Banner Advertiser

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

[mukto-mona] Re: {PFC-Friends}

"the Jews/Israel are still looking for closure for the atrocities of the 2nd world war by hunting down even guards of prison camps and Bangladesh is only trying the lead war criminals/Razakars ....."-K Alam

This is a great point that our Razakar lovers love to ignore and forget. Jews were methodical and persistent while we were/are happy to bend over and forgive the villains as a price of our quick freedom. Pakistanis and their collaborators saw the weakness and they wanted to help us? Not sure how? I would love to know the details of that closure plan? Would Mr. Quasmi ever write the prescription part of this grand Pakistani gesture? Probably not! Because he does not even know what he is talking about.

Bluntly put, it is only a talk to save some rotten @sses. Pakistani military and regime are still in love with these criminals and their motive is very obvious and clear.

On Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 11:51 AM, Khurshid Alam <> wrote:
appreciate the hard facts/comments by Deeldar......

NO way this piece is balanced, Javed !  
come on man, give us a break ! 

as regards closure (Bangladesh will not be able to get closure without our help.-Quasmi), I do agree with Quasmi in that trying and punishing (even posthumously) the 194 or so Pakistani POW's as per Simla agreement (?) will go some way towards closure....will Quasmi and co help in that ??????

the Jews/Israel are still looking for closure for the atrocities of the 2nd world war by hunting down even guards of prison camps and Bangladesh is only trying the lead war criminals/Razakars ..... IF we were to go hunting like the Jews/Isreal we would have to bring back all the 120 thousand (or whatever figure) POW's taken away from Bangladesh by India and released to Pakistan ..... 

Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2016 09:50:25 -0400
Subject: Re: {PFC-Friends}

"Those indulging in such tricks must remember that Bangladeshis need closure for what happened to them during their war of liberation. By trying the members of pro-Pakistani militias such as al Badr and al Shams for war crimes, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed is playing politics rather than working for a closure. This is why these trials create more conflict and polarisation in Bangladeshi society. Bangladesh will not be able to get closure without our help.-Quasmi

Pakistani help is a must? What a joker! Charity should start right at home.

Not sure why people who committed genocidal murders during the liberation war, should get free passes? Because that is an international tradition? What kind of precedent would that create for Bangladesh? Crimes should be forgiven because it was done in the name of saving Pakistan? Bangladesh needs a bankrupt and failed state Pakistan as a new friend? It has not even offered a halfhearted apology let alone a full apology? Had it paid any war reparations to the victims? Hell no! Do these Pakistanis still think that Bangladeshis are so intellectually poor that they need to be patronized by these halfwits, Pakistanis? At this point, Bangladesh does not need Pakistan as a friend or foe. Pakistan got nothing to offer except their Jihadi brand that has been creating havoc in Pakistan and worldwide.

So, my message to our Pakistani friends is that, please keep building a civil and prosperous nation by collaborating with your immediate neighbors like China, Iran, Afghanistan and (India?) if you care before you shed crocodile tears for Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been doing very well on its own!  

On Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 12:27 AM, 'javed helali' via PFC-Friends <> wrote:
There is enough material in this article for both sides to be angry about. thus it may be considered balanced???????
The piece is by a Pakistani The comments at the end of the article are pretty illuminating!.
Sending it to 3 groups. my apologies.

1971 war: Witness to history

Updated Dec 18, 2015 07:27pm
'Bangladesh's popular and historical narrative refuses to take a long view of Bengali identity and contributions made by the Pakistani government': Refugees seeking shelter in 1971 | Courtesy the official mujibnagar website
A visit to Dhaka can be an overwhelming experience — not just because of the traffic, pollution, congestion or humidity, but also due to its history. As a Pakistani, I felt remorse, guilt and shame every time I walked into the corridors of Dhaka University. The names of the students, intellectuals and teachers, who died as a result of Pakistani military actions in March to December 1971, are prominently displayed. A number of other historical sites are also located on the campus or situated close by. Shaheed Minar, the memorial for those who lost their lives in the language riots of February 21, 1952 – remembered in Bangladesh as Ekushey and celebrated by the United Nations as World's Mother Language Day – and Bangla Academy, established in the wake of the rise of the Bengali Language Movement in the 1950s, are part of the university campus. Opposite Bangla Academy is the famous Ramna Race Course (now called Suhrawardy Udyan) where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made his famous speech on March 7, 1971, which ended with these ominous words: "The struggle this time is for our freedom. The struggle this time is for our independence". The surrender ceremony of the Pakistani military also took place here on December 16, 1971.
Adjacent to Suhrawardy Udyan is another building which has become largely irrelevant for most Bangladeshis. Generally referred to as the Mausoleum of Three Leaders, this multi-arched structure built in the 1960s is the resting place of three Bengali politicians: Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892-1963), A K Fazlul Haq (1873-1962), and Khawaja Nazimuddin (1894-1964). Suhrawardy and Nazimuddin served as prime ministers of Pakistan in the 1950s and Haq was one of the movers of the Lahore Resolution of March 1940, later renamed as Pakistan Resolution. The lack of interest in this mausoleum is reflective of the general apathy among Bangladeshis towards pre-1971 history.

Since 1971, anything honouring the founding figures of Pakistan have been renamed or removed. Jinnah, too, has not been accorded any respect because he had declared Urdu the official language of Pakistan while addressing a gathering in Dhaka in 1948. Post-1971, Jinnah College became Titumir College and Jinnah Avenue became Bangabandhu Avenue (Bangabandhu meaning 'a friend of Bengal' was a title given to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1969 after he was released from prison, following his arrest and trial for what is known as the Agartala Conspiracy Case). The vast area which now houses several government buildings – including the national parliament – was developed during the 1960s and was originally named Ayub Nagar after Ayub Khan. It is now called Sher-e-Banglanagar to honour Haq.
'The government of Bangladesh insists that the death toll of the warwas close to three million and called it genocide, but revisionist historians in Pakistan bring the number to under one million': Rickshaw passengers and drivers massacred in Dhaka in 1971 | Courtesy official Mujibnagar website
These changes are symptomatic of a selective historical narrative that leaves out many developments that took place between 1947 and 1971 but do not help explain how and why the need to turn East Pakistan into an independent state became urgent and unavoidable. These changes include most of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's political career during that period. Like Suhrawardy and Haq – and, indeed, many other prominent politicians in East Pakistan – he was not always the separatist nationalist he is projected to be in both Pakistan and Bangladesh. During the 1960s, his Awami League was an active participant in mainstream Pakistani politics as part of the opposition alliance against Ayub Khan. He had also worked as a political lieutenant to Suhrawardy in the first decade and a half of united Pakistan and was a prominent participant in Fatima Jinnah's presidential campaign in 1965. Even his famous six-point charter of demands was first presented in Lahore in 1966 at a meeting organised by the opposition parties.
It can be argued that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took centre stage in East Pakistan's politics only during the mid 1960s, when the three towering figures of the region's politics – Suhrawardy, Haq and Nazimuddin – died in quick succession, leaving a huge political void. He seemed to be aware that, on his own, he would find it difficult to fill that gap and, therefore, requested Justice (retd) Muhammad Ibrahim to take up the reigns of the Awami League. Ibrahim retired as a judge of the high court's Dhaka bench in the 1950s and later served as law minister under Ayub Khan from 1958 to 1962. He made several entries in his diary, which he wrote between 1960 and 1966, about Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's repeated offers to him to lead his party.
There were at least 3,000 trained personnel of the three forces who switched loyalties and joined the rebel ranks. The renegades from the security forces mostly fled to India where they joined the Mukti Bahini.
Although he had joined Ayub Khan's military government, Ibrahim was a staunch Bengali nationalist. Ayub Khan disliked him immensely and bypassed him completely while drafting the 1962 Constitution. Not only did Ibrahim frequently voice his concerns in cabinet meetings about the injustices meted out to East Pakistan but also suggested remedies. One of these remedies bore close resemblance to a demand later made by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his six points: create separate currencies for West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The idea – also known as the "two economy thesis" – was, in fact, first floated when Pakistani economists met in Dhaka to discuss the first five-year plan. As recorded by Bangladeshi academic Rounaq Jahan in her 1972 book Pakistan: Failure in National Integration, Bengali economists were cognisant of the historical roots of underdevelopment in East Pakistan and did not entirely blame the central government for their region's poverty and backwardness. They simply demanded that East Pakistan be given preferential treatment in social and economic development, treating it as a special economic unit distinct from West Pakistan. Their demand, however, fell on deaf ears.
Ibrahim blamed the Punjabi bureaucracy for this indifference and predicted the break-up of Pakistan because of the intransigence and greed of Punjabi bureaucrats. "The Punjabis want to rule Pakistan and they think that they have a right to do so," he wrote in his diary. He also recalled telling a friend in 1947 that, "Punjabis are Pakistan's Jhopar Kural (an axe used for felling a clump of bamboos)". What he meant was that Punjabis would cut down the roots of the newly set up country.
In a lecture I delivered at Dhaka University, I made a passing reference to Chaudhry Rahmat Ali. From the audience's response, I could gather that they did not know him. When I asked the students whether they knew about him, they all said no. This says a lot about the course the study of history has taken in Bangladesh since 1971: most pre-1947 political developments are not considered relevant. This explains why the likes of Ali do not figure prominently in the historical narrative of Bangladesh, even though Bangladeshi nationalists could have used his story to strengthen their claim to independent nationhood. After all, the word 'Pakistan' as coined by him did not have any reference to Bengal. Similarly, because of a general lack of interest in the Pakistan Movement in Bangladesh, Bangladeshi historians barely notice that the Lahore Resolution demanded multiple "states", rather than a single country, for the Muslims of India.

