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Posts Tagged Indian Army Massacres & Genocide

Fall of Dhaka – an international conspiracy

Fall of Dhaka – an international conspiracy

Asif Haroon Raja

In united India, Muslim majority East Bengal was the poorest with lowest percentages of urbanization, industrialization, literacy and per capita income. It was kept economically and socially backward by Hindu Zamindars and was a hinterland of Calcutta utilized for 200 years to provide raw materials for the industries in Hindu dominated West Bengal. Division of Bengal and Calcutta becoming part of West Bengal in 1947 further worsened East Bengal’s socio-economic condition.

Bharat detested the ”two-nation theory” ever since its conception and was bent upon disproving it, as this theory ultimately gave birth to Pakistan. India took advantage of the absurd shape of moth eaten Pakistan, in which East Pakistan was separated from the western wing by 1000 miles of Indian Territory and with no land corridor to link the two provinces. There were plans as old as 1947 to agitate the minds of the Bengalis so that the first blow to the “two-nation theory” could be delivered in the form of severing Pakistan’s eastern wing in a matter of one generation from the time of independence. A strong Pakistan – the envisioned fort of Islam – did not suit India, former Soviet Union and Israel, which viewed Pakistan as a future threat to their ideologies.

In order to hide their crimes against the Muslims of Bengal during the British rule in India, Indians worked upon a systematic plan to wash off the memories of the pre-partition days and to put the entire responsibility of impoverishment of East Pakistan on the rulers of West Pakistan. They took full advantage of their geographical contiguity and succeeded in winning over prominent Bengali figures of their choice and also made good use of the affluent Hindu population in that province. They exploited East Pakistan’s differences in language, dress, habits, food and culture from other provinces of Pakistan and subtly convinced them that their cultural links were with West Bengal and not with West Pakistan. They took 24 years to wean away the people of East Pakistan from the concept of united Pakistan and to make them look towards India – their erstwhile tormentors – to help them gain independence.

The Indian strategy to humble Pakistan was drawn out extremely well. The agitation in East Pakistan provided a fertile ground for India to launch a well-orchestrated propaganda to weaken and break up the province from West Pakistan. They established early links with Bengalis, trained them and used them as cannon fodder to wear down the Pakistani troops. The nine months insurgency was fully supported by the Indian Army and their support to the rebels was well known to the world powers. Having failed to realise their objective through the Mukti Bahini, the Indian Army decided to step in at a time when the small contingent of Pakistan Army had been exhausted and suffered from immense tactical, operational and logistic problems. Despite all the advantages to her favour, India still did not want to do it at its own but sought assistance from the former Soviet Union, which gave them all out back up support. Even the US Congress and CIA from whom we expected help were also involved; they took steps that were detrimental for Pakistan.

By that time the insurrection activities in East Pakistan had reached such a high pitch that the Pakistan Army was forced to fight on internal and external fronts concurrently. The Indian diplomacy was also at its best during this period. Mrs. Indira Gandhi through her diplomatic finesse, succeeded in drumming up refugees problem and portraying the military regime in Pakistan as brutal and fascist, thereby justifying India’s military intervention to restore normalcy. India’s superior diplomatic activity had turned this war into heroic act to liberate the Bengalis from the torturous clutches of a militant Pakistan. On the other hand Pakistan was left practically friendless and isolated and its traditional friends neutralised. The whole world quietly and helplessly witnessed the dismemberment process. As a consequence, the inevitable happened. The age-old dream of the Indians came true. Pakistan was brutally disfigured on the fateful day of December 16, 1971. Under the overwhelming odds, no Army in the world could have done any better.

No one doubts that the fall of Dacca in 1971 was the result of machination of the enemies of Islam. Pakistan was made the victim of a methodically planned international conspiracy. Notwithstanding the ignominious role of outside powers, we cannot go on blaming others for our shortfalls. Conspiracies hit governments that are corrupt and lack the character traits of sound leadership. The surrender in East Pakistan was no less than a conspiracy in itself. Those decision-making co-conspirators contributed to the shameful surrender of 45000 Pakistan Army and paramilitary soldiers.

East Pakistan grew up as a misled nation easily swayed by the Hindu brainwashing. Their emotional nature saw Indian Hindus as their saviours against their pre-supposed ‘West Pakistani Masters’. This is where they blundered and demonstrated political naivety and unawareness. The misled emotional Bengali political leaders exploited the poverty and illiteracy of the masses of East Pakistan. Matiur Rehman in his book “Bangladesh Today, An Indictment and a Lament, News and Media Ltd, London N4 3EF, 1978, page 8”, aptly puts across the point. ‘What made both external conspiracy and aggression possible was the existence within of a group of people led by Mujibur Rehman who were prepared to sell their country’s independence’. It is a fact of history that only 9% Bengali Muslims under the sway of Mujibur Rahman wanted independence.  

