National and International Issues

Pakistan and Bangladesh: Two Brotherly Countries

This is a fact, not fiction. Islam binds Pakistan and Bangladesh. Islam connects the people of the two countries in a bond which will never break. Both share common history. 
Pakistan would like to have the best of relations with Bangladesh.
Unfortunately, at the Indian instigation, serious allegations have continued to emanate from Dhaka against Pakistan. It is alleged that in 1971, Pakistan Army in East Pakistan committed a “genocide” of “3 million Bengalis” and was responsible for the “rape” of “200,000 Bengali women.” This has been the official position of the Awami League government, reiterated every now and then.
Not everyone in Bangladesh and outside agrees with these statistics. Many seriously doubt the authenticity of these exaggerated figures of mathematics. Opposition leaders in Dhaka, including senior functionaries of the other largest party in the country, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and the Jamaat, have been strongly contesting the veracity of these statistics.
Syed A. Karim, the first Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, while referring to the subject categorically stated, “The figure of 3 million killed” was “a gross overstatement.”1 The India-origin Hindu Bengali scholar at Oxford, Sarmila Bose,2 underscores, “The number of 3 million appears to be nothing more than a gigantic rumor.” According to her, around 100,000 persons could have perished in 1971, which includes “Bengalis and non-Bengalis, Hindus, Muslims and Indians & Pakistanis.”3
Professor Gary Bass of Princeton University observes “A senior Indian official put the Bengali death toll (in 1971) at 300,000 (not 3 million).4 On his part, the then Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh, declared that one million (not 3 million) people were killed in Bangladesh.5 Meanwhile, the Peace Research Institute in Norway concluded that around 58,000 people died in 1971.
There is a wide variation in the estimates. 
There is of course another account, which suggests that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made a mistake when he asserted that 3 million Bengalis had been massacred in 1971. According to Serajur Rahman, former Deputy Head of the BBC Bengali Service, what Mujib really meant was that 300,000 Bengalis were killed, and not 3 million. Following is the write-up titled ‘Mujib's confusion on Bangladeshi deaths,’ in British daily The Guardian of May 24, 2011:
On 8 January 1972, I was the first Bangladeshi to meet the independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman [in London] after his release from Pakistan. He was brought from Heathrow to Claridge’s by the Indian high commissioner Apa Bhai Panth, and I arrived there almost immediately. Mujib was puzzled to be addressed as "Your Excellency" by Mr. Panth. He was surprised, almost shocked, when I explained to him that Bangladesh had been liberated and he was elected President [of Bangladesh] in his absence. Apparently he arrived in London under the impression that East Pakistanis had been granted the full regional autonomy for which he had been campaigning. During the day I and others gave him the full picture of the war. I explained that no accurate figure of the casualties was available but our estimate, based on information from various sources, was that up to "3 lakh" (300,000) died in the conflict.” To my surprise and horror he told David Frost later that " 3 million of my people" were killed by the Pakistanis. Whether he mistranslated "lakh" as "million" or his confused state of mind was responsible [for this], I don't know, but many Bangladeshis still believe a figure of 3 million is unrealistic and incredible.6
In a categorical refutation, Swedish journalist Ingwar Oja wrote in March 1973, “The allegation regarding killing of 3 million people is highly exaggerated.”7 Peter Gill opined in The Daily Telegraph in early 1973, “The Pakistani soldiery in the East during 1971, was suppressing a rebellion and not in occupation of a foreign country.” He added, “The wild figure of three million Bengalis killed during those 10 terrible months, is at least 20 times higher (than the reality), if not 50 or 60 times.”8
Same is the case with the allegations of rape and sexual assaults, which in so many cases were “systematically committed” by activists of the India-based, Hindu fundamentalist organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).9 The first Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, James Bartleman, categorically rejects the propaganda against Pakistan on mass rapes. In his view, the Bangladeshi government “greatly exaggerated” the number of war babies of 1971. His perspective on the alleged rapes is reproduced as under, from his memoir which was published in 2005:
The Bangladeshi Ministry of Information, in a propaganda effort to encourage the flow of more aid money to Bangladesh, claimed that more than 200,000 women were pregnant as a result of the rapes (committed by the Pakistan Army in 1971). Enormous publicity was given to this allegation in the international press… Without seeking confirmation about the scale of the problem as depicted in the media, the Canadian Cabinet authorized the dispatch of special flight of a Canadian (armed) forces 707 to Dhaka to pick up a planeload of infants for adoption in Canada. The (Ministry of) Foreign Affairs (in Ottawa) sent instructions telling me to select at least 300 of these infants… A Canadian team of pediatricians, nurses and a lawyer, also arrived in Dhaka. Eventually, we found 15 babies and children including abandoned street waifs, and departed with them on a regular Air India flight for Canada via Calcutta.10
Those who level allegations of mass rapes against Pakistan may also wish to note that November in 1971 was in fact the holy month of Ramadan. And in Ramadan, only the vilest Muslim would ever think of committing such acts of repugnance. The Muslims of Bangladesh and the Muslims of Pakistan fully understand the sanctity of Ramadan.