Bangladesh's official and popular historical narrative refuses to take a long view of Bengali identity formation during the colonial period, in general, and the contribution made therein by the Pakistan Movement in the 1940s, in particular. This has created confusion in Bangladesh about whether the people of the country are Bengalis or Bangladeshis. Pakistanis, too, have a poor understanding of Bangladesh's history. They simply look at the country as a product of an Indian conspiracy. The full extent of Bengali identity formation in the British colonial period and the developments which took place after 1947, resulting in the alienation of East Pakistan, are lost upon them. This is because books on the history and politics of Bangladesh are hard to obtain in Pakistan. Publishers in Pakistan have mostly shown interest in reprinting and translating books which support Pakistan's version of the 1971 war rather than the ones that look at the fateful events of that year in their complete historical context.
'Bangladeshis need closure to forget what happened to them in the war of liberation': Pakistani soldiers rounding up a Bangladeshi liberation fighter in 1971.| courtesy official Mujibnagar website
In order to have a fuller picture, it is essential to go through such works as Sufia Ahmed's Muslim Community in Bengal, 1884-1912 and Rafiuddin Ahmed's The Bengal Muslims, 1871-1906. These writers have traced the history of various developments during the late 19th century, when a distinct Muslim identity was taking shape in Bengal. Two of the best books to have come out in recent years covering this subject are Neilesh Bose's Recasting the Region: Language, Culture and Islam in Colonial Bengal and Taj ul-Islam Hashmi's Peasant Utopia: The Communalization of Class Politics in East Bengal, 1920-1947. Bose has been able to build upon earlier works and also explore extensive new material from political archives and cultural productions to find the link between Bengali Muslim identity and the popularity of the idea of Pakistan in Bengal. In the rural hinterland of East Bengal – that was both undeveloped and snubbed by Calcutta-dominated Bengali Hindu elite – Pakistan was a utopian land for Bengali peasants.

But the euphoria around the Pakistan Movement dissipated as quickly as it had come about. The frustration and disappointment with Pakistan developed almost immediately after 1947, as is documented by Ahmed Kamal in his book State Against the Nation: Decline of the Muslim League in Pre-Independence Bangladesh. Kamal's book suggests that the provincial assembly elections held in East Pakistan in 1954 largely sealed the fate of Pakistan — much before the general elections of 1970, which are usually credited or blamed for the creation of Bangladesh. The Muslim League suffered a massive drubbing in those polls and could win only less than a dozen seats in an assembly of 309 seats. The Jugto Front or the United Front, comprising almost all the parties in East Pakistan except the Muslim League, won a whopping 223 seats. Yet, the central government dismissed the United Front's provincial government only a few weeks after it came to power. The central government also made attempts to create fissures in the ranks of the United Front so that its majority in the provincial assembly could be whittled down.
Books on the history and politics of Bangladesh are hard to obtain in Pakistan. Publishers have mostly shown interest in reprinting and translating books which support Pakistan's version of the 1971 war.
A historical narrative that covers all these complex subjects will bring a nuanced understanding of the creation of Bangladesh. There is no doubt that 1971 will always remain the most important time as far as Bangladesh's history is concerned but, on its own, it will never be able to explain the origins of Bengali Muslim identity in the region. It was the evolution of this identity which led the Muslims in East Bengal to demand, and have, a homeland for themselves, separate from Hindu-dominated West Bengal — initially as part of a united Pakistan and, since 1971, as an independent state of their own.

Like all other nation states, Bangladesh has been struggling to construct, and impose, a single national historical narrative. But even in a state like Bangladesh, where ethnic and linguistic variations are few – if any – the process of identity formation remains contested. This explains why, in a state created on the basis of regional autonomy and cultural and linguistic rights, the tribes living in Chittagong Hill Tracts objected to the constitution adopted in 1972 which called the citizens of the country as Bengalis. As quoted by the academic Jahan in an edited volume, Bangladesh: Promise and Performance, Manabendranath Larma, representing the people of Chittagong Hill Tracts, instead suggested the citizens of the new state be called Bangladeshis.
But this suggestion only half-addressed the problem. While being Bangladeshi, as opposed to being Bengali alone, allowed non-Bengali citizens to feel included in the national fold, it led to a differentiation between Bangladeshi Bengalis – who were mostly Muslim – and Indian Bengalis – who were mostly Hindus – thereby creating a de facto religious divide between the two. This differentiation contradicted Bangladesh's constitution which, in its original version, had declared nationalism, democracy, socialism and secularism as its guiding principles. The constitution has been rewritten repeatedly since then and secularism has been replaced with "absolute truth and faith in Almighty Allah". Yet, Bangladesh's quest for a unique identity which emphasises its Bengali origins without compromising its political sovereignty continues.
'We need to know the details of what happened to the people of East Pakistan during 1971:' Pakistani soldiers attempt to persuade a civilian in order to extract information | Courtesy of official Mujibnagar website
One interesting manifestation of this quest is the use of Urdu words in Bangladesh. During the 1970 election campaign, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman used to raise the 'Joy Bangla' ('Long live Bengal') slogan. At a ceremony to administer oath to the Awami League's parliamentarians on January 3, 1971, he ended the event with two slogans: 'Joy Bangla' and 'Joy Pakistan'. On the other hand, as reported by Khan Md Lutfor Rahman in Nation Building Problems in Bangladesh: A Socio-Economic-Political Perspective, when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed along with almost all of his family on August 15, 1975, Khondaker Mushtaq Ahmad – the puppet president installed by the military – ended his radio speech with, "Bangladesh Zindabad". The use of 'zindabad' was clearly meant to send a positive signal to Pakistan which was promptly reciprocated by despatching a shipment of food grains to help the famine-stricken Bangladesh — a humanitarian crisis which has played a significant role in building up public resentment against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's totalitarian rule. Though this does not mean that Urdu has, since then, become acceptable in Bangladesh, the use of the word 'zindabad' indicated a major policy change in the cultural politics of Bangladesh and had an impact on its domestic and foreign policy orientations as well — moving away from secular nationalism and India but tilting towards religion and Pakistan.

Regardless of the difference in orientation, both the language-inspired Bangladeshi nationalism and its religion-driven alternative do not regard hundreds of thousands of Biharis living in Bangladesh as legitimate citizens of the state. The forefathers of these Biharis had migrated to East Pakistan in 1947 from the Indian state of Bihar and they come from an ethnic and linguistic stock different from that of Bengalis. Even though most of them want to become Bangladeshi citizens, they still live in squalid camps as "stranded Pakistanis". There are 400,000 to 500,000 of them living in makeshift settlements in Dhaka and other Bangladeshi cities. "I wouldn't advise you to go to these camps", said a cab driver to me. "They will recognise that you are from Pakistan and may get aggressive. They will say you guys are having so much fun there and we are suffering here because of you."
These Biharis are essentially stateless people as neither Pakistan nor Bangladesh is willing to accept them as citizens. Earlier this year, the Foreign Office in Islamabad told the Supreme Court that Pakistan had already resettled about 170,000 Biharis within Pakistani territory and those still living in Bangladesh were no longer Pakistan's responsibility. In Bangladesh, they are not even eligible for citizenship despite the fact that they were living in the country when it became an independent state. Even though a vast majority of those living in the camps were born in or after the 1990s – or, at the least, after 1971 – they are still seen as traitors who collaborated with Pakistan's security forces against the local people. "They were razakars (volunteers). They were involved in the genocide [of the local people]. We cannot forget that," a professor in Dhaka told me.
'The conflict in 1971 was the climax of a long struggle by the people of East Pakistan of acquiring autonomy through political means': The Pakistani military conducting an operation against India during the 1971 war| courtesy official Mujibnagar website
Possessing no identity documents, the Biharis are largely confined to heavily overpopulated ghettos where they receive education and health facilities through non-governmental organisations and aid workers. Their presence manifests a contradiction inherent in every nation state: that it has the impulse to minoritise some segment of the population on some basis. There will always be communities within nation states which are not 'French enough' because they don't give up the hijab or tweet the hashtag Je Suis Charlie.

I happened to be in Dhaka at a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on an official visit there. The people I spoke to – and I make no claims of having met a large number of people from different sections of the society – were being critical, albeit cautiously, of their own government for having signed agreements which promoted Indian interests at the expense of Bangladesh. India, for instance, managed to get official Bangladeshi approval for a transit route through Bangladeshi territory to create a direct connection between the Indian mainland and the seven north-eastern states squeezed between Bangladesh on the West and Burma on the east. Bangladeshis were shocked that India had got what it wanted without having to give anything in return. They had expected some development on the long-standing issue of water sharing – especially the use of the Teesta river – and the construction of dams by India.
India also finally ratified a border agreement which Bangladesh had ratified in 1974. The ratification will lead to land swaps at a number of small enclaves stranded on the wrong side of the border between the two countries but, as many Bangladeshis pointed out to me, it does not address the killing of Bangladeshi civilians by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF).
It may look like a long shot but the truth is that the Bangladeshi's hatred for the BSF helped me understand the idea of Pakistan. This idea has come to exemplify different things to different people in South Asia, depending on their differing contexts. Crowds waving Pakistani flags in Kashmir do not do so because they deem Kashmir as the unfinished agenda of Partition but because they live as a persecuted community. For them, Pakistan signifies the will to power of a community that has established its own sovereign political authority which employs overt symbols, notions and laws representing its religion. The idea of Pakistan for Kashmiris, therefore, is akin to freedom from oppression or freedom from being relegated to a minority.
Crowds waving Pakistani flags in Kashmir do not do so because they deem Kashmir as the unfinished adgenda of Partition but because they live as a persecuted community.
In Bangladesh's case, the idea of Pakistan resides in the desire to be on par with India. This parity was central to Muslim politics, including those in Bengal, during the decades preceding Partition. The All-India Muslim League and its leaders – especially Jinnah – argued at the time that Muslims in India needed to be treated as a special minority and, therefore, must be entitled to disproportionate representation, especially in the central legislature and constitution-making bodies. The Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946 offered exactly this kind of parity by allowing provinces to come together into geographically contiguous units, which would then join an all-India federation as regions with considerable financial, economic and political autonomy. The two proposed Muslim-majority units, Jinnah expected, would enable Muslims to achieve parity with the rest of India as far as the protection of their economic, political and cultural rights was concerned.
How is this idea of parity relevant to Bangladesh today? To find a detailed answer, one may have to look into the history of the relationship between East Bengal and West Bengal before Partition, East Pakistan and India between 1947 and 1971, and Bangladesh and India since 1971. At the surface level, however, most Bangladeshis talk about military parity. "Prior to 1971, if BSF killed one [Pakistani], East Pakistan Rifles would kill two [Indians] in retaliation," is how one Bangladeshi put it. He then complained that Bangladesh could no longer afford to do that. "Look at the situation now. Indian BSF kills dozens of innocent Bangladeshis everyday on our borders and we are so helpless about it."

