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Citizen Voices

Fall Of Dhaka: Lest We Forget

On December 16, 1971, Pakistan was disintegrated and East Pakistan emerged as an autonomous, independent State called Bangladesh. Bengali Muslims contributed significantly in the Pakistan Movement which commenced from Dhaka, Bengal –also Muslim League’s founding capital. Majority of the leaders of Muslim League were Bengalis and the presenter of the Pakistan Resolution was also a Bengali. Ironically in 1971, it was first time in the history of the world that a majority was separated from a minority.

There were several reasons behind the separation of East Pakistan and no single institution or person can be held responsible for this irremediably tragic event. One would find several military and civilian institutions remembering this tragic event and shedding crocodile tears and columnists writing and singers singing lamentable and woeful songs over it.

Nations recall, ponder over their history, and then include the lessons learnt in their future strategies while trying to never let it repeat. Unfortunately, our stance on 1971’s disaster is vague and ambiguous, still today. We have failed to explain the facts of this dissolution to our nation. We did not identify and address the issues which generated the East Pakistan crisis! I always wonder and several questions come to my mind. Are we not repeating the same mistakes?

I consider all the challenges and key issues East Pakistan was facing prior to 1971: language and race tensions, deprivation of basic citizen and other rights, abductions, mis-treatments, extra-judicial killings, influence-peddling, frauds, neglect and sidelining, embezzlement and nepotism; thus the consequent separatist movement, Indian intervention, and political repression –all that unethical and insane politics.The ultimate message of the saddening ‘Fall of Dhaka’ is to eradicate these issues, promote national unity and integration and to save other wings of the country before further cut down!

We should decrease our relational anxiety with Bangladesh, improve and normalize our diplomatic relations, promote the bilateral trade and sign trade and strategic agreements. They will still support us to make ties stronger and uplift our economy. Nowadays, India and Bangladesh are having hostile diplomatic relations. Pakistan must take the advantage and convince our lost Bengali brothers to endorse the Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir in the region and on the global forums!

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Naya Daur