Importantly, in his memoirs Ambassador Bartleman also speaks of “millions of persons” incarcerated in “huge refugee camps” in Bangladesh, who had “sided with Pakistan” during the 1971 War.11 The inmates of these camps were not only pro-Pakistan Bengalis, but also Biharis who still call Pakistan ‘their very own country.’ These are those facts which have been concealed from the world. Importantly, Ambassador Bartleman was posted to Bangladesh in June 1972, less than a year after the fall of Dhaka. His is an eyewitness account, which no serious researcher would reject.
Unfortunately, the gory massacres of the West Pakistani community in East Pakistan and the Biharis and the systematic rapes of their women by the Mukti Bahini in 1971, is not even mentioned by many analysts.    
Here also comes the question of the number of the Pakistani troops who surrendered in Dhaka on December 16, 1971. The general view which has been massively propagated is that 90,000-93,000 soldiers of the Pakistan Army laid down their arms. This is not true. This is pure fiction, certainly not a fact.
In his book Betrayal of East Pakistan, the then Pakistani military commander in East Pakistan, Lieutenant General A.A.K. Niazi categorically states that he had “a fighting force of 34,000 (only) in East Pakistan in 1971.”12 Sarmila Bose fully agrees with this view. According to her, “93,000 Pakistani soldiers were not in fact taken prisoner.”13 Independent analysts in Bangladesh, the United States and even in India, have opined that the number of Pakistani troops in East Pakistan who surrendered in December 1971 was not more than 34,000-35,000.
The total figure of 90,000 Pakistanis taken prisoners by India in December 1971 may be correct. But out of this figure (of 90,000), the Pakistani troops (officers and soldiers of all three forces, Army, Air Force and Navy, included) who were taken prisoner by India, was not more than 34,000. Rest were West Pakistani civilians, such as, the police and civil services personnel, doctors and para-medical staff, engineers & contractors, and members of the West Pakistani community in East Pakistan which also includes the members of their family. Even today, you will find many Pakistanis who remember their days in custody in India with their parents. They, as young boys and girls, were hounded along with their parents by Indian security personnel from Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and other places in East Pakistan, and taken to camps in India, mostly by train.
Importantly, these 34,000 or so soldiers of the Pakistan armed forces deployed in East Pakistan in 1971, were fighting against more than 200,000 soldiers of the Indian Army. And, also more than 100,000 Bengali insurgents, Mukti Bahini, who had been given training in terror by India on the Indian soil.14 In the words of the Indian scholar, Ramachandra Guha:
By the summer of 1971, along with the hundreds of camps for refugees, India was also hosting training camps for Bengali guerrillas. Known as the Mukti Bahini, these fighters numbered some 20,000 in all; regular officers and soldiers of the once united Pakistani army, plus younger volunteers, learning how to use light arms. The instruction was at first in the hands of the paramilitary Border Security Force, but by autumn, the Indian army had assumed direct charge. From their bases in India, the guerrillas would venture into East Pakistan, to attack the (Pakistan) army camps and disrupt the communications.15
Here, one would quote the sitting Deputy Speaker of the Bangladeshi Parliament, Colonel Shawkat Ali (R), who openly admitted his and Sheikh Mujib’s involvement in the break-up of Pakistan. In an interview with the Bangladeshi magazine, Dhaka Courier (February 10, 2012 issue), Ali stated:
•      I joined the (Pakistan) army in 1958. In the 1960s, army personnel from the then East Pakistan banded together and decided on a plan to attack and take over all cantonments in East Pakistan on a given date, in an attempt to stage a coup.
