Every new government creates new crises by blaming the previous governments for all the mistakes. The result is that the ruling classes have learned nothing from history. The crisis in Bangladesh is also a link in this chain.
In the 1970 election, when the Awami League won with a majority from the former East Pakistan and the People’s Party came second in the West Pakistan, then according to the law and constitution, power was to be transferred to the Awami League. But PPP obstructed it. The first session of the National Assembly was adjourned indefinitely. And when the meeting of the National Assembly was convened in Dhaka, Awal Bhutto said that Mujibur Rahman’s six points should be discussed first and then threatened the representatives of West Pakistan that if they went to the meeting, they would have to suffer serious consequences. . During this time, efforts were made to resolve the disputes through dialogue between the politicians. In this regard, in a meeting between Mujib and Bhutto, it was proposed that Mujib-ur-Rehman should become the Prime Minister and Bhutto the President of the country, but it appears that Mujib did not like this proposal. And he returned to Dhaka and addressed a large gathering at the Race Course Grounds on March 7, 1971, presenting four more points which were as follows.
1. Immediate end of martial law. 2. Immediate return of soldiers to their cantonments. 3. Initiation of inquiry into casualties.
Addressing the public, Mujibur Rahman added that Bengalis should get ready for resistance. Every Bengali household should be armed and ready for the fight. At this stage the discussion ended. And the martial law government decided that there was political isolation in Bangladesh. Government discipline is gone. Therefore, the immediate solution is military intervention.
Therefore, on March 25, 1971, a military operation was launched under the name of “Searchlight”. But when a ship carrying weapons arrived at the port of Chittagong, the Bengalis working there refused to unload the weapons. The Bengal Police and the Bengali Rifles also rebelled and refused to fire on the crowd. Therefore, on the night of 25-26 March 1971, Mujibur Rahman was arrested at around half past one. The news was spread throughout the country by the Mukti Bahini through its radio broadcasts. Due to which protests started in the entire former East Pakistan. Apart from Bengali, Bihari people, other people also lost their lives.
Hamudul Rehman Commission which was established in December 1971. In his first report based on authentic sources, he investigated the Bangladesh crisis and blamed it on three elements: military command, political infighting and the failure of intelligence agencies.
This report was submitted in 1974. This report confirmed the massacre of people in Dhaka. And the negative role of military intervention and politicians was also pointed out. But this report was not published as it undermined the role of Pakistan Army. There were 12 copies of this report. But only one copy was kept and the remaining eleven copies were discarded.
Its supplementary report also blamed the Pakistani army for the mass atrocities in Dhaka. The report also mentions Mukti Bahani’s atrocities on Biharis and non-Bengalis. The first report and the supplementary report confirmed that teachers as well as other experts and students were killed and buried in mass graves in the war.
This series of killings and looting did not stop here, but besides killing the Bengali military officers who were businessmen and capitalists who were industrialists in the Pakistan army, many women were also humiliated.
Looking at the three people who have been held responsible for the Bangladesh crisis, it can be said that Mujibur Rahman’s responsibility is less. Because he was a popular leader of Bangladesh. In this capacity he wanted the protection of the people of Bangladesh. He had the full strength of the people of Bangladesh in his support. In contrast, Bhutto was aspiring for personal power. And were not ready for any compromise. While Yahya Khan and the army wanted to solve the Bangladesh crisis by force. Hamudul Rehman Commission has mentioned these military commanders in its report. Those who should have been prosecuted. But no legal action was taken against anyone. Rather, when he returned to West Pakistan, he was welcomed as a hero. Therefore, the responsibility of the Bangladesh crisis is also on the Pakistani nation. Who did not protest against the military intervention in Bangladesh and the massacre of Bengalis but supported it. Bhutto’s sentence on military intervention is noteworthy: “Thank God that Pakistan is safe.”
Pakistan’s history also has very little information about the secession and independence of Bangladesh. There is no mention of it in textbooks. The result of this mentality is that we have not learned any lesson from the tragedy of Bangladesh, but we are still repeating its history again and again.
Note: Opinions expressed in any DW Urdu blog, comment or column are the personal opinions of the author, with which DW does not necessarily agree.
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