India and the Hindus residing in former East Pakistan sowed the seeds of destruction of East Pakistan and the self-serving politicians of Pakistan nurtured the crop. The circumstances between 1948 and 1971 appearing on the political canvas of Pakistan placed a shallow political and military leadership in the saddle during the 1971 crisis, which could not save the sinking ship. While the sinking could be delayed but the final outcome was inevitable. It is generally believed that prolonging the war by another fortnight or so and allowing the United Nations to find some workable solution could avoid the premature surrender and thus save the honour of Pakistan Army. Unfortunately, we as a nation have failed to carry out true and objective analysis of losing East Pakistan. Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report that had ascertained the military causes of the debacle remained a hidden document till as late as 31 December 2000.

General Yahya Khan’s ill-fated two and a half-year rule from March 1969 to December 1971 hastened the process of fragmentation of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and ZA Bhutto worked hard to make the Indian game plan of amputating Pakistan succeed. Mujib duly patronised by India misled the otherwise loyal people of East Pakistan from the concept of united Pakistan. Bengali nationalism that had peaked in the wake of postponement of National Assembly inaugural session scheduled for 3rd March 1971 could not be reined in despite concerted efforts by the military regime to assuage their aggravated feelings. Sowing of seeds of conspiracy to its final flowering in 1971 had been leavened by the creed of Bengali nationalism. The military crackdown on 25 March led to parting of ways and from that time onward; the gulf between the two wings kept widening till the tenuous chord snapped in December 1971.

It was irony of fate that the very people who were in the vanguard of Pakistan Movement took up arms to destroy the very country, which they themselves had helped to create. The people of East Bengal accepted India, from whose shackles freedom was achieved in August 1947 after such a long struggle, as a saviour and a mentor. Mujib started a witch-hunt against so-called collaborators. It didn’t take long for the people of Bangladesh to realize that they were duped. A military coup led by Maj Farooq and Maj Rashid killed Mujib and his 23 family members and dumped their bodies in a mass grave in August 1975.

Instead of taking revenge from those who had killed her father and family members, Hasina Wajid chose to persecute Jamaat-e-Islami members who had remained loyal to the concept of one Pakistan till the very end. Hanging aged Jamaat chief Abdul Quader Molla on dubious charges of rape and mass murder after 42 years has saddened everyone in Pakistan and brought the rampaging Islamists in Bangladesh on the streets. They assert that it was a political murder and will be avenged. Hasina’s days in power are numbered and the countdown has begun.    

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist and author of ‘Maarka Hilli’ and ‘Roots of 1971 Tragedy’. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

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Appeasement taken as sign of docility

Appeasement taken as sign of docility

Asif Haroon Raja








Nawaz Sharif addressed the UN Assembly on 27th and in that he jogged the memory of the UNSC by reminding it of its responsibility to resolve the 66 year old Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions. He also called upon the international community to play its due role for the realization of the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people and let them decide their future through a plebiscite organized by the UN. Nawaz thus rekindled the age-old stance of Pakistan, which Gen Musharraf had gratuitously sabotaged in 2003 to please India and USA. Nawaz’s statement on Kashmir was not to the liking of India. It had been lobbying hard to restrain him from re-enacting the UN resolution stance smothered by Musharraf.

Known for doing its homework, India on one hand had intensified diplomatic efforts to woo Nawaz after he took over power in early June 2013, and at the same time prepared ground to paint Pakistan and freedom movement in Kashmir in black through carefully planned false flag operations and hate offensive. The first of its kind was the deliberate heating up of Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir in early January 2013. The incident of beheading of two Indian soldiers allegedly by Pak soldiers was drummed up and dragged on for quite some time. Hostile reaction to the death of Indian RAW agent Sarabjit Singh in April 2013 in the form of killing of Pakistani national Sanaullah Ranjay in Jammu jail tensed Indo-Pak relations. The LoC was one again heated up in August on the pretext that five Indian soldiers had been killed deep inside Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) by Kashmiri terrorists dressed in Pak uniforms and backed by Pak Army.

From August 2013 onwards, hardly a day has passed when Indian occupation forces didn’t violate 2003 peace agreement in Kashmir by resorting to unprovoked firing and killing civilians and soldiers. Just a day before Manmohan’s address in the UN Assembly on 28thSeptember, another terror attack was stage-managed on a military target in Samba. Samba incident, coupled with previous incidents equipped Manmohan with sufficient grist to lambast Pakistan during his speech in the General Assembly. He dubbed Pakistan as an epicenter of terrorism and accused it of abetting terrorism in IOK. He also repeated India’s age-old stance that Kashmir is the integral part of India.

