Once again, another December 16 comes and goes, it serves to remind us of the darkest days in Pakistan's history. Some people in media absolutely love talking about it, so they can get an opportunity to show their anger, hatered and discontent towards the civilian and military establishments of this country, demonizing them as the worst thing to have ever happened to this country and giving people the impression that as long as this country exists, this very same establishment will commit crimes against its own citizens. Such media hoo ha, lead by the likes of Hamid Mir who I see as probably the greatest traitor in popular media today as well as his whole media outlet the GEO network. Such media hoo ha, further fuels the confused sentiments of the Pakistani youth who have developed a love hate relationship with their country as a by product of their disappointment and disarray with the political and civilian military establishment in not being able to do their job properly of running the country, fixing the mess that it is in and for a lacking sense of inequality. Problems are countless, corruption, lack of law and order, terrorism, sectarianism, you name it, its happening in Pakistan, peace and tranquility and equality is the right of every Pakistani and since their very right is not being met This blog goes out to all those self hating Pakistani youngsters, who like to use the example of the 1971 war and the creation of Bangladesh to demonize their own country. There is more to it, there is more to what happened in 1971, more than what most of our own media or the international media or historians for that matter mention.
There is crystal clear truth in inequality and injustice done by the West Pakistani's with their brothers in the East, this does not mean that there is a need for all out war and a need to break the country apart. Let's not forget Bengal's vote made Pakistan a reality, the people of Bengal wanted to Pakistan, it was something their fore fathers fought hard for, and it was all thrown to waste within a generation.
To simplify let's take a quick look at some of the things, I won't be surprised If I am labeled a delusional fool after this blog, but it is a risk I am more than willing to take.
Pakistan General Elections 1970-1, Sheikh Mujib's Awami Party won a clear majority to form a government in the National Assembly, no denying that, also no denying Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's lust for power that many argue proved to be the decisive factor. But how many people know Sheikh Mujib won that election based on extreme nationalistic rhetoric, even using the term Bangladesh to refer to East Pakistan in his election campaign through out 1970 instead of using a Pakistani nationalist approach. It was the law of simple majority statistics that shaped the election results of 1970.
We all know Yahya Khan delayed the convening of the national assembly, but questions we fail to ask why was the NA session scheduled for Dhaka when the federal capital was Rawalpindi/Islamabad in 1971? More importantly, it is worth observing that why did all of a sudden over night all HELL broke loose in all of East Pakistan's urban centers especially the provincial capital, immediately after the NA session was postponed. The amount of carnage that followed in the weeks could only have been pre planned and the postponement used conveniently as an excuse to do so. And all this was weeks before the infamous operation search light took place at Dhaka University.
Members of the Awami League that won the election and its student wings across universities in East Pakistan were extreme left wing parties with communist ideologies and they took inspirations from treasonsm rebellions and uprisings of the past and guerrilla warfare, the kind that were very popularized in the 50's and 60's by the likes of Marxist revolutionaries such as Che Guvera and Fidel Castro that led the Cuban revolution. Extreme leftists just like Extreme rightest do not understand the concept of patriotism or national loyalty, they only believe in their cause or how they can profit from it. Essentially what they committed was an act of treason. Also none of this happened over night, planning and preparation for the separation of East Pakistan had been on the cards since the 60's. Indian historians have admitted to this that Bengali nationalist leaders from East Pakistan were secretly holding meetings in neighboring Indian states with representatives from New Delhi.
Contrary to popular belief, the Pakistan army was not an occupying army, it was the army going about its own business in what was then a province of their own country, they were asked to intervene on request of the East Pakistan police and civilian administrators as law and order had gone completely out of hand. Such practice is not uncommon even in the developed world where the armed forces are asked to come in and assist the police especially against domestic home grown terrorist organizations. The POW figure of 93,000 included police, civil servants as well as high profile civilians based in East Pakistan at the time, the actual military presence figure was somewhere between 50 to 65 thousand. An army that small in the province could no where commit the genocide or war crimes it keeps getting accused off. They were both trying to protect the border and fight with these domestic terrorists that had started attacking them. This does not even count the mutiny that happened within the army, many senior officers reported for work business as usual, only to be hacked to death by their junior officers. Why were the civilians handed over to the Indian army? The very same Indian establishment is guilty of crimes against their own people and for being a regional bully. It took over and occupied the princely state of Hyderabad, it took over Goa and Sikkim by Force and in the 1980's it launched the brutal Operation Blue Star against its own people that too at the holiest site of the Sikh religion. Not to mention their war crimes against the people of Kashmir through out the late 80's and early 90's, also their brutal suppression of the Eastern insurgency. Below is an image of when the Indian army conducted operation Blue Star.
Many of you think Indian aggression in East Pakistan is a myth just because it is written in our text books, well I have got news for you buddy, our text books might contain a million lies but this isn't one of them. The Indian army did actually invade a sovereign country's province (East Pakistan) from all sides since its borders were surrounded by the Republic of India. New Delhi did this arguing that it felt sympathy for the Bengalis and felt it had an international moral obligation to help the crises. They might have opened their doors for refugees from East Pakistan, but the they were also training traitors in the art of warfare and very conveniently invaded another country. The Pakistan army did not know what they assumed were otherwise border skirmishes would result in a full fledged invasion and ambush. Even weeks before the war ended, General Niazi who was in C in C in East Pakistan kept begging for political dialogue and asked for a cease fire, the international community did not subscribe to the request. Political dialogue and engagement did take place between Bhutto and Sheikh Mujib behind closed doors in order to reach a power sharing agreement, but power sharing was not good enough for Mujib's supporters, they wanted absolute control by hook or crook. Political injustice is one thing, it is another to actually commit treason and break up the country. Look up on YouTube and you will find interviews with Indian war veterens from the 71 war proudly claiming and admitting how they had been planning for years to dismember Pakistan and give them a crushing humiliating defeat.
The Mukhti Bahini was a terrorist organization, no different from the TTP. They were responsible for terrorist attacks on civilians, on government organizations, mass vandalism and mass murder. Like the TTP, they too rejected the Government of Pakistan, its very constitution and felt no qualms about resorting to murderous activities towards civilians and attacking the armed forces of what was then their own country. Just because they were not hidden behind the wall of big fat bushy beards and turbans like the TTP, this does not make them freedom fighters, makes them cold blooded murderers and traitors, and it was them who started the civil war in East Pakistan through acts of terrorism. And why exactly does no one call it Pakistan's civil war, every book out there, and every arm chair analyst out there calls it the India Pakistan war of 1971 or Bangladesh Liberation War. Bangladesh might have been treated like a colony but it was not occupied. Find me a single nation on earth that tolerates separatist movements that go hand in hand with terrorism. You might like to quote Scotland or Catalonia but their independence leaders are going about it in a peaceful manner. The British army unleashed its full strength against the IRA in Northern Ireland and the Spanish government did not tolerate the Basque movement and its acts of terrorism across the Iberian peninsula. If the TTP and its branches are terrorist organizations for you, so should non religious secular terrorist organizations.
I could go on and on and on about the events of 1971, but some of these points are just food for thought for people like you, for more details, read up a little, you will be surprised and shock to know that there is more to this story than meets the eye.