Such will to power – the ability to respond to an act of aggression – was a strong factor in the movement for Pakistan and it continues to shape the idea of Pakistan for both Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis. Even certain sections of the Muslim population in India share this idea. When Nurul Islam – a Harvard-trained economist who had served in key government positions in Pakistan during the 1950s and the 1960s – went into exile in Calcutta in 1971, he found his Bengali Muslim host opposing the cause of an independent Bangladesh. In his book, Making of a Nation, Bangladesh: An Economist's Tale, Islam recorded his host as saying that a "strong and united Pakistan was a balancing factor against India and provided some constraint on India's discriminatory, if not outrightly hostile, treatment of the Muslims". He also suggested that the "Muslims in the East should have settled their differences with Pakistan peacefully, without destroying its integrity". Indian nationalist politicians, such as Nehru, and historians, such as Bipan Chandra and Mushirul Hasan, dismiss this idea of parity either as communalist or false consciousness. They fail to understand that it was, and continues to be, popular. There has to be some rational explanation for it.
'Bangladeshis were shocked during Modi's recent visit to Dhaka when the Bangladeshi government granted India approval for a transit route through the country': Indian General Jagjit Singh Arora and General A A K Niazi aka 'Tiger', are pictured here, a few moments before the historic surrender in 1971 | Courtesy official Mujibnagar website
The popularity of the idea of parity, however, does not make it right. It is inherently confrontationist because it is premised on the equality of response the two sides can give to each other in economic, political, cultural and, most importantly, military terms. It also has the tendency to create a fascist sense of supremacy and the desire to wipe the other out of existence. As we see around us, this idea of parity is shaping the worldview of Pakistan's burgeoning urban middle class which champions conservative and orthodox social practices, hates India (and Hindus) and glorifies military power. Those seeking parity with India in military terms also fail to understand its implications: a state with stunted political structures and limited economic resource base investing disproportionately in military expenditure to compete with a state six times its size, and with far bigger economic resources, will end up having its military as an overdeveloped institution. The necessary corollaries of this will be jingoistic rhetoric dominating the public sphere and endemic system failures in the political arena.
The controversy about India's involvement in the 1971 war resurfaced while I was still in Dhaka. This happened because of Modi's statement glorifying the role played by India in the liberation of Bangladesh. The Foreign Office in Islamabad responded by calling his statement an official admission by New Delhi of its guilt in bringing about the dismemberment of Pakistan in violation of the United Nations charter. This response not only lacked context, it also exhibited a woeful disregard for history.

While the rest of the world is already aware, the majority of Pakistanis must also be apprised of the events which culminated in Bangladesh's independence. Most importantly, Pakistanis should know that the conflict in 1971 was the climax of a long struggle by the people of East Pakistan for acquiring autonomy through political means. It was only after the military operation of March 1971 that radical, pro-independence militant elements acquired widespread popular support in East Pakistan. It is also about time that Pakistanis acknowledge the terrible crimes committed by Pakistani administrative and security institutions in East Pakistan. To cite just one example, scores of Bengali intellectuals, journalists and student activists were brutally killed on the night of March 25, 1971, during a military operation inside Dhaka University's Jagannath Hall. The hostel was targeted because most of the boarders there were Hindus.
'The founder of Bangladesh was not always the separatist and nationalist he was projected to be': Supporters cheering 'Banglabandhu' Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman at the liberation| Courtesy official Mujibnagar website
The resentment over the operation was so pervasive that the military found its own personnel seething with anger. Soon, East Pakistanis working with the police, East Pakistan Rifles and even the Pakistan Army started deserting their jobs. According to one estimate, there were at least 3,000 trained personnel of the three forces who switched loyalties and joined the rebel ranks. The renegades from the security forces mostly fled to India where they joined the Mukti Bahini under the military command of Colonel Osmani and the likes of Major Ziaur Rahman, who later became the president of Bangladesh. According to Colonel Osmani, as quoted by Bangladeshi economist, diplomat, and minister A M A Muhith in his book Bangladesh: Emergence of a Nation: "If the Pakistanis had only limited their action against selected politicians, Bengalis in the army and the police force might have stayed neutral. It was only when information got around that the Pakistan Army was out to kill Bengali intellectuals and servicemen as well that we revolted to a man."
There is no doubt that 1971 will always remain the most important time as far as Bangladesh's history is concerned but, on its own, it will never be able to explain the origins of Bengali Muslim identity in the region.
The desertions were not limited to the security forces. When a government of Bangladesh in exile was set up in April 1971, the entire Pakistani mission in Calcutta switched loyalties and supported the government in exile. This was a huge embarrassment for the government of Pakistan, which responded by becoming more suspicious of its Bengali diplomats around the globe who, nonetheless, continued to quit the comforts of a diplomatic life to make their contribution to what they saw as a war of liberation.
From March 1971 onwards, the conflict in East Pakistan became a civil war in which the rebels enjoyed massive popular support. The means employed by Pakistani authorities to crush the rebellion during this period became extremely brutal. About 10 million people from East Pakistan had to flee their homes and seek refuge in India. Thousands of Bengali women were raped. Immediately after the war, international medical agencies rushed to Bangladesh to help with abortions. Others helped by offering to adopt children born out of this traumatic experience. Even the most conservative estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of people died due to the combined impact of military operation, migration and war.
The government of Bangladesh insists the death toll was close to three million and calls it genocide. While this is considered an exaggeration by most independent observers, what is unfortunate is the way the figure is disputed by revisionist historians and their eager supporters in Pakistan — as if bringing the number down to under a million would make it more justifiable or explicable. They also try to shift the focus by highlighting the atrocities committed by the Mukti Bahini against Biharis during 1971 and even afterwards. There is no denying that killings, torture, plunder and sexual crimes were committed against Biharis but that does not become a balancing factor. I do not have to recall crimes against Biharis in order to exonerate myself of what Pakistani forces did to Bengalis.

Those indulging in such tricks must remember that Bangladeshis need closure for what happened to them during their war of liberation. By trying the members of pro-Pakistani militias such as al Badr and al Shams for war crimes, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed is playing politics rather than working for a closure. This is why these trials create more conflict and polarisation in Bangladeshi society. Bangladesh will not be able to get closure without our help.
'There is no doubt that the events of 1971 will always remain the most important time as far as Bangladeshi history is concerned': A unit of Mukti Bahini celebrate liberation as Indian tanks roll in | Courtesy official Mujibnagar website
Pakistan formally issued a half-hearted apology in the past but it does not mean anything. The official Pakistani policy since the issuing of that apology is to refer to the past as a closed transaction, urging everyone to move forward. But forgetting the past and moving forward is not a solution in this particular case since it involves large-scale death and suffering remembered as a lived experience by millions in Bangladesh. It cannot be forgotten, though its emotional and psychological scars can be healed if ordinary Pakistanis are proactive.
For that to materialise, we need to know the details of what happened to the people of East Pakistan — especially during March 1971 and December 1971. It won't take much to empathise with them and feel their agony and pain. As a starting point, as suggested by Salil Tripathi, the Indian journalist who has recently written The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and its Unquiet Legacy, let us petition for a memorial to be built in Pakistan to honour all those who died or suffered during 1971. Germany has done this for the victims of the Holocaust and the United States has done the same for those who died in the Vietnam War. Why can't we?

This was originally published in the Herald's September 2015 issue. To read more, subscribe to the Herald in print.