Manmohan continued with his laments when he met President Obama on 29 September. He had nothing else to talk except for bad mouthing Pakistan and painting India as the victim of terrorism. Receptive Obama not only shared his concerns compassionately but also approved his boxful of lies without being given shred of evidence. Manmohan’s invectives were meant to put Nawaz on the defensive during his meeting with him on the sidelines of the UN Session on the 30th. Indian foreign minister added to the disinformation campaign by giving lies-filled interview to anti-Pakistan VOA.         

Musharraf caused greatest damage to the cause of Kashmir by allowing India to fence the LoC, bridling Jihadist groups, pushing aside UN resolutions on Kashmir and suggesting out of box four-point formula to resolve the dispute. However, ZA Bhutto too had harmed the Kashmir cause during Simla talks in 1972 by agreeing to convert ceasefire line in Kashmir, demarcated on January 1, 1949 into LoC and accepting Indian suggested policy of bilateralism. Concept of LoC encouraged India to focus on converting it into permanent border between two Kashmirs at a later date. Bilateralism enabled India to rule out third party intervention. Gen Musharraf was fully geared to sell off Kashmir by agreeing to implement India’s suggestion of making LoC a permanent border and making the border soft so as to allow two-way trade and facilitate movement of Kashmiris across the border. To that end, bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was introduced.  

By early 2007, 90% work had been completed through backdoor diplomacy pursued by Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri and Advisor Tariq Aziz. Sudden eruption of lawyer’s movement after the sacking of Chief Justice Iftikhar by Musharraf in March 2007, which put Musharraf on the back foot, derailed the process. But for India’s chronic habit of haggling and suspicion, the unholy deal might have materialized by end 2007. Lawyer’s movement proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Kashmiris and Pakistan, but India lost the chance of century to legalize its hold over two-thirds Kashmir. Indian leaders are yearning to re-start the backchannel diplomacy and to pick up threads from where discussion on Kashmir had been abandoned in 2007. Zardari regime made no efforts to remove the stigma of terrorism pinned on Kashmiris or to revive the resistance movement but he didn’t promote Musharraf’s wonky out-of-box concept. 

Nawaz is no less a lover of India than Musharraf and Zardari. Ever since he took over, he has been bending over backwards to win the affections of lame duck Manmohan who will be off the Indian political radar for good after next elections in India due in May 2014. He nostalgically recalls that he had developed deep understanding with Vajpayee. He naively believes that Vajpayee’s historic bus yatra to Lahore in February 1999 had brought the Kashmir dispute to near resolution point, but before the final leap could be undertaken to ink the momentous treaty, Musharraf incapacitated the progress achieved by stepping into Dras-Kargil. He is eager to restart the dialogue with India from where the process broke off in 1999. I reckon, Nawaz has a memory lapse. No sooner Vajpayee had returned to New Delhi, he blurted out that Kashmir is the Atoot-Ang of India and there can never be any compromise on it. Manmohan also reiterated the same stance in his September 28th speech. It implies that the standpoint of the two mainstream political parties on Kashmir is the same.

If so, one wonders why our leaders continue to chase rainbows and hope against hope that India would change its position. Why they have so much faith in composite dialogue which started in 1997? Except for some futile CBMS like people-to-people-contact and trade, no progress could be made on any of the disputes of Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek and water. One fails to understand why our leaders are so naïve and myopic to repeatedly come under the magic spell of Indian leaders and get duped? What is their compulsion, and if there is any, why don’t they share it with the people rather than misleading them and leading them up the garden path that friendship with India would not only solve core issues but also make Pakistan prosperous?

If India unscrupulously cooks up stories, engineers false flag operations, insults Pakistan, makes false allegations and threatens Pakistan and whips up war hysteria, why our elected leaders do not pick up courage to call a spade a spade and expose India’s terrorism against Pakistan and massive human rights violations in IOK? Pakistan’s apologetic and defensive policy pursued in the vain hope of appeasing ever belligerent India has proved very costly. It has allowed India to carryout one-sided propaganda and to blame Pakistan for the sins committed by India’s rogue elements against Pakistan. In our quest for peace with India, our leaders have gone an extra mile to please fire-breathing and hate-mongering Indian leaders and in the process have compromised the security, honor and dignity of the country.

Our policy of appeasement is taken as a sign of docility and weakness and exploited. Friendship with India should not be at the cost of losing Kashmir and our dignity and sovereignty of the State. Pakistan will have to make its political, diplomatic and media policies pragmatically offensive to match Indo-US-western-Jewish propaganda spiteful onslaughts duly complemented by segment of our own media.  

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist and book writer. asifharoonraja@gmail.com 

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