•   It was also decided that under the leadership of Sheikh Mujib, who wasn’t yet “Bangabandhu” — he was Mujib bhai to us; we would declare the independence of East Pakistan from Pakistan. I got involved with the plan in 1966 when I was stationed at the Comilla cantonment as a Captain in the (Pakistan) army. In the plan, I was in-charge of the takeover of the Comilla cantonment. Sadly, the plans were leaked before they could be executed. And that is how the historic Agartala Case came to be.
• The name ‘Agartala Conspiracy Case’ is a misnomer. The actual name of the case filed against us was the State vs. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others. The name of Agartala became associated with the case due to a small incident. A two-member delegation from our group went to Agartala, India, to meet Indian authorities to discuss with them our plans and ask them if they could aid us. 
•    Until recently, it was believed this case was a ploy to get rid of Sheikh Mujib, when in reality, it was a case filed on very concrete and true accusations. 
•   We did conspire for secession of East Pakistan! The accusations were 100 percent true.

It is also alleged that East Pakistan did not make much progress when it was part of Pakistan from 1947 to 1971. This again is untrue.
Pakistan has built its Gwadar Port now, in its province of Balochistan, whereas the Government of Pakistan (East and West Pakistan) constructed the Mongla Port in East Pakistan way back in 1952. Mongla is the gateway for tourist travel by sea to two UNESCO World Heritage sites in Bangladesh, including Sundarbans and the Bagerhat.
The Government of Pakistan established one Cadet College in West Pakistan in the locality of Hasan Abdal; whereas four Cadet Colleges were set up in East Pakistan (in Chittagong in 1958, in Jhenaidah in 1963, in Rajshahi in 1966, and in Tangail in 1965). Same is the case with a number of universities and medical colleges in East Pakistan, which were established during the time of united Pakistan. The University of Chittagong was set up in November 1966. The University of Rajshahi was built earlier in July 1953. Similarly, Jehangirnagar University in Dhaka was inaugurated in January 1970 when East Pakistan was part of Pakistan.
Significantly, Pakistan Television started its transmissions from Dhaka in 1964, before it was done from Karachi. Both the splendid Parliament buildings in Islamabad and in Dhaka were initiated by President Ayub Khan. When Tarbela Dam was being constructed in West Pakistan, Kaptai Dam was being built in East Pakistan. A steel mill was established in East Pakistan (Chittagong) when West Pakistan did not have such an enterprise.16
In 1947, East Pakistan had just one Muslim Bengali ICS (Indian Civil Service) Officer, Mr. Noorun Nabi. In 1971, East Pakistan had hundreds of CSP (Civil Service of Pakistan) Officers, diplomats and Bengali officers belonging to various service groups; all being proud products of the civil service structure of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
In 1947, East Pakistan had only 12 to 15 Muslim Bengali officers from the Royal British Army, Air Force and Navy. And, in 1971, there were thousands of Bengali defense personnel from East Pakistan, all trained and groomed at the military institutions of Pakistan (West Pakistan and East Pakistan.) 
It is being stressed in Dhaka today that historically, Bengalis have been ruled “by the Mughals, the British, and by Pakistan (West Pakistan).” The fact is that during the 24-year period when East Pakistan was part of Pakistan, there were a number of persons from Bengal, who served as Heads of State/Heads of Government of (united) Pakistan.