Comments (187) Closed

Dec 16, 2015 12:15pm
This is probably one of the best articles I have ever read.
Umar zaheem
Dec 16, 2015 01:40pm
'Pakistani's tend to believe in their own version' but so do the Bangladeshis and Indians, which demands an impartial and unbiased account of events and circumstances instead of giving deductions based upon one's own view. That would have been a great favour not only to people of Pakistan but to the people of Bangladesh and India as well. Also, detailed explanation of the atrocities of Pakistani military, government and establishment and mere a mention of India's role and Mukti Bahini's mass killings gives an impression of an effort on part of the writer to make the readers' views biased.
Dipak Singh
Dec 16, 2015 02:04pm
Nice article.
Dec 16, 2015 02:09pm
Let us petition for a memorial to be built in Pakistan to honour all those who died or suffered during 1971. Germany has done this for the victims of the Holocaust and the United States has done the same for those who died in the Vietnam War. Why can't we? We have to acknowledge that wrongs were done by both the sides. However, can Pakistanis not rectify and learn from the past like the Germans did? Thank you Herald magazine for publishing an unbiased article, which is extremely rare in Pakistan.
Dec 16, 2015 02:19pm
Woah! A very good read indeed.
Dec 16, 2015 02:23pm
This is just an attempt to defame the historic events which took place during the anti Pakistan movement.
Dec 16, 2015 02:27pm
Excellent article. Just one correction: the word 'zindabad' is used in Bengali also. Even we, the Bengali Hindus in India use it regularly.
Dec 16, 2015 02:33pm
An eye opener article.
Dec 16, 2015 02:40pm
Political correctness distorts history.
Incredible boldness and honesty!
Dec 16, 2015 02:49pm
Three persons were responsible for creating Bangladesh. Mujib,Indira Gandhi and ZA Bhutto. All three were executed through Divine Justice by their own people.
Dec 16, 2015 02:51pm
@arup Zindabad is not bengali.
Aam Admi
Dec 16, 2015 03:03pm
What a beautiful anti-Pakistan article indeed showing one of the greatest victory ever of defeating a 16 times smaller army already encircled and without supplies and support as a part of an anti-Muslim campaign started even before 1947 to split Muslims of the subcontinent with a view to crushing their strength of unity. Continuation of the same campaign in other regions of West Pakistan didn't meet success even till recent years. An article with very shallow knowledge of history of Muslims in the subcontinent.
Dec 16, 2015 03:13pm
What was role of Makti Bahani and Indian agents in Bangladesh liberation? The best way to win a war was to create opposition among the common people against the Pakistan Army. Genocide was done by Indians not by the Pakistan Army.
Mohammed Tariq Sardar
Dec 16, 2015 03:14pm
Incredibly written article, I just couldn't stop reading. Thank you
Dec 16, 2015 03:14pm
There is a saying, "it's not what you do, but the way that you do it". Pakistanis would gladly have had a memorial for all the East Pakistanis killed by the military, but if Bangladesh too approached it with compassion, as Pakistan too has been hurt. But Hasina's aggressive Indian-instructed stance has put all sympathizes off and the bridges are closed. Bangladeshis know, they are 'Bangladesh today' because the were 'East Pakistan' before. They just need to see Kashmir and thank their stars for having been Pakistan.
Dec 16, 2015 03:14pm
I feel every Pakistani should read it.
Dec 16, 2015 03:15pm
There should be a memorial in Bangladesh for all West Pakistanis killed and in Pakistan for all East Pakistanis killed. In fact for all killed.
Dec 16, 2015 03:19pm
Bengalis and Pakistanis had as much in common as a fish and a cat. It is sad that this political mistake of the 1940s had to be corrected with so much bloodshed. But when coalitions are forced by politicians without any regards to history or ethnic/language considerations than the results are often shocking, whether it is Yugoslavia or Bangladesh.
Akash Kumar
Dec 16, 2015 03:20pm
Excellent article. I do hope that Pakistan would accept the stranded Bihari Muslims in Bangladesh.
Dr.Shahmir Baloch
Dec 16, 2015 03:24pm
Justice (retd) Muhammad Ibrahim, a retired as a judge of the high court's Dhaka bench in the 1950s and later served as law minister under Ayub Khan from 1958 to 1962 said "The Punjabis want to rule Pakistan and they think that they have a right to do so," he wrote in his diary. He also recalled telling a friend in 1947 that, "Punjabis are Pakistan's Jhopar Kural (an axe used for felling a clump of bamboos)". What he meant was that Punjabis would cut down the roots of the newly set up country." Very harsh statement indeed. We cannot turn the pages of history back, but we can learn from history, not to repeat the same mistakes in future. As it is often said history repeats itself.
Dec 16, 2015 03:24pm
@Sridhar, All modern Bengali dictionaries include the word 'Zindabad'. Anyway, I don't want to start an argument over such a trivial thing. Let's touch on some other points of the article. What the author says about Bengali Muslim nationalism is true. In medieval India, Bengal perhaps had the most rigid caste system. It is undeniable that upper-caste Hindus in Bengal committed inexcusable atrocities on the lower-castes, which triggered mass-conversion to Islam. This is why East Bengal became a Muslim-majority province. Even West Bengal would have become Muslim-majority, if it had not been for the great Bengali-Hindu social reformers like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Prateek Pandey
Dec 16, 2015 03:37pm
Nice article.
Dec 16, 2015 03:40pm
We apologize to the people of East Pakistan but we should never forgive and forget India's dirty part in the dismemberment of East Pakistan.
We could have arrived and agreed to Maximum Autonomy to East Pakistanis if india had not invaded.
Dec 16, 2015 03:43pm
What a nice article .. so informative and so thought provoking ! Thank you Dawn Thank you Herald ..
Dec 16, 2015 03:50pm
A person who thoroughly worked on 1971 war in East Pakistan is a Bengali academic researcher Sarmila Bose. A well documented research and unbiased view on facts should not have been missed in this article. Ms Bose's intellect perspective on the war is quite different to the narrative portrayed by politician based historians.
Arshad Javed Sandal
Dec 16, 2015 03:50pm
A lesson for us not to discard winners of the people's democratic right whether in East Pakistan now Bangladesh, Algeria, Egypt or anywhere else.
Dec 16, 2015 03:57pm
@Dr.Shahmir Baloch When a politician comes to us to ask for votes , rights of the Baloch are the first question we ask. Don't let these taunting articles hammer our unity. Also now army has done a good part of rehabilitation in Balochistan.
Sanket Sharma
Dec 16, 2015 04:18pm
@Dr.Shahmir Baloch, "The Punjabis want to rule Pakistan and they think that they have a right to do so,"
I heard the same rhetoric even today on a number of other forums. What Pakistan (rather Punjabis) did in Bangladesh, they are repeating the same mistake in Balochistan and Sindh. Events in Bangladesh post 1960 resemble so closely to that in these 2 provinces.
Dec 16, 2015 04:18pm
@Aam Admi thank you for sharing my thoughts which did not see the light of the day in this newspaper. You are 100% correct. There is no dearth of Mir Jafars. He does not say how Mujib took centre-stage in the mid-1960s. It was because he got in touch with Indians who offered help if he worked for them. He agreed to work for them. Rest is history. Divine Justice was delivered to the three involved in this scheme.
Yaser Arafat
Dec 16, 2015 04:25pm
I read articles and comments as from reader. I don't know what criteria do we have to judge or decide that what is truth...since the day of Pakistan's independence, India hasn't been able to digest its existence! Recently Modi's visit in Bangladesh and the things he said, were just a joke or another page of history!
I personally discussed this with my colleague who had migrated in 1971 but what the facts he told are entirely different from what we learned from similar articles and stories.
I believe! trust is still need to explore.....
Dec 16, 2015 04:25pm
Well written and eye opening.
Agrippa - The Skeptic
Dec 16, 2015 04:34pm
@Dr.Shahmir Baloch : "... We cannot turn the pages of history back, but we can learn from history, not to repeat the same mistakes in future. As it is often said history repeats itself. ..."
Keep track of developments in Balochistan!
Gaurab Sengupta
Dec 16, 2015 04:37pm
Dear Ali,
A well-written article. I think it provokes the question though - is this lack of long term view related to identity a uniquely Bangladeshi problem? For instance, do history books in Pakistan teach about Ashoka & Chandragupta Maurya? Or, more recently, is Gandhi viewed as someone who fought for Pakistan's freedom, or is he viewed as purely "Indian"?
BTW, I don't intend to point fingers - these are honest questions. I haven't seen any Pakistani history books.
Dec 16, 2015 04:41pm
Great article. Only few countries have the guts to accept their past mistakes. Owning up and a very sincere regret will go a long way. More than religion, language and custom shape a country. A Muslim of Kerala, India will have commonalities only with a Hindu of the same place, not with a Muslim from Kashmir! This is the lesson from Bangladesh
M Akram
Dec 16, 2015 04:46pm
As a Pakistani and human being I was sickened by actions of the so called Mukhti Bahinis baynetting captured Pakistani soldiers for all the world to see and children playing football with severed heads of Pakistani soldiers. I am sickened by judicial murders of old Muslim people as recently as last month. I am sickened by the part played by India in the 1971 "civil war". Sorry I have no wish or reason to apologise to anyone and neither Pakistan for defending the integrity of Pakistan. How many Indians, commenting here, are ready to apologise for the ongoing atrocities being committed by Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir?
Dec 16, 2015 04:46pm
The Pakistan President and Army Chief must visit Dhaka and offer an apology for all that happened in 1971, but don't think it will happen as the same mistakes are being committed again. Those who forget history are condemned to see it repeated.
Waheeda islam
Dec 16, 2015 04:50pm
1971 was the year Jinnah's two nation theory was shattered into pieces. We Bengalis have self esteem and pride in our identity. We wouldn't accept Urdu which is basically an Indian language from UP in India instead of our beloved Bangla. We were unlike the rest of Pakistan.
Sher Khan
Dec 16, 2015 04:51pm
I cannot just laugh at this article. The official number from Mujib ur Rehman's report stands at 80 thousand Bengalis killed...Indian support of terrorist Mukhti Bahini cannot be denied...a hogwash!
Hizbullah khan khattak
Dec 16, 2015 05:01pm
Excellent article indeed, and from here we learn a new addition and a new theory to the world politics that is how some countries train civilian for terrorism , to destabilise their neighbour.India should be given the credit for this new invention. There are several documentaries about the Mukti Bahini and Indo-Tibatian and their master which could make ancient Roman Generals feel abhorrence .
S. Chatterjee
Dec 16, 2015 05:05pm
Sublime to read with sublime photos. And that is why I like to read Dawn as its coverage is laudable.
