16th December - an ominous day
Mohammad Jamil
12/20/2012

 

On 16th December 1971, Pakistan was dismembered as a result of international terrorism. India was, of course, on the forefront whereby the former USSR for her own reasons had helped India in implementing the insidious plan to disintegrate Pakistan.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s so-called friends - America and the West - acted as silent spectators. A lot many books, theses and reviews have been written on the causes of fall of Dacca and disintegration of Pakistan. The government had constituted Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission to identify underlying causes for this tragedy. The Commission in its report, among other causes, described failure of then military and political leadership in resolving the crisis. At the same time, it had debunked the propaganda by India that three million Bengalis had been killed by the Pakistan army. The commission also made a pointed reference to killings of West Pakistanis, members of Pakistan’s security personnel and Biharis that were butchered by Mukti Bahini guerillas.
On that ominous day, people were shocked on the dismemberment of the country created through the struggle of millions of Muslims of the sub-continent under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam. Distance between the two wings of Pakistan separated by over a thousand miles, propaganda blitz by India by exaggerating the death toll and training of Mukti Bahini guerillas in Indian army camps that later moved along with Indian army units in the then East Pakistan were the factors responsible for the breakup of our motherland.
But there was more to that. Flawed foreign policy, wrong decisions made over a period of two decades and lack of socio-economic justice had resulted in contradictions between the people of the federating units that became irreconcilable over time. India had taken full advantage of the disharmony that existed at that time, which could have been resolved if Pakistan had visionary leadership at that time.
It appeared that after 1965 war India had been trying to strengthen its armed forces. In fact, unity between the nation and performance of the armed forces during 1965 war had resulted in resisting onslaught of India - seven times bigger and had an edge over Pakistan vis-a-vis size of the army and conventional arms. But in 1971, the nation stood divided; hence defeat and disintegration. The moral is that a society where people are denied the socio-economic rights and legal redress, it is prone to disintegrate. And no amount of rhetoric about ideology or appeal in the name of religious fraternity could keep it together. In fact, our ruling elite had not framed the constitution for the first nine years; and when one was adopted in 1956, it did not reflect the aspirations of the people. The formation of One-Unit and reducing the status of East Pakistan under the ‘principle’ of parity had disillusioned and alienated the Bengalis.
Pakistan had made tremendous progress during 1960s and was considered as a model for development for the Third World countries. But it was a lop-sided development whereby the rich became richer and poor became poorer. Secondly, 1970-elections were contested on the basis of greater provincial autonomy to the provinces, and Awami League had secured majority in the National Assembly, but power was not transferred to the majority party leader Sh. Mujib-ur-Rehman for the fear that with implementation of his six points, the country would assume the shape of confederation rather than federation. However, there is no denying the fact that Sh. Mujib had all along covert support from Indian leaders to advance their devious plan. Indeed, India had stoked the passions, stirred emotions to take revenge of the partition of the subcontinent.
It was unfortunate that the UN and the big powers acted as silent spectators when an independent country with recognized international boundaries was being dismembered, and they virtually did nothing to stop India from direct intervention because they were infatuated with India’s large population and big a market. After the break-up of Pakistan, India declared that two-nation had been sunk in the Bay of Bengal, but eidetic reality was that Bangladesh became an independent country with Muslim identity, and refused to accept Indian hegemony. The differences between India and Bangladesh exist over distribution of water on Teesta River. In April 2010 Water Resources Ministers of the two countries had met in New Delhi under the aegis of the Joint River Commission. While Bangladesh wanted water sharing on 50-50 basis available at Ghazal Doba - the only release point of Teesta river water to Bangladesh, India is yet to take a final call on the issue.
Of course, Sheikh Hasina has shown complete obedience towards Indian masters, be it humiliating Pakistan or be it providing and unwavering support to India, which has deprived Bangladesh of its right over river Barak when it unilaterally decided to build a Tipaimukh dam on this site with huge reservoir. This means that River Barak, which flows into Bangladesh from the Indian state of Manipur, will go dry completely. India is also accumulating water of small rivers flowing from India to Bangladesh to make a mainstream in India to use that water domestically, thus depriving Bangladeshi farmers of water by diverting its rivers. There was another bone of contention i.e., since 1987 when India decided to fence some locations along Indo-Bangladesh international border. For Indians influx of Bangladeshis across the border was a problem eluding any long-standing solution, whereas the latter consider it their right to have free movements to meet their brethren in West Bengal.
So far as Pakistan is concerned, its ruling elite did not learn any lesson from the break-up of the country and continued to give over-riding consideration to their personal interests over the national interest. Pakistan is once again on the cross-roads. Factionalism has decimated the national cohesion and the society is divided vertically and horizontally on ethnic, sectarian and regional lines. Leaders of the ruling and opposition parties seem to be unmindful of the multifaceted crisis, and their ruses and pretences are hurting the nation’s very solidarity and cohesion. The people are aghast at the blitheness with which this divide is chasing its fond passions of internecine conflicts and intransigence.
The leaders on both sides of the divide should rise to the occasion to meet the challenges facing the country. They should abandon their intransigence and point-scoring against each other and work in unison to safeguard the sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of the country, which are more important than their false ego.

