It will also generate Rupees 15 Billions for infrastructure implementation, and put Lahore back on the cultural map of the world.

    That foul-mouthed idiot may jactitate that if it were such a brilliant idea, why not NY? Well, folks, New York lacks space; custom designer-houses construction there costs hundred-times as such; besides we have superior (but abused by parasites and their papparazi) talent which USA now obviously lacks. In this (our!) now God-foresaken country, those who never practiced public interest litigation (tough job!) because it lacks laurels and payola, issue sermons prostrate slurrs. That ailment (“nawsoor”) needs emergency surgery before the bells toll and revolution rolls .

  18. YLH

    “That foul-mouthed idiot may jactitate that if it were such a brilliant idea, why not NY?”

    Jaffery sb… I will be sure to pass this along to Justice Azmat Saeed.
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  19. M.Akhtaruzzaman

    Thank you Mannan sir for your writing on Pakistan topic.I always read the Pakdef forum and try to understand the intention of the writers about Bangalee and Bangladesh.Most of them are positive(Except Abbas ,Jain Abbas and few others).I do not argue with Kashif Jahangiri for Zafarulla Khan’s book because he did not count exportduty and foreign aid. I would like to say about the army officers involve in 1971 crisis ,what they thought even in the last decade of 20th century about Bengalee and Bangladesh expose in their books.If you read the following books you should understand why Pakistan got divided in 1971.
    1.How Pakistan got divided-By Maj.Gen.(R)Rao Forman Ali.2.Witness to Surrender -By Brig(R)Siddique Salik .3.Unlikely Beginnings -By Maj.Gen.(R) A.O.Mitha.4.The Betrayal of East Pakistan-By Lt.Gen (R)A.A.k.Niazi.5.Mmoirs of Lt.Gen.Gul Hassan Khan.6.Diaries of Field Marshal Ayub Khan 1966-1972.
    The above mentioned General thought that The Hindu people had influence on Bangalee Muslim even they are not perfect Muslim which is wrong because 1971 only 17 percent Hindu lived in E.P.but in 1947 when Bangalee fought for independent Pakistan then more than 40 percent Hindu Lived in E.P.So the influence theory proved wrong.Actually they did not try to think that the Bangalee are equal to west Pakistany.
    ” The Story of my Struggle ” written by Maj.Gen.(R)Tajammal Hussain Malik is exceptional book.who directly fought against Mukti Bahini but had no adverse comment on them.I have endless respect to Maj.GEN.(R) Tajammal Hussain Malik,Lt Gen.(R)Yakub Ali Khan.Air Comd.(R)Jafar Masud (SJ).Col(Retired as Brig in 1980)Sultan Ahmed of Pakistan Army.

  20. iqbal akhund

    correction:
    My post yesterday.
    In fact Suhrawardy’s proposal was that Assam and the whole of Bengal should constitute a separate and independent state. Nehru shot it down for the reason, among others, that India would have lost Calcutta
    and its wealth.

  21. Kashif Jahangiri

    @Akhtaruzzaman

    Thank you Sir for accepting that the development statistics are otherwise correct, particularly the share in revenue generation and the comparison between 1947 and 1970.

    I have read the book by Gen Niazi and have also read some other literature. There is official record available of the excesses committed by Pak army in the then East Pakistan during the war that followed the raising of the Bengali flag on 26 March 1971.

  22. readinglord

    @PEER SCHAMWHOREISCH RIDZVAUN AL-MURTAZA NAQVI-ALBUKHARI
    November 6, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    “By the way, it is not legitimate, nor is it fair to say the least, that West Pakistan is called “PAKISTAN”; and Bharat described as “INDIA” simpliciter. Think about that!!”

    A good pick indeed.

    I am surprised why Mujib did not choose the name Pakistan by shedding ‘East’ from East Pakistan, which he could have validly done, representing the majority of the country and thus allowed his rival West Pakistan to do the same by simply shedding its ‘West’ and create a lot of trouble for the West-Pakies, both politically and financially.

    As regards the adoption of the name ‘India’ (in English only) by Bharat I think it is a case of blatant usurpation and ill-advised p0litically also as India is the Mother country of the three states of Hindostan – Bharat, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Even otherwise, it looks absurd to have different names in different languages.

