Tag Archives: East Pakistan

GENOCIDE: The June 1971 Sunday Times essay by Tony Mascarenhas about mass murders in Bangladesh that woke up the world

By Anthony Mascarenhas, The Sunday Times

June 13, 1971 – ABDUL BARI had run out of luck.  Like thousands of other people in East Bengal, he had made the mistake the fatal mistake-of running within sight of a […] army patrol. He was 24 years old, a slight man surrounded by soldiers. He was trembling, because he was about to be shot.

“Normally we would have killed him as he ran,” I was informed chattily by Major Rathore, the G-2 Ops. of the 9th Division, as we stood on the out­skirts of a tiny village near Mudafarganj, about 20 miles south of Comilla. “But we are checking him out for your sake. You are new here and I see you have a squeamish stomach.”

“Why kill him?” I asked with mounting concern.

“Because he might be a Hindu or he might be a rebel, perhaps a student or an Awami Leaguer. They know we are sorting them out and they betray themselves by running.”

“But why are you killing them? And why pick on the Hindus?” I persisted.

“Must I remind you,” Rathore said severely, “how they have tried to des­troy Pakistan? Now under the cover of the fighting we have an excellent oppor­tunity of finishing them off.”

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More » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/mobile/world/2013/12/131212_mullah_hanged_fz.shtml

Huge Bangladesh rally seeks death penalty for Islamists

Hundreds of thousands of people are rallying in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, calling for the death penalty for Islamists on trial for war crimes. The protests have been going on since Tuesday, when one of the accused, Abdul Kader Mullah, got a life sentence ….

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21383632

Riots in Bangladesh as ‘Butcher of Mirpur’ gets life for war crimes

By: Agence France-Presse

DHAKA // Riots broke out in several Bangladesh cities today after a court sentenced a Islamist opposition official to life in prison for mass murder during the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan.

Abdul Quader Mollah, 64, the fourth-highest leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was the first politician to be found guilty by the International Crimes Tribunal, a much-criticised domestic court based in Dhaka.

Mollah cried out, “Allahu Akbar” and said the charges, which also include crimes against humanity, were false after the presiding judge Obaidul Hassan delivered the verdict in a crowded and tightly guarded court.

“He deserved death sentence because of the gravity of the crimes. But the court gave him life imprisonment,” said Mahbubey Alam, the attorney general, adding Mollah was found guilty of five out of six charges including mass murder.

The judgement sparked immediate protests by Jamaat, the country’s largest Islamist party which enforced a nationwide strike in anticipation of the conviction.

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Is Baluchistan becoming another East Pakistan?

by Kuldip Nayar, India

Courtesy: The Sunday Times

Islamabad faces today practically the same situation in Baluchistan as it did in East Pakistan. The former is as increasingly getting alienated from Pakistan as was Bangladesh in the midst of liberating itself. The army was supreme then as it is today in Baluchistan. Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto, then heading the Pakistan People Party (PPP), was backing the shocking methods of the army, no different from the ones adopted against Bangladesh.

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Pakistan: Punjab-dominated federation – Balochistan situation getting bleaker

Balochistan situation getting bleaker by the day

by: Malik Siraj Akbar

Courtesy: The Hindu

Prospects of the Pakistan People’s Party government’s efforts at reconciliation with the Baloch people are uncertain.

On August 26, Pakistan’s volatile Balochistan province marked the third death anniversary of its slain leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, amid widespread violence. Ten people were killed; several gas pipelines blown up and electricity pylons destroyed across Balochistan by Baloch insurgents who challenge the authority of the Pakistani state in the province.

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State of Union of Pakistan 62 years later

By Khalid Hashmani, USA

Can any Pakistani honestly say that Pakistan has turned out to be the country that they or their fathers had envisioned 62 years ago? Even among the privileged class such as military and civilian bureaucracy, who have been the primary beneficiaries of what has cooked and re-cooked in Pakistan, would admit that it is not all fair in Pakistan. Many Baloch demonstrated on the 62nd Independence Day under the banner that said, “De-celebrating the Pakistan’s Independence Day”. Many Sindhis either stayed out of the Independence Day celebrations or made comments such as “Pakistan Zindabad. Jeay Sindh Dharti. May Allah this year give true autonomy to all provinces so all can live in peace” or “May Allah bless all people of Pakistan and show right path to the leaders.” “30 Lakh Bangaliyoon ka qat’l Mubarik, Hazaroon Balouchoon ke Laa’sh Mubarik, Senkroon Sindhi Ma’aoon kee Ujree Jholia’an ke Mubarak”, and “I am a Sindhi – a Hindu Sindhi, with roots in Hyderabad, Sindh, in modern day Pakistan. I cannot celebrate the creation of Pakistan – because August the 14th stands as a reminder that my family was uprooted”. The world calls Pakistan as the “hub for planning and training terrorists and global terrorism”. Hundreds of Pakistanis are dying each month on account of terrorism. Minorities feel unsafe and common men and women feel oppressed. Indeed, one wonders what went wrong and why it went wrong and what can be done to steer Pakistan on the right path? This article attempts to answer both of these questions.

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Bear Baiting

The Ex-Servicemen have always represented the best of traditions of the Armed Forces. They have a proud record of sacrifice in stout defence of the country’s national interest. This image has been tarnished by four military dictators and their henchmen comprising coteries of high military officers, a segment of the judiciary and many politicians. General Ayub Khan set the pattern, which was followed by his military successors. The legacy of dictatorial rule has impacted every facet of the society and destroyed the integrity of the institutions of the state. Widespread corruption, rigging of elections, unmerited promotions and a culture of elitism widened splits in the country. The seeds of the separation of East Pakistan were all sown in his period of rule.

General Yahya remained too drunk to apply his mind and faculties to the affairs of the country. He had a small group of incompetent, inexperienced and inept people around him, who were taking all the decisions. They had no foresight or vision and just kept blundering their way through. They took this country towards a war, the conspiracy for which was hatched and planned by India and Sheikh Mujib, years in advance. Given the situation and the circumstances that prevailed, the Armed Forces of Pakistan, or for that matter any other country, could not have fought and won that war. It was forced on Pakistan by India who chose the time as well as theatre of operations (East Pakistan) after a long drawn campaign of subversion. The inevitable result was an ignoble defeat and the separation of East Pakistan.

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