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Bangladesh Hangs 1971 Accused Mollah - Asia/Pacific

Bangladesh Hangs 1971 Accused Mollah

Posted by Aneela Shahzad on

Till the 15th of December 1971 there was no Bangladesh but only East and West Pakistan. Just like in the framework of the present time, the integrity, self-respect and self-identity of Bangladesh and the Bangladeshi people is primary not only to Pakistan and its people but to the entire community of nations, so was the integrity of Pakistan primary to its people at the time when India was interpositioning its interests between the internal misunderstandings of a country.

It would be the same if Pakistan would enter its armies in India to liberate the Sikhs and help them create Khalistan, how would India deem such an act, would they call it Liberation of Khalistan from its own oppressive reign? Yes, in today’s scenario, we as Pakistan respect and defend the identity of our brother nation Bangladesh, but to submit to the theory that West Pakistan was so discriminative of its brother other, that it resorted to mass genocide, mass systematic genocidal rape and that allegedly the Pak Army’s 365,000 men could kill 30,00,000, which would mean an approximate of each man killing 8 others and commit one rape is preposterous; such are not features we see in the men of the Pak Army throughout its history, in any war they have been forced into nor with its people in West Pakistan.

But the issue of Abdul Qadir Mollah’s hanging present a graver matter then being apprehended in the general. This hanging reprimands our memory of how India, in a country made in the name of Islam, backed a secular party in 1971 and trained and armed an opposition force by the name of Mukti Bahini, which numbered around 100,OOO and which were spread all around the country. And that the same Awami League is in power today and perhaps aims to whip out the existence of Islam from the whole sphere of Bangladeshi politics, and complete the design of India on its side.

It is also an amazement for us that liberal camps on both sides of former Pakistan, who constantly accuse the government of Pakistan to have presented history to the people of Pakistan wrongly, in their excitement, badly fail to even match there figure when trying to smear the Pak Army with vile allegations. One of those figures is ‘365,000’ Pak Army men playing havoc in East Pakistan!

365,000 was the total number of armed personnel the Pak Army had in West and East Pakistan combined, with the bulk of the force in the Western side. It must be known that the Western borders of the subcontinent have historically been more vulnerable of foreign attacks and therefore always been more militarized then the eastern sides. The same situation prevailed after the creation of Pakistan, for which East Pakistan rightly had its fears and reservations from its West. John H. Gill in his book ‘An Atlas of the 1971 India – Pakistan War: The Creation of Bangladesh’, has made a scientific analysis of the forces of the two sides verses those of the Indian side, he says:

“At 365,000 men, the Pakistan Army was about half the size of its Indian counterpart, but was nonetheless a formidable force with two armored divisions, thirteen infantry divisions and three independent armored brigades with approximately 850 tanks and 800 guns… Three divisions were in East Pakistan, the original garrison (14 Division) having been joined in March/April by 9 and 16 Divisions (albeit minus much of their equipment).”

Gill says that ‘Having evolved from the British Indian Army, the Indian and Pakistani armies have followed a British-style regimental system and used British designations for the echelons of command since independence’. Hence the three divisions deployed in East Pakistan were approximately having 10,000 men each, of which definitely not all were deployed for fighting. Moreover the Pak Army had already had a hard and impossible job of securing the borders with India, who has heavy deployments on their front, when they themselves were linearly deployed along the borders with little or no strategic depth. So in the acute situation where bad infrastructure of roads and facilities hampered any movement for army contingent to move around the country, Mukti Bahini rose as an insurgency from all sectors of the country aiming to fail the state writ with use of light arms and guerrilla tactics.

Gill says, ‘Moreover, movement, security, and intelligence collection inside East Pakistan were badly hampered by the activities of the Mukti Bahini. Guerrilla actions, insufficient logistical support, and the pervading sense of isolation also contributed to the psychological exhaustion of the Pakistani troops and commanders’. The Mukti Bahini force had grown to about 100,000 personnel; it was a force with unpredictable strategy, with its command centers across the borders from where training and strategy was imported. In such case were the men of the Pak Army, with a mere 30 to 40 thousand people, in any position to spread everywhere inside the country and defend the borders too? Had they for a very brief time in their history as an armed force turned into Tartar killing machines, or in other words had they become a gorilla force themselves, with every man for his own kill and his own rape? Gill records the pressure under which the Army was at that time, he says:

‘General Niazi’s Eastern Command was surrounded on its three land sides by the numerically superior Indian Army, its sea flank was dominated by the Indian Navy, and its limited air cover was unlikely to endure beyond the first few days of action. No substantial reinforcements could be expected once war began’.

‘Describing the mental state of the troops, a division commander commented that their “minds were clogged by an incomprehensible conflict.” Similarly, a brigade commander in 14 Division recorded that 3 December found his men were already “very near exhaustion” and burdened by “terrible fatigue and sleeplessness.” Growing distrust of their Bengali comrades in arms exacerbated the anxiety and uncertainty among the West Pakistani soldiers.’

These are just a few of the many simple and scientific proofs against the expansive rhetoric built by the secular class of Bangladesh, back by secular India, to malign the Pak Army, to fill the hearts of the general Bangladeshi with hate for a brother country which was once a part of its own, and to bare the Bangladeshi people of the very ideology they stand for, and which they would never forsake knowingly: Islam. For a secular minded people, who eventually have no belief system, lying is not a sin, but only a tool to achieve goals that seem more profitable; they do not only lie, but propagate their lies with full and repeat publication ad lobby.

The hanging of Abdul Qadir Mollah is a stamp on this rhetoric of lies and an attempt of the Bangladesh authority to force their belief in secularism over the majority’s belief in Islam.

The UN rights chief Navi Pillay said Molla was convicted of war crimes “in a trial that did not meet international standards for imposition of the death penalty”, reason being that there are no substantial proof for the whole rhetoric of the ‘1971 genocide’. UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Gabriela Knaul and Special Rapporteur on summary executions Christof Heyns had said that the Jamaat leader was not granted a fair trial. Though we understand that the UN has always failed in providing justice in any issue involving Muslims around the world, still it is a reminder that justice has not been served.

The people of Pakistan stand behind their brothers in Bangladesh; behind their right to self-identity; and behind their right to know the truth and not be swayed in the heavy wave of misinformation that aims to surge the young minds of Pakistan and Bangladesh alike. We stand behind them in our moral obligation and in the spirit that united us as an unbreakable force once before; Islam.