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Lessons From 1971 War

Khan vilatey

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A poster (@Baibars_1260) posted a thread for Pakistanis to discuss on How to beat the "1971Civil War " Psychological Syndrome ! here (https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/how-to-beat-the-1971civil-war-psychological-syndrome.702249/)
As usual the thread became a troll fest when certain Indian posters derailed the thread. I will pen my thoughts in this separate thread so that we Pakistanis can continue the debate about the lessons learned and our way forward.

Defeats or failures are nothing uncommon in either a person’s life or in the history of nations. The greatest were defeated and shiniest failed many a times. Alexander lost, Porus lost, Mughals lost, French lost, Spartans lost, Greeks lost and Germans lost like anyone else. In the words of Paulo Coelho, warriors of light views the life with tenderness and determination. Often, during combat, the warrior of light receives blows that he was not expecting. And he realizes that, during a war, his enemy is bound to win some of the battles. When this happens, the warrior of light weeps bitter tears and rests in order to recover his energies a little. But he immediately resumes the battle for his dreams.

There are two areas subdivided into further smaller areas where our lessons are present. My thoughts are based on my study of the events that led to 1971 and what happened in 1971 in east and West Pakistan.

  • Internal Areas
  • External Areas
Internal

Devolution of Power

This is no secret that different ethnic background with varying degree of cultural and linguistic differences came forward for a single idea of Pakistan. Each one of these ethnicity is proud owner of their history, their land and their traditions and wants to have an equal status in the eyes of constitution and state. The first seed of contention was sown between Bengalis and state of Pakistan in early 50s when simple demands of Bengalis were met with arrogance by no other than Muhammad Ali Bogra (Ironically a Bengali himself) and later by Iskandar Mirza (from Bengal) to a point where Bengalis felt betrayed by ruling elite and realized that they were nobody in their own land. (Further reading Prison Narratives by Akhtar Baluch and Conflict and Diplomacy by Maj. Gen SP Bhatia & Jaswant Singh)

It is simplistic to blame few characters for whatever happened, however the overall attitude of the ruling elite was full of arrogance and devoid of any empathy to fellow countrymen. The grievances could have been solved by simple devolution of power to the people of the land while central govt still had authority. 18th Amendment is a step in the right direction, where provincial governments hold most of the power over their people however there still remains areas of improvement and how to ensure accountability without snubbing the rights of the people. A successful state would devolve power (Albeit with accountability) to grass root level where people feel valued and equal.

Access to Justice

A state can only attain trust and loyalty from its inhabitants when state laws dispense justice to them and treat them equally. Any disparity in treatment of particular section of society (can be based on caste, creed and color) leads to grievances which if not addressed properly leads to hostility towards other people and state in the end. While urban areas of Pakistan have access to legal courts, the situation becomes worse for rural and tribal regions where infamous Jirgas and such settlements decide fate of people lives and property. Former FATA recently got rid of infamous FCR and is merging slowly with KPK now. State of Pakistan should by no means alienate her own citizens based on caste, creed and color to ensure that people can actually consider it a motherland.

Cheer the Diversity

Pakistan is blessed with diversity and it should be celebrated and protected. A person can be a Punjabi/Pashtun/Baluch/Sindhi/Shia/Ahmadi/Wahhabi/Sunni/Hindu/Jew but still a patriotic Pakistani. The sons and daughters of the soil are as much owners of the state as anyone else. We cannot/should not impose a single idea of patriotism to such diverse population. Bengalis were told that Bangla cannot be national language and a single language (Historically not the language of any major ethnicity of the land) will be national language. This may sound a rather harmless step to some however reader should keep this in mind that one problem compound another set of problems to a point where it becomes a snowball and destroys everything in the way.

Appropriate Use of Power

Every constitution has a provision of use of force against the own citizens if they fail to abide by the law and try to sabotage the law of the country by engaging in subversive activities in collaboration with hostile external elements. A Machiavellian state would be ruthless in her conduct to ensure that citizens are afraid of the state (king/Ruling Elite) however this should be understood by ruling elite that fear doesn’t work for eternity and people eventually revolt against excessive use of force.

In 1970 elections, Shaikh Mujib Ur Rehman achieved a clear victory in the country’s most transparent and fair elections and Bengalis were confident that a Bengali Prime Minister would be the best person to address their concerns. A general view among Pakistanis is that Shaikh Mujib presented his 6 points which were not acceptable to begin with and this is where the conflict started. However, many writers have pointed it out that 6 points only appeared when central government failed to transfer the power to Shaikh Mujib. Another truth which remains hidden from many Pakistanis is that Shaikh Mujib didn’t want a separate country until the very end and even mentioned it in front of US ambassador of that time. (Further reading: American Secret papers 1969-74)