Dec 16, 2015 05:12pm
Since the day of Pakistan's independence, India hasn't been able to digest its existence
India "digests" Pakistan's existence quite well, just as it accepts the existence of Nepal or Bangladesh and does business with (with mild tensions naturally, unavoidable due to size differences, rather than pointless and outright conflict). The problem is the promoting self-fulfilling narrative that Pakistan is in, and has to be in, conflict with India.
As the author puts it: "a state with stunted political structures and limited economic resource base investing disproportionately in military expenditure to compete with a state six times its size, and with far bigger economic resources, will end up having its military as an overdeveloped institution".
As long as Pakistan has an overdeveloped military, it will need to justify itself... hence making India a necessary bogeyman. We are otherwise one people.
Dec 16, 2015 05:12pm
Dear Writer,
Bengalis killed hundred of thousands of Beharis, and looted their houses. Where are the pictures and details of that?
Dec 16, 2015 05:12pm
@sridhar 'Zindabad' is Persian, Urdu, Hindi and Bengali at the same time. This tendency to strive for purity in everything - language, religion, race is the bane of our times.
Muslim Medina
Dec 16, 2015 05:16pm
@Aam Admi I agree with you.
Salim Khan
Dec 16, 2015 05:16pm
The loss of Bangladesh is the biggest tragedy of Pakistan. We must ponder over it and see how can we stop further dismemberment or conflicts from occurring by correcting the past mistakes. But we are not talking about it. All news is related to APS attack that we had many such attacks. But because it was military kids we are giving prominence to APS instead of Bangladesh separation.
Dec 16, 2015 05:17pm
@Agrippa - The Skeptic Well, you better keep track of developments in Kashmir, Khalistan, Assam, Nagalim and Tripura....the road, over which even Benghalis are astonished is a future link of independent Assam, Nagaland and Tripura. There's an old you sow, so shall you reap. It might take time!
Dr BN Anand
Dec 16, 2015 05:18pm
Sir, Bengali intellect and anger both are a well known phenomena. Some out of box thinking would have to be done by Pakistan rulers to soothe the tempers of Bengali Nation. Yes, Pakistan has apologised, but that again was a half hearted apology. I think it will take many more decades for the people of Bangladesh to forgive the atrocities by the people of West Pakistan. I am surprised at what is what is happening to Biharis who have been stranded there. Even their many generations have not been forgiven for the acts of their ancestors. If that is so, it is hard to believe that Bangladesh will ever be able to forget and forgive Pakistan. that said, the article is an excelllent introspection but many more and more are needed.
Dec 16, 2015 05:20pm
The past cannot be undone. Bangladesh has moved on and has made significant progress in the last 20 years. Hope the stranded Biharis get a respectable solution as Bangladeshi citizens or shifted to Pakistan. With cricket as the shared sports in all the three cricket crazy nations, I wish to see IPL to be jointly hosted in various cities of all the 3 nations. We all have a shared history and also a shared future for peace and prosperity.
Kashif Saeed
Dec 16, 2015 05:20pm
Really a good article, reflecting unbiased picture for three forces and its pre & post scenario.
Dec 16, 2015 05:22pm
@IBN E ASHFAQUE Kill people and Build Memorials?
k p rao chennai
Dec 16, 2015 05:29pm
@Zak In theory it looks good but is not practicable. Such memorials will go to seed even before paint on them is dry. Also it will evoke strong antagonistic feeling against each other. We do not need any other incentive this to happen,
Javed Arshad
Dec 16, 2015 05:34pm
Well written, inspiring and thought provoking short insight to history. It is sad to imagine the short sightedness, bigotry and selfishness of political and military command who both failed to address the problems of our brethren in East Pakistan culminating in its separation. It is equally regretful to notice that the combined effort of the All Indian Muslims in the leadership of Jinnah and many stalwarts from Bengal has been mystified due to post partition acrimony amongst the leadership of East and West Pakistan. That millions of people were killed and that the women were raped by the Pakistani soldiers seem unbelievable.
Dec 16, 2015 05:35pm
@Sridhar the word zindabad existed in bengali dictonary both from india and bangla academy for a long time.
Dec 16, 2015 05:36pm
Excellent article!!
k p rao chennai
Dec 16, 2015 05:39pm
@Aam Admi What is so anti-pakistani in the article? Has not the writer written bitterly about Indian army and India too? The army may be 16 times smaller but it was much and many times more in number than Bangladesh army. Remember over 90000 Pak. army men were POW in this war. Possibly Bangladesh army did not have this strength army, navy, airforce, police, para-military and even mercenaries if there were any. The Pakistan army too had better fire power and they were well prepared for a long drawn out conflict. Article is well written.
G M Patra
Dec 16, 2015 05:42pm
Great suggestion.
All countries should have a big memorial to outline in short all foreign massacres to increase the awareness against these crimes.
Dec 16, 2015 05:49pm
The new generation wonders why East Pakistan and West Pakistan were created in 1947, with the distance of almost 1000 km. Distance of about 1000 km and India within it was the main cause of all problems between both East and West Pakistan. Anyhow, if East Pakistan was not created in 1947 along with West Pakistan, Bangladesh would have never been created and remained a part of India. Bangladesh should have been thankful to Jinnah for their independence in 1947. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh should look forward for good relationship as both have no other option.
Dec 16, 2015 05:49pm
Superb timing! On the anniversary of the Peshawar incident you had to put this article...I wonder why? :)
Dec 16, 2015 06:02pm
A very interesting analysis of the 1971 partition of Pakistan. I am only surprised that no reference is made to the 1905 partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon. The British started their experiments in dividing India with that and a lot of what we witness today, in South Asia, is the culmination of that experiment.
Dec 16, 2015 06:13pm
Well written article. Bangladeshis by nature are not a aggressive people. Other than religion, most Muslim Bangladeshis have nothing in common with Pakistanis, so Independence was the right thing.
Dec 16, 2015 06:20pm
There were over a dozen regiments of East Pakistan Rifles and East Bengal Regiments. These regiments were not caste based meaning thereby that almost over 90 percent of the soldiers were Bengalis. the officer cadre was mix of West and East Pakistani officers. The strength was also around 15-18 thousand. And almost all defected with their arms and ammunition once ordered to deposit arms in the kote. Secondly, all the pictures in the article show atrocities done to Bengalis, it would have been better had some pictures or mention been made of the officers and their families killed by their soldiers and Bengali officers of East bengal regiments.
Dec 16, 2015 06:23pm
Vey informative Agree with author
Bhagwan(luminous one)
Dec 16, 2015 06:24pm
India and Pakistan should have talks to settle all disputes between the two countries and bring peace in the region so that no further wars happen between the two countries.
Dec 16, 2015 06:28pm
The best lines from the article which sums up current day Pakistan: As we see around us, this idea of parity is shaping the worldview of Pakistan's burgeoning urban middle class which champions conservative and orthodox social practices, hates India (and Hindus) and glorifies military power. Those seeking parity with India in military terms also fail to understand its implications: a state with stunted political structures and limited economic resource base investing disproportionately in military expenditure to compete with a state six times its size, and with far bigger economic resources, will end up having its military as an overdeveloped institution. The necessary corollaries of this will be jingoistic rhetoric dominating the public sphere and endemic system failures in the political arena.
Dec 16, 2015 06:29pm
The West Pakistan army never planned the massive killing they were the Bengalis who if would not have been stopped had conspired to wreak havoc then in the wake of Sheikh Mujeeb's arrest. Plus initially the army totally avoided attacking the University in Decca respecting the sanctity of educational institutions but was not left with any other option in light of the fact that the institution had turned into guerilla warfare center (and by the way stringent resistance was provided by Bengalis) All in all it does not mean we do not lament whatever happened then, it could have been avoided it should have been avoided. May no country gets into such a scenario and learns from its mistakes!
Dec 16, 2015 06:29pm
With due respect for the author views, Sarmila Bose the author of Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War would beg to disagree. She has recorded as much as possible of what seemed to be a much-commented-on but poorly documented conflict - with the aim to humanise it, so that the war could be depicted in terms of the people who were caught up in it, and not just faceless statistics. She had also embarked on extensive fieldwork, finding and talking to people who were present at many particular incidents, whether as participants, victims or eye-witnesses. I would definitely recommend her book and her documentary film to get the real true picture of the 71 war instead of listening to the India, Bengali or Pakistani narrative to the conflict.
Dec 16, 2015 06:30pm
@Akash Kumar Oh no. We are already housing millions of Afghan brothers.
Dec 16, 2015 06:34pm
We Pakistanis need to learn how to accept our mistakes. We, for now, have mostly blamed our problems on others; constructing conspiracy theories is our favourite hobby and this is the biggest mistake, thats why we never learn from our mistakes and never knew how to move forward.
Bhagwan(luminous one)
Dec 16, 2015 06:37pm
Well written article. It gives the Pakistan's Islamic point of view, Bangladesh's Bengali point of view and Indian's secular point of view on Bangladesh Liberation war of 1971.
Dec 16, 2015 06:38pm
An excellent article. This shows despite all misconceptions the free press journalism in Pakistan is live and vibrant. Kudos to the Dawn team. Further, my heart goes out for all parents and relatives who lost their dear ones in the brutal terrorist attack on APS Peshawar this day. May god rest their soul in peace and courage to all to over come this irreplaceable loss.
Javed Arshad
Dec 16, 2015 06:38pm
If there had been no separation, East Pakistan would have been of great importance to Pakistan from a strategic point of view.
Dec 16, 2015 06:48pm
Religion has never been as strong a binding glue among nations or peoples as Pakistan always assumes. Identity is shaped more by ethnicity, language, customs, heritage and then religion. The many wars in Middle East is all among Muslims nations fighting each other.
Dec 16, 2015 06:50pm
@abbi. Google December 16 and Bangladesh.
Bhagwan(luminous one)
Dec 16, 2015 06:56pm
