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Citizen Voices

The Breakup Of Pakistan And Our Unforgivable Mistakes

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16th December can be termed as the darkest day in the history of Pakistan due to the two tragedies that took place in December 1971 and 2014.

The breakup of Pakistan i.e. the creation of Bangladesh on 16th December 1971 is the first tragedy.

Before the inception of Pakistan, the people of East Pakistan were enraged when All India Muslim league conference was held in Urdu language in 1937 and Bengali was ignored. After the creation of Pakistan, Urdu was declared the National language of the country and once again Bengalis felt ignored and the people of East Pakistan staged protest all over the country demanding their rights. Later in the 1956 constitution of Pakistan, both Urdu and Bengali were declared as National languages of the country.

Major resources were present in East Pakistan and majority of civilians were also from there. According to a report 60% resources were contributed by East Pakistan, but they only received 25% of that.

On a visit to Islamabad, founder of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujib Ur Rehman upon seeing the splendor view of the capital, said: “I smell the Jute fields of Cittagong here”. Jute was a major product grown in East Pakistan, but the region was ignored on developmental plans of 1951-57 and again in 1955-60 and 1960-65 .

In 1970 general election, East Pakistan party Awami Muslim league won 167 seats out of 313 , while the West Pakistan party PPP bagged 88 seats. The right thing would have been to invite AML party leader Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman to govern the country. However, dictator Yahya Khan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto formed government on their own, depriving Rehman of what was his right. Bhutto became the PM of Pakistan but this time the anger in East Pakistan was unprecedented and demonstrations grew by the day. Movements against West Pakistan became popular and to control the situation was a Herculean task. Instead of trying to resolve the situation, Yahya started “Searchlight” operation in East Pakistan and a massive level of bloodshed ensued. Pakistan’s archrival India took advantage of this situation and supplied guns and ammunition to be used against west Pakistan and at last on 16th December, the state of Pakistan broke into two pieces i.e. East Pakistan and West Pakistan.

On the same date in 2014, terrorists attacked Army public School (APS) Peshawar where more than 150 children, school staff and military personnel lost their lives. The whole nation went in a state of shock and people became speechless to hear this sad news. The TTP had avenged the military action against them in the worst way possible.

These two tragedies will also be known as the most unfortunate parts of our history. May we never repeat the mistakes that enabled and led to these two horrific events.


1 Comment

  1. Danial M Noorani December 15, 2020

    The timeline in this article is factually incorrect, Bhutto became PM after the breakup of Pakistan.
    In principal I agree with the writer that the West Pakistan based governments treated the East Pakistanis as step children.


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