On 16th December 1971, Pakistan was dismembered as a result of international terrorism. India was, of course, on the forefront whereby the former USSR for her own reasons had helped India in implementing the insidious plan to disintegrate Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s so-called friends - America and the West - acted as silent spectators. A lot many books, theses and reviews have been written on the causes of fall of Dacca and disintegration of Pakistan. The government had constituted Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission to identify underlying causes for this tragedy. The Commission in its report, among other causes, described failure of then military and political leadership in resolving the crisis. At the same time, it had debunked the propaganda by India that three million Bengalis had been killed by the Pakistan army. The commission also made a pointed reference to killings of West Pakistanis, members of Pakistan’s security personnel and Biharis that were butchered by Mukti Bahini guerillas.On that ominous day, people were shocked on the dismemberment of the country created through the struggle of millions of Muslims of the sub-continent under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam. Distance between the two wings of Pakistan separated by over a thousand miles, propaganda blitz by India by exaggerating the death toll and training of Mukti Bahini guerillas in Indian army camps that later moved along with Indian army units in the then East Pakistan were the factors responsible for the breakup of our motherland. But there was more to that. Flawed foreign policy, wrong decisions made over a period of two decades and lack of socio-economic justice had resulted in contradictions between the people of the federating units that became irreconcilable over time. India had taken full advantage of the disharmony that existed at that time, which could have been resolved if Pakistan had visionary leadership at that time.It appeared that after 1965 war India had been trying to strengthen its armed forces. In fact, unity between the nation and performance of the armed forces during 1965 war had resulted in resisting onslaught of India - seven times bigger and had an edge over Pakistan vis-a-vis size of the army and conventional arms. But in 1971, the nation stood divided; hence defeat and disintegration. The moral is that a society where people are denied the socio-economic rights and legal redress, it is prone to disintegrate. And no amount of rhetoric about ideology or appeal in the name of religious fraternity could keep it together. In fact, our ruling elite had not framed the constitution for the first nine years; and when one was adopted in 1956, it did not reflect the aspirations of the people. The formation of One-Unit and reducing the status of East Pakistan under the ‘principle’ of parity had disillusioned and alienated the Bengalis.Pakistan had made tremendous progress during 1960s and was considered as a model for development for the Third World countries. But it was a lop-sided development whereby the rich became richer and poor became poorer. Secondly, 1970-elections were contested on the basis of greater provincial autonomy to the provinces, and Awami League had secured majority in the National Assembly, but power was not transferred to the majority party leader Sh. Mujib-ur-Rehman for the fear that with implementation of his six points, the country would assume the shape of confederation rather than federation. However, there is no denying the fact that Sh. Mujib had all along covert support from Indian leaders to advance their devious plan. Indeed, India had stoked the passions, stirred emotions to take revenge of the partition of the subcontinent.It was unfortunate that the UN and the big powers acted as silent spectators when an independent country with recognized international boundaries was being dismembered, and they virtually did nothing to stop India from direct intervention because they were infatuated with India’s large population and big a market. After the break-up of Pakistan, India declared that two-nation had been sunk in the Bay of Bengal, but eidetic reality was that Bangladesh became an independent country with Muslim identity, and refused to accept Indian hegemony. The differences between India and Bangladesh exist over distribution of water on Teesta River. In April 2010 Water Resources Ministers of the two countries had met in New Delhi under the aegis of the Joint River Commission. While Bangladesh wanted water sharing on 50-50 basis available at Ghazal Doba - the only release point of Teesta river water to Bangladesh, India is yet to take a final call on the issue.Of course, Sheikh Hasina has shown complete obedience towards Indian masters, be it humiliating Pakistan or be it providing and unwavering support to India, which has deprived Bangladesh of its right over river Barak when it unilaterally decided to build a Tipaimukh dam on this site with huge reservoir. This means that River Barak, which flows into Bangladesh from the Indian state of Manipur, will go dry completely. India is also accumulating water of small rivers flowing from India to Bangladesh to make a mainstream in India to use that water domestically, thus depriving Bangladeshi farmers of water by diverting its rivers. There was another bone of contention i.e., since 1987 when India decided to fence some locations along Indo-Bangladesh international border. For Indians influx of Bangladeshis across the border was a problem eluding any long-standing solution, whereas the latter consider it their right to have free movements to meet their brethren in West Bengal.So far as Pakistan is concerned, its ruling elite did not learn any lesson from the break-up of the country and continued to give over-riding consideration to their personal interests over the national interest. Pakistan is once again on the cross-roads. Factionalism has decimated the national cohesion and the society is divided vertically and horizontally on ethnic, sectarian and regional lines. Leaders of the ruling and opposition parties seem to be unmindful of the multifaceted crisis, and their ruses and pretences are hurting the nation’s very solidarity and cohesion. The people are aghast at the blitheness with which this divide is chasing its fond passions of internecine conflicts and intransigence. The leaders on both sides of the divide should rise to the occasion to meet the challenges facing the country. They should abandon their intransigence and point-scoring against each other and work in unison to safeguard the sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of the country, which are more important than their false ego.