My question is why can't India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh be like Europe where there is so much of peace on the borders?
Jibran Shahid
Dec 16, 2015 07:01pm
Dr Sarmila Bose Indian & author of Dead Reckoning says in her book, "Of the corpses reported littering the land and clogging up the rivers, many would have been Bihari... as Bengali mobs appear to have killed non-Bengalis indiscriminately while the Pakistani army appeared to target adult Bengali men."
Jibran Shahid
Dec 16, 2015 07:02pm
Dr Bose also examines the widely reported suggestion that three million Bengalis were killed by the Pakistani army. These figures are sacrosanct in Bangladesh, where the overwhelming majority of people continue to honour and respect those who died in the liberation struggle. Dead Reckoning cover Image caption The book's conclusions are likely to be vigorously contested in Bangladesh Describing the three million figure as a "gigantic rumour", she says it is "not based on any accounting or survey on the ground".
Dec 16, 2015 07:18pm
Well researched and well written.
History is to learn and move forward. May the Bangladesh, Pakistan (and India) learn from History and make the most of what they have and take care of the people.
Dec 16, 2015 07:22pm
@Usman you can deceive yourself but not to world, which knows facts.
Dec 16, 2015 07:25pm
@arup zindabad is the word used in almost all parts of India by people of different languages.
Dec 16, 2015 07:29pm
What an amazingly honest account of the events of 1971. Thank you sir.
Dec 16, 2015 07:35pm
Such amazing writing. Provides lots of in-depth information and philosophy. I really appreciate this as a Bangladeshi.
Nabarun Dey
Dec 16, 2015 07:35pm
Bangla war proved bond with mother tongue is mightier than religious bond.
Eramangalam Somapalan
Dec 16, 2015 07:38pm
@Dr.Shahmir Baloch The best lesson history has given is that nothing is learned from it. History repeat itself, it is sad indeed.
Rani Sharma
Dec 16, 2015 07:50pm
It is not about who won and who lost. It was all about preventing more deaths. It was all about preventing more expulsion and ethnic cleansing.
Dec 16, 2015 07:54pm
@Usman By closing your eyes, you want to believe in some unreal imagination. The article is on the dot....there is nothing wrong in identifying one's own weakness or mistakes. Countries have done this in the past. It is the only way to move ahead and not commit the same mistakes...
Dec 16, 2015 07:56pm
Very bold, accurate and rare article....thanks Dawn. The time has come to rectify the past, and live in peace. The British legacy must be forgotten by the sub-continent and become friends. This is the only option for peaceful co-existence.
Dec 16, 2015 07:57pm
@SAEED PK , you may be thinking about reconciliation. Its okay, but what is your feeling today for APS incident? We do have our regrets but could not forgot...
Dec 16, 2015 08:06pm
Wonderful article. Just to mention a few points of Bengali community irrespective of their Religion. Most of the Bengali are secular in nature and are very progressive minded. Once you are born as a Bengali, you are always Bengali irrespective of the border.
Dr. Jabar
Dec 16, 2015 08:17pm
A very biased report indeed!
Dec 16, 2015 08:26pm
Good article
Dec 16, 2015 08:27pm
Basically, just so happy that we are separate countries. Whoever did that, we Pakistanis owe them a favor.
Dec 16, 2015 08:29pm
We crib about Indian support to Multi Bahini yet support militants in Kashmir. Hypocrisy anyone?
Dec 16, 2015 08:31pm
An extremely well written and comprehensive article on this topic. Ali Usman Qasmi not only give us a impartial view on history but a thoughtful positive direction for the future. Food for thought for the people of South Asia
Dec 16, 2015 08:40pm
Something did go wrong.The Pakistan POW's were 95000 which is perhaps more than the strength of soldiers involved in the Syrian conflict.
Dec 16, 2015 08:46pm
Why doesn't the Bangla government exhume these bodies under international supervision from the alleged burial sites on the University ground and use modern scientific methods that are now available to prove their case? I think they know very well the outcome. At the time of this operation the university was on break and there were no students there. A scientific study of the site can settle these questions and doubts once for all.
I wonder why didn't the author include any picture of Mukti militia committing heinous murders of Biharis? There are a lot of gruesome images of such crimes. Why didn't the author mention the investigative book by Sarmila Bose on this subject btw this book proves substantially that the real number of war casualties was under hundred thousand and most of these were the Biharis butchered by the Mukti malitia.
Dec 16, 2015 08:47pm
@Aam Admi Well said
Dec 16, 2015 08:49pm
@Sahib "Well written article. Bangladeshis by nature are not a aggressive people. "
Tell this to someone who has not witnessed thousands of killings by the Mukti militants. Does Tiger Siddique ring a bell ?
Matha Mota
Dec 16, 2015 08:53pm
@arup Brother Zindabad is not at all Bengali word. Its ideologically used by one of the political party in Bangladesh that writer had mentioned on the write up. But in Indian people usually used zindabad.
Dec 16, 2015 09:01pm
Courageous and very well written article!
Dec 16, 2015 09:05pm
@Aam Admi No responsibility of the Muslim atrocities on Muslims and minorities? Keep the shades drawn.
Saleem USA
Dec 16, 2015 09:06pm
Ok, How about creating a memorial in Bangladesh as well for Pakistanis who were brutally raped and killed by Mukti Bahinis during and after 1971 in their "Loot, Kill and Burn" movement? I was there and it was not pretty.
Saleem USA
Dec 16, 2015 09:11pm
@Disgusting Divine justice is quiet but it is firm. In fact it was a lesson to see the gang of three killed by their own, in their own countries, and by no one else but by their own armies who they cunningly used to kill innocents in order to achieve political seats.
Dec 16, 2015 09:12pm
Excellent article must be made available to all the college and university students in Pakistan. So they become aware of the past mistakes made by their elders/leaders and especially the role military played in the episode. Thus, establishing the fact that military rules (all four) were disastrous for the country. And only democracy/ liberal politics and subordination of military to civilian rule is the only way forward for Pakistan continued development and existence.
Saleem USA
Dec 16, 2015 09:13pm
@Aam Admi Agreed. A very one sided article.
Dec 16, 2015 09:21pm
One of the ruling majorities of the country never stopped discriminatory practices even after this. They always consider themselves as the elite, and hate educated and knowledgeable people in all spheres of life. This is the reason that they never wanted Bhutto to reconcile the differences with Bengalis in an amicable manner. However, Bhutto called to treat Bengalis with dignity by rights to govern and rule their area independently was totally justified, which was mocked by the champions in our backyard government who loves to manage everything to create DHAs.
Dec 16, 2015 09:21pm
@Sridhar "Inqilab Zindabad" a revolution slogan used before partition under British rule
Dec 16, 2015 09:22pm
3 million killed by Pakistani Army might have been an exaggeration but 20,000 or so claimed by the Hamdur Rehman's report is way too low. The truth is somewhere in between. But Pakistan has never acknowledged it, nor do its history books talk about it. They only blame India for the formation of Bangladesh. India in 1971 was not in a position to clothe and house the more than 10 million refugees that flooded into the country and UNO was of no help as the USA was firmly favouring Pakistan at that time. Contrast this with billions of dollars provided to Pakistan for the housing the Afghan refugees. Thousands of these Bangladesh refugees perished for lack of shelter, food and medicines. Pakistan is responsible for these deaths too. Even now, though decades have passed, Pakistan has not taken back the Biharis who firmly supported Pakistan and were opposed to the formation of Bangladesh and were made to suffer after the liberation.
Saleem USA
Dec 16, 2015 09:23pm
@Sasimann May be Indian Army chief should visit Kashmir, apologize and admit mistakes being made as mistakes are being committed on a daily basis in Kashmir and just as the article is saying, Kashmiris are waving Pakistani flag as protest.
Dec 16, 2015 09:30pm
Why the unnecessary defensiveness about the war criminals? We can talk about the flaws in the process, but boy they had it coming.
An EXCELLENT article otherwise!
Shoutout from Bangladesh.
Dec 16, 2015 09:32pm
Same is being repeated in Balochistan
m m amin
Dec 16, 2015 09:41pm
Having served in what was East Pakistan, I can say it was India's grand plan to ignite the fire and fan the flames of separatist movement : about thirty percent Hindus in East Pakistan; radio Calcutta, played a major role.Our intelligence people were unable to counter indian intelligence operations. Mujeeb admitted Agaartala Conspiracy was real while our West Pakistani politicians forced President Ayub to withdraw the case.
Saleem USA
Dec 16, 2015 09:43pm
@Waheeda islam Check your facts first. Urdu did not orginate in UP, rather it was invented by Moghul forces by combining Arabic, Turkish and Sanskrit. Secondly, its true, Bengalis are a lot closer to Hindu culture then Pakistani culture so have fun as a proud nation being under India 's dictation. What a biggest blunder by MA Jinnah by fighting for East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
Dec 16, 2015 09:51pm
I think this is one sided article and does not bother to mention hostilities of majority in east Pakistan against minority urdu speaking population and start of insurgency when insurgents killed families of civil servants , armed forces members and common urdu speaking families on behalf if leaders who are hell bent on starting civil matter if you are liberal or conservative , principle of justice has to be followed as prime directive for journalists and writers and i see this has been rarely followed in this article and it just paints one side of story.
Dec 16, 2015 09:54pm
@Haroon .....College and university students in Pakistan have much better things to do than carrying out the study of a conspiracy starting with hate and ending with hate.
Dec 16, 2015 10:02pm
@k p rao chennai .......38000pm were the soldiers remaining civilians, correct your basic data before you can understand other aspects too.
Saleem USA
Dec 16, 2015 10:03pm
@Ghaznavi I have read the book and it was written by no one other than the Indian daughter of an Indian nationalist. The book debunks many myths presented in this article. I also advise the readers to read the book called "Of Blood and Tears" written by a diplomat. The article is now available on the net in PDF and is an eye opener. Pretty close to what I had seen myself after March 25, 1971.
Dec 16, 2015 10:07pm
I think Pakistanis and Bengalis were bound to split. They were never really one nation. There was a huge cultural difference. It was really a clash of civilizations. Then there was a psychological contest for cultural as well as political superiority. Both the cultures were so alien to each other. I think, in 1971, there took place, a right-sizing of Pakistan.
Dec 16, 2015 10:07pm
Soon more corruption and misuse cases will surface if we let General Raheel Shareef lead the country in a transparent way and bring criminals under justice for the breakup.
