Detractors of Pakistan awarded
Mohammad Jamil


Pakistan perhaps is the only country in the world, which confers honours on detractors of Pakistan. Salima Hashmi, former professor/Principal in National Arts College, has taken oath as minister for education and health in caretaker Punjab cabinet. She was selected as a Minister in the interim Punjab Government by caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi, who himself was reportedly involved in anti-state activities during the Baloch insurgency of the seventies. Only two weeks ago i.e. on 24th March 2013 Salima Hashymi had received the award on behalf of his father late Faiz Ahmed Faiz by the Bangladesh government. On the soil of Bangladesh she said: “The Pakistan government should formally apologize to the people of Bangladesh for the atrocities committed by Pakistan occupation army during the War of Independence in 1971”. Mst Asma Jahangir also received award on behalf of his late father Malik Ghulam Jilani, who was Vice President West Pakistan Awami League.

Late Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo was posthumously given ‘Bangladesh Liberation War Honour Award’, which was received by his son Mir Hasil Bizenjo. Tahira Jalib received the award declared for Habib Jalib. Begum Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan, Ahmed Salim, Sindhi poet Anwar Pirzada and Qazi Faez Isa were also given awards for opposing military operation in then East Pakistan. Others who received awards include Begum Naseem Akhtar, Dr. Iqbal Ahmed, Zafar Malik, a lawyer. Hamid Mir, son of Professor Waris Mir received the awards on behalf of his father. Several prominent Indian military and civil personalities, including Lt. General Jagjit Singh Aurora; Lt Gen. Sagat Singh; Vice Admiral Swaraj Prakash; Major General Antony Harold Edward Michigan received ‘friends of liberation war awards’. It is ironical that Pakistani intelligentsia received awards along with those who had played pivotal role in disintegration of Pakistan. But there is a perception, that our ‘leading lights’ also had contributed to the disintegration of Pakistan.

Some Pakistani intellectuals, writers, poets, journalists and writers do not feel qualms while condemning and blaming Pakistan for atrocities in then East Pakistan, but turning a blind against the horrors of Mukti Bahini and India’s role. Pakistan had formed Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission to investigate into the causes of the tragedy of disintegration of Pakistan, and the excesses perpetrated in then East Pakistan, of course by the rebels and the military that was trying to quell the rebellion. The crimes committed by India backed militants (Mukti Bahini) have totally been ignored by Saleema Hashmi who was so overwhelmed by the award she was receiving. Activists of Indian extremist and militant outfit RSS have expressed their dismay over being ignored and left out in the awards ceremony while claiming that they had arranged training camps for Bengali militants, provided arms and financial support to them to fight against their own legitimate government, but finally the awards went to others.

Pakistan had indeed formed Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission to investigate into the causes of the tragedy of disintegration of Pakistan, and the excesses perpetrated in then East Pakistan, of course by the rebels and the military that was trying to quell the rebellion. Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission Report observed that formation of One-unit, principle of parity, unitary form of government and system of basic democracies were the reasons for alienating the people of smaller provinces that led to disintegration of Pakistan. Whereas the commission criticized the then military and politicos for their ineptness, it had debunked the propaganda by India that two to three million Bengalis had been killed by the Pakistan army. The Commission had put the figure of casualties at twenty six thousand including the killings of West Pakistanis, members of Pakistan’s security personnel and Biharis that were butchered by Mukti Bahini guerillas. Anyhow, former prime minister of Bangladesh Khaleda Zia is on record having said that figure of three million dead was highly exaggerated.

Many books have been written calling the genocide of Bengalis farce; however those under the influence of India or writers with anti-Pakistani streak put the figure as high as 3 million. It has to be mentioned that people have not forgotten the genocide of non-Bengalis during the civil war and afterwards at the hands of Bengali nationalists. However, Pakistan considered the matter settled, as Sheikh Mujib had made no demand for apology during his visit to Lahore to attend Islamic Summit or even after that. But 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 India 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 concentrating small rivers flowing from India to Bangladesh to make a mainstream in India to use water for its domestic needs; thus depriving Bangladeshi farmers of water by diverting its rivers.

Many writers hold the view that on 16th December 1971, Pakistan was dismembered as a result of international terrorism. India was, of course, on the forefront whereby the former USSR 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. It was unfortunate that in 1971 the UN and the big powers did nothing to stop India to dismember independent country with recognized international boundaries. After the break-up of Pakistan, India declared that two-nation theory had sunk in the Bay of Bengal. But eidetic reality was that Bangladesh became an independent country with Muslim identity, and in general Bengladeshis are not willing to accept India’s hegemony. Bangladesh had also refused to send its troops to Afghanistan, which seems to be the result of the fact that Bangladeshis guard their freedom very jealously, despite Sheikh Hasina’s appeasement policy towards India.