  23. M.Akhtaruzzaman

    Dear Kashif Jahangiri
    It is not true that the excesses committed by Pakistan army due to the raising of the Bengali flag on 26th march 1971.After the sweeping victory of Awami league in December 1970,Yahya’s intelligence chief Maj.Gen.Akbar Khan stated that ‘we will not hand over power to those black and short bastards ‘.In March 1971( 15th to 25th ) when the ‘Drama of negotiation’ was running between Yahya ,Z.A.B and Sheikh Mujib then close associate of Bhutto Lt.Gen.Gul Hassan Khan stated ‘There can be no political settlement with Bingos? till they are sorted out well and proper’.The Pakistan civil service held the general idea that ‘A taste of the danda would come down the Bengali babu .Information secratary Roedad Khan were advising the generals to purify Bengali race (How ? Understand ? )
    In midnight of 25th march Captain Chaudhry commented that ‘Bengalis have been sorted out well and proper at least for a generation ‘ . I can include thousand example like above stated but this is not my intention .It is true that Pak army had been killing the innocent Bengali people to fulfill the desire of Z.A.Bhutto and his friends (Generals of GHQ and CMLA H/Q .)
    In 1971 march I was five years old .I heared from my father (Had seen and hardly remember ) that Pak army had killed my uncle and other 22 people in our area,but my father had fled in the sugarcane field and saved his life .My uncle did not raised Bengali flag.He was a religious old man.

  24. Kashif Jahangiri

    Dear M. Akhtaruzzaman:

    I did not say that Pakistan army started killing people “due to the raising of the Bengali flag on 26th march 1971”. I had said that Pakistan army committed excesses “during the war that followed the raising of the Bengali flag on 26 March 1971”. The Bengali flag raising was raised mainly initiated by the youth and particularly the students in East Pakistan.

    I agree that excesses may have been committed before 26 March 1971 as well. However, I have seen some documentary evidence of the excesses committed during the war that followed the declaration of independence and the raising of the flag on 26 March 1971. Most pertinent are the letters written by Gen A. K. Niazi to the GHQ wherein he complained about the conduct of the army officers in East Pakistan that it had not been exemplary.

    One thing is clear. The establishment in West Pakistan was not fairly treating the brothers in East Pakistan and this happened for most of the period between 1947 and 1971. My concern arises from the fact that the establishment in Pakistan does not appear to have lessons any lessons from the 1971 episode. The same mistakes are being repeated.

  25. M.Akhtaruzzaman

    Dear Kashif Jahangiri
    I think you live in western country .Why I think that ? Because your writing published at 4:46 a.m. Am I right ?

  26. Kashif Jahangiri

    I live in Dublin (Ireland).

  27. Bin Ismail

    Participants are likely to enjoy reading an earlier article “Lessons from Bangladesh” [August 3, 2010] by Yasser Latif Hamdani, and the comments that followed.

  28. Kashif Jahangiri

    @Bin Ismail:

    I had read that and had thoroughly enjoyed the article. That was one of Yasser’s typical ones. If I am not wrong, the article “Lessons from Bangladesh” is the one that has been referred to by Mr. Abdul Mannan in the opening part of his article above (this thread).

  29. PMA

    PEER SCHAMWHOREISCH RIDZVAUN AL-MURTAZA NAQVI-ALBUKHARI
    November 7, 2010 at 5:12 am

    “By the way on Monday, the 8th Nov ’10 in Lahore High Court (Rt Hon Lord Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed) Syyedna Iqbal Jafree SASC will be arguing the WP that the Governor House in Lawhore be subdivided into 786 five-marla prestigious plots where world’s topmost 786 architects (most will design for free) be invited to design townhouses, one each, … resulting in The 8th Wonder of the Modern contemporary world. It will also generate Rupees 15 Billions for infrastructure implementation, and put Lahore back on the cultural map of the world.”

    Sir, may I call Mr. Jaffary for short?

    I have another idea. Divide Punjab into three provinces. Multan-Bahawalpur in the south. Potowar in the north. And a smaller Punjab in the middle. Sell all government properties in Lahore to the highest bidders and build a brand new provincial capital along the motorway somewhere near River Chenab. What do you think?