Khwaja Nazimuddin became the Governor-General of Pakistan (Head of State) after the passing away of the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1948. Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1956. Earlier, Muhammad Ali Bogra took over as Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1953. Similarly, Iskandar Mirza became the President of Pakistan in 1956. Also, Nurul Amin later became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1971.17
India has its own Bengali Province (State) of West Bengal; but India has never elected a Bengali as its Prime Minister since its birth in August 1947. Who would know all this better than the people of Bangladesh themselves! India elected only one Bengali as its President, Pranab Mukherjee, in 2012.
East Pakistan had a population larger than West Pakistan, but area-wise, it equaled only the size of today’s Sindh province in Pakistan. This way, East Pakistan got more than what was given by the federal government to southern Punjab, interior Sindh and Balochistan. 
The language issue is also important. There are many misunderstandings on this account also.
Urdu has never been the language of the common man in West Pakistan, as has been propagandized in Dhaka. Urdu was not even the mother tongue of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In (West) Pakistan, except some who migrated to the new country in 1947, Sindhis speak Sindhi language, Pathans speak Pashto, Punjabis speak Punjabi, and Balochs speak the Balochi language. Culturally and historically, Urdu has been the language of the Muslims of the subcontinent. By contrast, Sanskrit has been the language of the Hindus of the subcontinent.
Due to the Muslim historical heritage in the subcontinent, it was but natural to see Urdu as the national language of the new Muslim country, Pakistan. Urdu is a mixture of Persian, Turkish, Pashto, Sanskrit and other languages. Above all, Urdu is closest to Arabic, the language of the Quran. Had the Bengali demand on the language issue been accepted, then Punjabis, Pakhtuns, Balochs and the Sindhis, each could have made similar demands in respect of their languages, creating problems for the newly created Pakistan.
Not many would be aware of the fact that it was a Hindu Parliamentarian from East Pakistan, Dhirendranath Datta, who was the first person to raise the language issue when he was addressing the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in Karachi in February 1948. Importantly, Datta had opposed the very creation of Pakistan six months ago when it was established on August 14, 1947. Fully supporting the Hindus of West Bengal, he had also opposed the division of Bengal in July 1905, a demand made by the Muslims of Bengal.18 Because of the Hindu pressure tactics, the British were later forced to annul the partition of Bengal in 1911.
Here, it would be important to refer to ‘Amar Sonar Bangla,’ the national anthem of Bangladesh. It was originally written as a poem by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905, as a protest against the partition of Bengal. On his return to Dhaka (from Islamabad subsequent to his release by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) in January 1972, when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman came to know of this, he was extremely upset with the Awami League leadership for having adopted Tagore’s poem as the national anthem of Bangladesh. He was plainly told that the decision had been thrust on Bangladesh by Indian RAW. Even Mujib went quiet; he was helpless.
Pakistan has always stood by Bangladesh.
In the 1980s, at Dhaka’s request, Pakistan gifted forty-six fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force to the Bangladesh Air Force. This was done free of cost, with no strings attached. Pakistan also assisted Bangladesh in raising a full division of their army when Hussain Muhammad Ershad was the President of Bangladesh. A few tank squadrons were also supplied to Dhaka by the Pakistan Army. Earlier in late 1970s, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) gifted two aircraft to the Bangladesh airlines, Biman.
All this was done without publicity, otherwise India would have created more problems for Bangladesh.
It would be relevant to quote J.N. Dixit, the first Head of the Indian Mission (Ambassador) in Dhaka, after the establishment of Bangladesh. In his book, Liberation and Beyond: Indo-Bangladesh Relations, Dixit who later became the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, India’s Foreign Secretary and then the National Security Adviser of India, refers to the first visit to Bangladesh by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1974, as under:19
Bhutto arrived in Dhaka in July 1974. I drove to the airport through dense crowds lining both sides of the streets all the way from the Tejgaon airport to Banga Bhavan, resounding with slogans like ‘Bangladesh-Pakistani maitri (friendship) Zindabad’ and ‘Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Zindabad.’ This was a far cry from the massive anti-Bhutto demonstrations held in Dhaka in the second fortnight of March 1971. All the heads of the diplomatic missions were lined up at the tarmac. Bhutto descended from a special air force aircraft in the uniform of the supreme leader of the People’s Party of Pakistan.