Dec 16, 2015 10:10pm
I am a new Pakistani born in the 1980s. The time ahead is for me and future generations. We, the new Pakistanis are not at all willing to be burdened with the incompetence and criminal acts of earlier generations. Who proved to be racists and in short-sighted despicable people. If wrong was done, then we must apologise. To show the world that Pakistanis are honourable people. They can differentiate between wrong and right. And can punish criminals, even their own citizens for racism and human right violations.
Dec 16, 2015 10:13pm
Urban legend: Three people were responsible for creating Bangladesh. Mujib, Indira Gandhi and Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto. They were just political leaders, they did what their people wanted. How about people of West Pakistan and now Pakistan who considered Bengalis third class citizens? Also misconception that religion will keep Muslim united; it didn't work then and it absolutely is not working right now. It is a shame that after all this we didn't change a bit, still have so much hate for the other who speaks a different language and worships differently.
Dec 16, 2015 10:15pm
@nasro Dear, sorry to say that we are over apologetic and are ready to accept any wrong doing on ourselves on drop of a hat. We should read history and use many sources to base our opinion on, well carried out research instead of just one article. Such articles give you some steam in making your easy opinion about issues requiring lots of knowledge and make you think that you have become an expert on the matter but, in truth, such opinions are very shallow..
M. Emad
Dec 16, 2015 10:56pm
Confusing analysis of 1971 by the writer Mr. Ali Usman Qasmi. Sheikh Hasina is in the right path of History.
Dec 16, 2015 11:02pm
It doesn't matter how much you twist the story, Indian has succeeded in sowing the seeds of hatred and conspiracies between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Long live Pakistan.
Dec 16, 2015 11:03pm
This is probably the most biased article that I have ever come across.
Dec 16, 2015 11:17pm
Pakistan is doing itself a huge disfavour by not teaching its young citizens the entire unadulterated history.
Dec 16, 2015 11:18pm
Nice article, but biased views. Just saying sorry doesn't take away the pain. Closer point of view is biased. Every day when someone sees the people who ruined their lives, they have a right to punish them. Waiting for Almighty's justice is not going to take away their pain. So avenge the butchers as soon as possible.
Dec 16, 2015 11:19pm
@Umar zaheem There is a deliberate attempt to make the nation forget about what happened in 1971. So, to expect an independent inquiry is a wishful thinking.
Dec 16, 2015 11:23pm
@Usman : Were you present there at the time of the incident to make such a comment? Have some respect for the souls of the innocent people who died.
Dec 16, 2015 11:26pm
The people of Bengal were / are in a higher position intellectually and culturally than those in Pakistan. This could be a reason for the non-digesting of the diktats of West by the East. A close watch of the websites of the board of educations of the two countries will show you the difference. I am sure Bangladesh will develop into a nation with much higher per capita income than both India and Pakistan. They have the capacity and intellect for that.
Dec 16, 2015 11:42pm
Ibrahim was absolutely right. No matter where it happens, a genocide is a heinous crime against humanity and Pakistan army undoubtedly committed this crime in Bangladesh. Pakistanis and Pakistani historians (the real ones) should admit this.
Dec 17, 2015 12:01am
One can understand why truth is twisted and ignored.
Dec 17, 2015 12:15am
@nasro Respects to you for your honest comment!
Dec 17, 2015 12:20am
@Sachin You said it!
Dec 17, 2015 12:26am
@shaan232 Agreed!
Rashid Aheed
Dec 17, 2015 12:46am
@IBN E ASHFAQUE, totally agree with you thoughts.
Dec 17, 2015 12:59am
Surprisingly brave article from Pakistan and nicely written. Bangladesh war was one of the worst tragedies post-WW2 and should be treated as one. Germans and Austrians learned from their history and now denial of holocaust there punishable. One note on the book, 'Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War' by Sarmila Bose, which many readers cite here: the book is very controversial, which is natural for such a subject, but I suggest the readers to look at the reviews for this book, most of them being negative. One reviewer wrote, 'Bose is more Pakistani than Jinnah the Quaid'. Also, as a strong advocate of the sale of F16 to Pakistan, Sarmila Bose has questionable integrity for commenting on atrocities by Pakistan armed forces even if all of the allegations are false.
T. Husain
Dec 17, 2015 01:11am
@Sridhar There are over 30,000 words in Bengali that are foreign but has enriched Bengali language. There are about 13,000 persian words in Bengali that most of the ordinary Bengali speaking people even realise that they are foreign words. Zindabad was part and parcel of our freedom struggle from the British even in India. It should hardly matter for Bengali people to use Zindabad. Pakistan has no monopoly of this word.
T. Husain
Dec 17, 2015 01:24am
@Aam Admi Dear Friend, do you have any idea what you are talking about? Breaking-up of Pakistan was one of the saddest events and number one tragedy for the Muslims of Pakistan. Everything is clearly expressed in this article and you call it an anti-Pakistan article. What is anti-Pakistan in it? Speaking the truth? That is sad. Please believe in me, the atrocities that Pakistan army committed on Bangladeshi people was the most inhuman and barbaric. I have no hatred for Pakistani people but the then Pakistani army and Bhutto would always remain the most hated people in Bangladesh. Please open your eyes and see things as it were. By doing so you would be a friend to yourself and intelligent people around it. Why not call a spade a spade?
Dec 17, 2015 01:34am
Quality article this. With regard to the issue of parity, the parity Bangladesh is looking for, if at all, is not with India or Pakistan it's with West Bengal. It is this parity with the Bengali Hindus that they were aiming at all along in the first place. That is from the time the distinct Bengali Muslim identity got formed. Ultimately happiness for people of Bengal - both West Bengal and Bangladesh and parts of North East, like Tripura, Silchar, etc - would be in a relation of harmony and equality among Bengalis. Pakistan is after all too far away and with each passing decade would be too far away in history but the cultural, linguistic link between regions of Bengal separated by national and state boundaries has to be the more central issue in the long run.
Dec 17, 2015 01:56am
@shaan232 This is probably the most unbiased article by any Pakistani that I have ever come across.
Dec 17, 2015 02:06am
@BAQIR SHAH Think about it India has Bengal and Punjab both, coexisting together.
Kala Ingrez - کالا انگریز - काला अंग्रेज - কালো ইংরাজি
Dec 17, 2015 02:12am
1971 - East Bengal was still part of the Pakistan known as East Pakistan. The Pakistanis of that era from both East and West Pakistan had every right to protect their territory. Even now, we see every country, including West and former Soviet Union, commit all kind of crimes to protect their borders. Why zero out the poor Pakistanis? Look what is happening in Assam and other Indian states; China expanding; Russian revenge and autocracies in both inside and outside of Russia - just to name the few. We all need to grow up and live - time has changed - instead of teaching our kids hate, as done in Bangladesh, we should educate and teach them to live in peace, for there is no Pakistani invasion of Bengal about to happen.
Dec 17, 2015 02:15am
@Sanket Sharma Sanket I disagree. I don't think you have facts straight. This is pro-creation of your imagination... have you ever been to Pakistan - forget about the provinces just been to a city in Pakistan - any city?
Dec 17, 2015 02:36am
@Ifti Thanks, you actually praised us!
Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali
Dec 17, 2015 02:42am
Very sad. I could not read the whole article. I saw all this on live TV in USA where I was a student. Almost all of the Pakistani students and professors were in tears that day. I will never forget the Indians faces. smiling & making fun of us.
Dec 17, 2015 02:44am
"By trying the members of pro-Pakistani militias such as al Badr and al Shams for war crimes, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed is playing politics rather than working for a closure."
--- On the contrary, the trial IS the only way towards a closure for the people of Bangladesh, unless of course, Pakistan offers an unconditional, formal and public apology for its atrocities in 1971 and ready to bear all the responsibilities thereto.
Dec 17, 2015 03:10am
When will the Indian school books acknowledge the struggle of Jinnah, Iqbal and Sir Syed?
Ghulam Abbas
Dec 17, 2015 03:10am
It is one sided and regretful article. Everyone concerned about the Bangladesh history must read the book "Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War" penned by well known bengali Ms. Sarmila Bose. It shatters the myths of 'genocide' committed by West Pakistan. In fact genocide was committed by the british raj through mismanaged famines of 1866, 1873-74 and 1896-97 that killed more than 10 million people. Another 3 million died in 1943 for the same reason ( but bengalis forgot everything and were carried away by the Indian and Mujib propaganda. They even do not remember that Muslim League was born in Dacca and Pakistan's independence movement was spearheaded by bengalis. Creation of Bangladesh was a conspiracy by India and Mujib. Just 4 years later Mujib was killed by his own soldiers, and former Mukti Bahni, and his dead body remained there for 03 days. No one cried for the founder of the nation. Who needs to apologise?
Bal Gupta
Dec 17, 2015 04:31am
This is well written article without any bias. Readers can get the correct picture of Bangladesh and Kashmir from the following eye witness accounts on 1. "Mukti: Free to be Born Again – Partitions of Indian Subcontinent" by Sachi Dastidar 2. "Kashmir 1947", by Krishna Mehta 3. "Forgotten Atrocities: Memoirs of a Survivor of the 1947 Partition of India" by Bal K. Gupta
Dec 17, 2015 06:02am
Best article posted on that I've ever seen. Worth the read and very informational.
Dec 17, 2015 06:32am
Good article, more facts than anyone in Pakistan ever heard of. Still see biased reporting in many places in this article.
Pakistan and people of Pakistan are not ready to accept the fact that genocide was performed by Pakistan. 3-millions plus were shot dead by so called 'tiger'-Niazi. He should be shame to be call 'tiger' for the shameful act.
Shriram Nagarajan
Dec 17, 2015 06:39am
"In Bangladesh's case, the idea of Pakistan resides in the desire to be on par with India." ? Really. A comparison in terms of GDP would state otherwise. Pakistan is not on par with India by a long shot
Mohammad Altaf
Dec 17, 2015 07:23am
I am proud to be a Bangladeshi then to be a Pakistani. Today's terrorists look more human then the Pakistani army who massacred several of my family members. We were not Hindus but Muslims and being in East Pakistan was the only fault. Many of my relatives fled to India. I would thank the Indian Army 100 times for coming and saving us from the Pakistan army's wrath. I know as usual you will not publish my comments, but I wanted to keep my point.