I was introduced when he reached me in the reception line. Shaking me by the hand, he turned to Mujibur Rahman and said: “So, he represents the country which re-arranged the map of the sub-continent in 1971.” Then, addressing me, he said: “Maybe, he (would) help us a second time in re-arranging the map by resolving the Kashmir problem which has been pending for such a long time.”… It was the journey back from the airport which was a politically and emotionally disturbing experience for me.
As the motorcade moved out, the frenzied enthusiasm of the mass of the people lining the route reached a high pitch, with slogans and shouting in favour of Bhutto and Pakistan. The new and striking feature of this show were the many slogans very critical of the Awami League and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I was told later that people threw garlands of shoes at Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s car on his journey back to the President’s House. My flag car was vandalized, and the Indian flag tampered with by the crowds as it slowed down near the road crossing at the Inter-Continental Hotel. Abusive slogans were shouted against the Indian High Commission and the Government of India.
I have to confess that I had tears of anger in my eyes, when I returned to my office and sat down to draft my telegram reporting on the arrival ceremonies and attendant political events.

The question is, if Pakistan and its army were as ‘monstrous’ as has been alleged in Bangladesh today, why was the Prime Minister of Pakistan given such a tumultuous welcome in Dhaka in 1974, just a little two years after the establishment of Bangladesh? If the Pakistan Army had committed a genocide of 3 million Bengalis and raped 200,000 Bengali women in 1971, as is being alleged in Bangladesh today, why was the Prime Minister of Pakistan given a hero’s welcome in Dhaka within a short span of time after the creation of Bangladesh?
If the common man in Bangladesh considered India as the benefactor of the people of Bangladesh, why was the Indian Ambassador’s official car garlanded with shoes? If Pakistan has been such a hated country in Bangladesh, why is it so that so many Bangladeshis came to the airport to welcome Zulfikar Ali Bhutto? They should have raised full-throated slogans against the Prime Minister of Pakistan, rather shouting ‘Bhutto Zindabad (Long live Bhutto).’
The fact is that Bangladesh never joined India, nor would it ever like to. A large number of Bangladeshi Muslims call Indians, ‘Malaoon (despicable) Hindus.’ On their part, Indians tauntingly describe Bangladeshis ‘Cockroaches,’ and ‘The most ungrateful nation on earth.’
The Two-Nation theory is valid today, the way it has always been. Even in 2019, you may never come across a single Hindu in the entire subcontinent, whose name is Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, Hassan or Hussain. Similarly, you may never meet a Muslim in the entire subcontinent, whose name is Narendra Modi, Shastri, Nehru or Gandhi. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India when India succeeded in dismembering Muslim Pakistan in 1971. Interestingly, you may never come across a single Muslim lady in entire Bangladesh whose name is Indira Gandhi. On the other hand, you will come across so many Muslims in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, whose name is Mujib, Rahman, Zulfiqar, Ali, Khaleda or Fatima.
The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad. The old name of the second largest city in Bangladesh, Chittagong, is also Islamabad.
Since Islam entered the subcontinent more than 1300 years ago, Hindu heroes have been different from the Muslim heroes. Paradoxically, Muslim heroes automatically become villains for the Hindus, and vice versa. A Hindu will never accept Ghazni, Ghauri and Babar as his hero. A Muslim will never accept Shivaji Marhatta, Prithviraj or Rana Sanga as his hero. Hindu culture is different from the Muslim culture. The Hindu festivals are entirely different from the Muslim festivals in subcontinent.
In their masterly account, This Age of Conflict, British scholars Chambers, Harris and Bayley underscored, “India is an object lesson to those anthropologists who say that character is a function of the physical environment. For no two communities could have been more different than the Hindu and the Moslem. Yet the land they lived in was the same land burned by the same sun, watered by the same rains…. (Both communities) stood against one another in sporadic and incurable hostility. They might live side by side in formal peace in the same town or village for years, and then some little provocation, when least expected – perhaps the killing of a cow by Moslem or the playing of a band by Hindu marriage or funeral procession passing a mosque at prayer time – could start a riot. As a community, the Moslems keenly felt their inferior numbers but at the same time were conscious of belonging to a great international Moslem world outside India, a world which looked not to Delhi or Benares, but to Mecca, a world which the more parochial Hindu could never know.”20
The coming into power in India of Narendra Modi’s Hindu fundamentalist government in 2014 has further reinforced the importance and validity of the Two-Nation theory. The persecution of Muslims in India and in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir is being carefully watched not only in Pakistan, but also in Bangladesh.
A few people in West Pakistan and a few in East Pakistan were responsible for 1971. The common man in both East Pakistan and in West Pakistan was ‘not and never’ responsible for 1971.
The people of East Pakistan suffered the real brunt of the conflict. Unaware of what was going on, on ground in East Pakistan, their brothers in West Pakistan were only hoping and praying for the unity of Pakistan and for the welfare of their brothers in East Pakistan. 
India had craftily engineered the tragedy; India emerged as the principal beneficiary. And the Western powers decided to support India. Why would they have supported a Muslim Pakistan!
The dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 as one Indian analyst once termed, was the ‘Second Liberation’ of India, the first in 1947 when the British left the subcontinent.  According to others, “India is on the look for her Third Liberation by fully annexing Bangladesh into ‘Mother India’; and the Fourth and final liberation would be when she could completely annex the territory of existing Pakistan.”21
Pakistan and Bangladesh are two proud sovereign countries, and part of one large Muslim nation. Haji Shariat Ullah, Dudu Mian and Titu Mir are the great Muslim Bengali heroes, respected and honoured both in Bangladesh and in Pakistan. Pakistan and Bangladesh respect Syed Ameer Ali, the great Muslim visionary-historian from Bengal. Abul Kasem Fazlul Haque, Sher-e-Bangla, presented the Pakistan Resolution for adoption in Lahore on March 23, 1940. Later, Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947. Fazlul Haque is highly respected both in Bangladesh and in Pakistan. He is our hero.
Every human dignity is sacrosanct; any violation is reprehensible. The question is not whether 30,000 people were killed or 3 million were massacred in 1971. The question is why was a single Pakistani (East Pakistani or West Pakistani) killed, without any justification? The question is not whether ten women were violated or 200,000. The question is, why was even one Pakistani (West Pakistani or East Pakistani) mother or a sister violated?
A reference to the April 1974 Tripartite Agreement signed by Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, would be important.22 Paragraph 13 of the Agreement underscores the declaration of Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that, “He wanted the people to forget the past and to make a fresh start, stating that the people of Bangladesh knew how to forgive.”23
During his visit to Bangladesh in July 2002, the then President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf stressed, “My brothers and sisters in Pakistan share with their fellow brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, profound grief over the calamitous events of 1971. As a result of this tragedy, a family, having common religious and cultural heritage, and united by a joint struggle for independence and shared vision of the future, was torn apart. We feel sorry for this tragedy, and the pain it caused to both our people.”24
No Pakistani would disagree with the view of Pervez Musharraf, as expressed above. Earlier during a visit to Bangladesh, President Zia-ul-Haq declared, “Your heroes are our heroes.” 
Pakistan broke in 1971; Pakistaniat continues to live on in Bangladesh. More than fifty percent of Bangladeshi spectators witnessing a Pakistan-India cricket match in Dhaka would always support the Pakistani team and not the Indian cricket team.
A Bangladeshi on a visit to Pakistan would be most pleasantly surprised to note that almost each and every Pakistani expresses his most sincere affection for Bangladesh.  
1971 did not only happen in 1971, 1971 also happened in 1911 when partition of Bengal was annulled. 1947 did not only happen in 1947, 1947 also happened in 1905 when Bengal was divided into Hindu Bengal and Muslim Bengal. 
Bengali Muslims are a loving people. They are resilient. At the same time, they are bitter because of 1971. As proud citizens of a proud country, they have every right to be bitter.
Pakistan has, since its birth, had major successes and major failures. The fatal mistakes of 1971 should never be repeated.  