javed helali
Dec 17, 2015 07:26am
The government of Bangladesh has offered the stranded Pakistanis Bangladeshi citizenship. Many have accepted. But many more have not.
Smarajit Kanungoe
Dec 17, 2015 07:40am
well generation may prefer a better relation with all forgetting the past history of violence
Dec 17, 2015 07:47am
@Ifti Unfortunately, there is always a version of history and information that every government feeds its citizens; for those of us Indians who grew up during that period, images of East Pakistani refugees walking into India in thousands to escape the large scale persecution by their own government was a daily dosage in newspapers. Economically, this was a huge burden on our economy and the war was unavoidable to stop the migration of sufferers into India. So, much as you may think that India deliberately waged a war against your country to split into two parts, the reality is otherwise. I know you will think that my views are biased, but, please study history from other independent sources (non-Indian and non-Pakistani) and you will know the truth.
Saleem USA
Dec 17, 2015 07:51am
Where are the details of all the atrocities committed by Mukti Bahinis? What a biased article.
Pakistani Punjabi
Dec 17, 2015 08:10am
Please stop committing atrocities in my name
Dec 17, 2015 09:04am
The best thing the Indians did was withdraw quickly post the 1971 victory. All three countries have selective narratives which is understandable. Most Bangladeshi's view it through a prism of a liberation struggle which it largely was. However it is is naive to assume that liberation would have been achieved without the Indian armed forces. India obviously had a strategic interest which is often overlooked in India. But keep in mind the quick withdrawal of the Indian forces from Dacca and the humane treatment and repatriation of Pakistani POWs . Most Pakistani's till this day wrongly assume that there is an existential issue viz a viz India. Hence any analysis assumes Indian hegemony at its outset. Most Indians could not care less. It is interesting to read comments from readers which are seemingly focused on Indias role but largely miss the authors point about how it was Pakistani policies that created the conditions for Bangladesh independence.
Secular Indian
Dec 17, 2015 09:46am
This is the most comprehensive and unbiased article about Bangladesh and its war of independence I have ever read.
Sheikh Khalid
Dec 17, 2015 09:48am
Sir, as a Pakistani you already know better than to go to a Stranded Pakistani Camp in Dhaka or camps in other parts of Bangladesh, unless you had came with free tickets and settlement passes for Pakistan for all of the Beharis. You, as history person, do not need a cabby telling you anything about those locales and their probable reaction to you. I personally am a person who does not believe in countries, but I have three, should cause arise to claim, God forbid.
Dec 17, 2015 09:57am
Bangladeshis can never admit to ever being a part of Pakistan - why the amnesia? They are mind-manipulated by their weird successive puppet governments. Bangladeshi identity is totally made up. There's an internal problem with our Bangladeshi people and Bangladeshi leaders too - scratch beneath the surface and the Bangladeshis know that although they might have won the first part of the battle (against "evil" West Pakistan), they have in fact lost the war.
Fajla Rabby
Dec 17, 2015 09:57am
Nice article.. read this article to all the generation so they can respect all Bangladeshi people..
Thanks for this article.
Dec 17, 2015 09:59am
@arup Dada.. Zindabad may have been adopted by bangla language. But the word actually id Persian/urdu.. Zindabad plus aabaad...
Sheikh Khalid
Dec 17, 2015 10:00am
And where in the world was Henry Kissinger in all of 1971? playing ping pong in China is ALL sir?!
Qamar Faruqui
Dec 17, 2015 10:29am
@Disgusting Excellent analysis
Dec 17, 2015 10:29am
Biharis are the real victims. Not welcome here or there. Even those who somehow managed to escape to West Pakistan still have to hide the fact that they did not migrate in 1947 but in 1972. Such a shame that Pakistan, who can host 2 million Afghans, cannot host less than a million 'Pakistanis' stranded in it's former territory.
Dec 17, 2015 10:31am
@Matha Mota - you misunderstood me. I never said 'Zindabad' is a Bengali word - I said it is a word used in Bengali also. All linguistic researchers know 'Zindabad' is originally a Persian word...and it is now used in every North Indian Language, just like 'Joy' is originally a Sanskrit word....and it is also used in every North Indian Language. One more thing..I am an Indian Bengali...I am not from Bangladesh.
Qamar Faruqui
Dec 17, 2015 10:41am
@Ifti We should not forget that India did not do this for the love of Bengalis it was their hate for Pakistan and Islam. India never excepted the division nor will ever do and will never leave an opportunity to weaken and dismember Pakistan in order to achieve their vision of "Akhand Bharat" . We must never forget this.
Dec 17, 2015 10:47am
@Saleem USA - Sarmila Bose, the granddaughter of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, has written many articles in Bengali newspapers based out of Calcutta all of which are completely biased towards USA. She even supported USA's invasion of Iraq and bombing of Hiroshima-Nagashiki giving preposterous logic. No one in South Asia-Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi-Hindu or Muslim-should believe her. She has no credibility.
Dec 17, 2015 10:56am
Very nice article. It is because of the non acceptance of the historical realities that we again see today a part of Pakistan struggling for political equality and its rights. It is high time we address the issues of development and political rights. Lets distribute the share in central government equally between all provinces and strengthen Pakistan.
Dec 17, 2015 11:04am
There seems to be greater amnesia in Pakistan over 1971. But once in a while you read an article as this:
Dec 17, 2015 11:25am
There may have been atrocities committed from both sides. But moving on from that point if view, the author is silent on the support India gave Mukti Bahini. It was a huge factor in creating disharmony and thereby leading to atrocities. Please hear about it from the soviet spy Yuri Bezmenov. The writer has chosen a sociological explanation to events which definitely had more to it than just one explanation.
Dec 17, 2015 12:36pm
As the late Samuel Huntington of Harvard University said, those who win the war get to write the official version of the events. I agree with the author that this needs closure both for both sides but the version of events that took place should first be corrected and agreed to by both sides.
Dec 17, 2015 12:48pm
@Aam Admi Looks like you are still not willing to accept that it was not a war for Islam or even Pakistan. It was a war for the 'right to rule'.
Suren Singh
Dec 17, 2015 01:03pm
Sheik Mujhbir Rehman's party was the largest party in the elections fought in 1970. he should have been entitled to be the Prime Minster of Pakistan which he was denied. The rest then, is history.
Dec 17, 2015 02:44pm
This is probably one of the best articles I have ever read. I agree.
Dec 17, 2015 02:52pm
Part -1
I am a Bangladeshi and was born in then East Pakistan. I was growing up knowing Pakistan as my country and India as our enemy. We, the Bengalis always felt neglected and Sheikh Mujib was the one who raised his strong voice for the rights of the people of East Pakistan. How popular his voice was vindicated in the general election of 1970. But after the election the then West Pakistanis leaders like Yahia Khan, Bhutto started playing all the dirty games not to handover power to the majority leader of then Pakistan , Sheikh Mujib. The "Operation Searchlight" on the night of 25th March was the most horrifying experience the people of Bangladesh ever had. The sudden attack on Dhaka University , Rajarbagh Police Line , EPR Head Quarters in Pilkhana by the Pakistan Army and the mass killing of thousands of innocent people on that night left the people of then East Pakistan with no choice but to save themselves first and then retaliate.
Dec 17, 2015 02:54pm
Part -2 Millions of people including most of the Bengali Officers of Pakistan Army posted in then East Pakistan ,Civil servants mostly CSPs crossed border to India to save their lives. It is only after few weeks they started fighting the Pakistan army with arms supplied by India. India just took opportunity of the situation created by the rulers of Pakistan. The Biharis who were supposed to help save the lives of their Bengali neighbors from the atrocities and brutalities of Pak army unfortunately joined hands with them and became partners in their crime and the subsequent brutality inflicted on them was the natural consequence of events how painful that may have been. After the surrender of Pak army there was none to save them from the retaliations.
Dec 17, 2015 02:55pm
Part -3 Those in Pakistan who believe that the emergence of Bangladesh was entirely an Indian conspiracy live in a world where truth is an unknown quantity. India is never a friendly neighbor and not easy to deal with but we are a proud nation and we know how to live as a proud nation. Long live Bangladesh.
Dec 17, 2015 03:41pm
@Sridhar But it is used in Bengali language for at least a century. That's how words are, it gets imbued into the mainstream and the mainstream appropriates it.
Dec 17, 2015 03:48pm
@ahmedj She unfortunately relies very heavily on Pakistani documents for her research. It has been very well critiqued by her contemporary historians.
Dec 17, 2015 05:13pm
Dear Mr. Qasmi,
The German War Criminals were tried and many of them were hanged or sentenced to a life in Jail. The trials and punishment of the Collaborators in Bangladesh need to happen fopr the Bangladeshi people to get a sense of closure.
Yours Sincerely,
Dec 17, 2015 05:15pm
Dear Usman,
Atrocities were committed in the main by the Pakistani Army, guided and assited by the Collaborating forces i.e. Al Badr, Al Shams, Razakars, etc. Burying one's head in the sand does not change what is true.
Salma Alam
Dec 17, 2015 11:12pm
@Aam Admi : This is not a history of Muslims or Hindus! This is the truth.
Dec 18, 2015 06:23pm
@Qamar Faruqui You are correct that India did not do it for love of Bengalis, but you are incorrect on the rest of your statement. If you follow the events, there were two wars in 1971. One was the Civil War when the Pakistani army invaded East Pakistan and began mass killing of civilians. This resulted in mass exodus to India of East Pakistanis creating load on India. The second 1971 war was with India when Pakistan initiated attack on India at the western front.
Dec 18, 2015 06:31pm
@Ifti The war took place because we were not willing to accept the transfer of power to Awami League -the winner of fair elections. We have been doing this to East Pakistanis since 1950s
Subscribe via phone 111 444 777

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PFC-Friends" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to
For more options, visit


Posted by: Shah DeEldar <>

Mukto Mona plans for a Grand Darwin Day Celebration: 
Call For Articles:




"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
               -Beatrice Hall [pseudonym: S.G. Tallentyre], 190