Pakistan is not just a country, Pakistan is an idea. Pakistan’s soul is bigger than its size. Pakistan is an experimentation in Islamic statecraft in modern times.
The Muslims of Pakistan and the Muslims of Bangladesh are part of one large Muslim nation. 
Pakistan wishes Bangladesh well. May the Muslims of Bengal always remain happy.


The writer during his 34-year-long career in the Foreign Service of Pakistan has worked in various capacities in the Pakistani Missions in Washington D.C., New Delhi and Beijing. He served as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh from 2011 to 2014. He has also authored several books on issues relevant to Pakistan’s foreign policy.


1.     Article, ‘Sayedee indictment – 1971 deaths’, 11 November 2011 by David Bergman, posted by him on onbangladeshwarcrimes.blogspot.com. David is the son-in-law of Dr. Kamal Hossain, a close associate of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Dr. Hossain served as Foreign Minister of Bangladesh from 1973 to 1975 in the government of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Kamal Hossain signed ‘Pakistan, India, Bangladesh’ Tripartite Agreement of 9 April 1974 on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh.
2.    Sarmila Bose is a Senior Research Fellow in the Politics of South Asia at the University of Oxford. Educated at Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University. She has worked as a political journalist in India. Her grandfather was the brother of Subhash Chandra Bose, who is considered the national hero of modern-day India.
3.    Bose, Sarmila. Dead Reckoning. (2011). Oxford University Press, London. pp. 171 & 181.
4.    Bergman, David. (2014, April 24) Questioning an iconic number. The Hindu. David Bergman has been a journalist with the ‘New Age’ newspaper in Bangladesh. On April 17, 2014 the Bangladesh’s War Crimes Tribunal initiated contempt proceedings against him for, among other matters, questioning the death toll in the country’s 1971 War.
5.    Bass, Gary J. (2013). The Blood Telegram: India’s Secret War in East Pakistan? P. 322. 
6.    Rehman, Serajur. (2011, May 24). Mujib’s Confusion on Bangladeshi Deaths. The Guardian.
7.    See his article on Bangladesh War, in the Stockholm daily, Dagens Nyheter, dated 1 March 1973.
8.    Daily Telegraph, 16 April 1973.
9.    This is what several Bangladeshis would tell you in confidence, in Dhaka.
10.  Bartleman, Ambassador James K. (2005). On Six Continents: A Life in Canada’s Foreign Service. pp. 63 & 64.
11.  Bartleman, Ambassador James K. (2005). On Six Continents: A Life in Canada’s Foreign Service. P.59.
12.  Niazi, A.A.K. (1998). The Betrayal of East Pakistan.
13.  Bose, Sarmila. (2011). Dead Reckoning. P. 174.
14.  It would be difficult to find the correct estimates of the number of Indian soldiers deployed against East Pakistan and the number of the Mukti Bahini in 1971. 
15.  Guha, Ramachandra. (2007). India After Gandhi – The History of the World’s Largest Democracy. pp. 453,454.
16.  The Karachi Steel Mills was set up by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto after 1971.
17.  May also visit banglapedia.org/index.php title=Amin_Nurul.
18.  May also see Constituent Assembly of Pakistan debates, February 1948. (https://digital.soas.ac.uk). 
19.  Dixit, J. N. (1999). Liberation and Beyond: Indo-Bangladesh Relations. pp. 189-190.
20.  Chambers, Harris and Bayley, (1950). This Age of Conflict. pp. 345, 346.
21.  Hossain, Tajammul. (1996). Bangladesh: Victim of Black Propaganda, Intrigue and Indian Hegemony. pp. 127-128.
22.  The Tripartite Agreement was signed in New Delhi at the level of Foreign Ministers by Bangladesh, Pakistan and India on April 9, 1974. The Agreement was signed when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were in power in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. It was approved and signed by their respective Foreign Ministers on their specific instructions.
23.  The Agreement was signed in New Delhi on April 9, 1974.
24.  President Musharraf made these remarks at a dinner hosted for him by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh in Dhaka on July 30, 2002.

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