The Bengali intellectuals and students staged country wise protests displaying their frustration and demanded their basic right to governance, while Gen Yahya was aware that India is closely monitoring this situation and would eventually utilize this opportunity to break Pakistan however failed to convince Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto for a workable solution and allowed an infamous crackdown on protestors. There were many military men who advised Yahya against use of military against Bengalis but Yahya wanted a quick closure of this situation and in his arrogance authorized brutal use of force. The infamous operation searchlight which resulted in deaths of students and Bangali intellectual was the last nail in the coffin. The excessive use of force resulted in a renowned layer of militancy where every person who held the idea of united Pakistan became a target. It was a full-fledged civil war in East Pakistan. (Further Reading: Hammod Ur Rehman Commission report, An Airman remembers by CAS Zafar Chaudhry, Battle of Hussainiwala and Qaiser I Hind by Col. Habib Ahmed, Maj Gen Tajjamal Hussain Malik (Interview) by Maj Agha Amin)

A state should use force when absolutely necessary and should avoid collateral damage at all costs. A state should apply force on her citizens as a mother does to her children. Bangladesh was going to be sovereign country one way or the other due to obvious factors and it was understood by Gen Yahya however he failed to solve this issue without unnecessary bloodshed.

Right Man for the Right Job

You would never go to a top chef, no matter how good of a chef he is, for the cure of your dental problems Likewise, states are ran by statesmen who have relevant expertise to run a country. A military man can be a successful soldier however can be a bad ruler, as it turned out in the case of Gen Yahya who was described as a simple yet very brave soldier. Yahya was well liked among his colleagues and even was liked by Americans for his straight forwardness and Brit praised him for his two failed attempts to escape from a prisoner camp in WWII however despite all this Yahya was not the right man to rule the country. A fine soldier otherwise, turned into an oblivious ruler who couldn’t do the needful until it was too late. From a military perspective, Yahya and Chief of Staff Abdul Hamid khan delayed the offensive against India to relieve pressure to troops in East Pakistan. The offensive against India from Western side started when East Pakistan already had slipped from Yahya’s hands. (Further Reading: Gen Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan: The Rise and Fall of a Soldier – 1947-1971 by retired Brig A.R. Siddiqui & Battle of Hussainiwala by Col. Habib Ahmed).

Self-Reliance

To fight a war with India, Pakistan was dependent on American weapons and it turned out that Americans were not ready to release much needed spares and weapons for Pakistan. The Chinese unwillingness to assist us in this crucial hour might be a reason why Yahya didn’t prolong the war and asked A.K Niazi to surrender.

This explains how self-reliance for defense needs is a must for Pakistan. Unfortunately, we are not there yet and we continue to look towards other to fulfil our critical needs.

External

Know Limits of Friend and/or Allies

Henry Kissinger in his famous statement “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests” explained American foreign policy toward the other countries in the world. This is simple yet powerful policy statement which almost every country realizes today however it seems we didn’t learn a lot from our past mistakes and continued to sacrifice our own interests for the others. In 1971, Pakistan had cordial relationships with both China and United states while most of the weapons were sourced from USA, Chinese were considered our true allies.

Gen Yahya knew about Indian plans in 1971 even when Indira categorically denied existence of any plan to dismember Pakistan in front of Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, however despite consistent pleas from Yahya, US reduced supply of critical spares and military weapons to Pakistan. The Americans had started to tell Yahya that independent Bangladesh was a matter of time and American public wouldn’t want us to be part of a civil war because we learned our lesson in civil war of Vietnam. Even the much touted American task force 74 deployment to showcase tilt towards Pakistan was given vague instructions and only entered in the intended area two days after Pakistan surrendered in Dhaka.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on a secret delegation sent by Gen Yahya, met with Chinese FM to secure help against potential Indian aggression in East Pakistan. While earlier, Chinese assured Pakistan of all help in case of war with India backed off from any military help and instead offered economic assistance. The Indian side was fearful of Chinese intervention in case of war and wanted to call off offensive if there was a slight chance that China would intervene however they found out this secret and went on with their original plan.

The important lesson for Pakistan here is to accept that all countries will act according to their interests and would not hesitate to move away or even act as an aggressors if their interests dictate so. In the end, Pakistan will have to fight her own wars be it internal or external and we would be better off if we can handle both without anyone’s help.

The battle in East Pakistan was lost not only because military failed but because the important pillars of the state like justice system, diplomats, Politicians, Police and common people failed to keep own citizens united. The only forward is our approach to our problems and our sincerity to resolve them.

May our flag flutter high, Pakistan Zindabad ! :pakistan:
Very well written and distill lessons learned.

my favorite lesson here is that China may not help us in a war with India and we must Be self reliant in defending our own land.

I mean no disrespect to our Chinese Brethren, as China has her own interests to defend and can not be expected to fight Pakistani wars for us.

K
 

El Sidd

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That is correct to certain extent however Muslim league failed to understand that all ethnic groups will continue to have their unique identity.
They failed to realise that some of those ethnicities will be a bigger pull than religion. They were naive
 

Musalman

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Lesson to be learned from 71 war:
1. Democracy with 100% 1973 constitution be implemented
2. No role of establishment
3. National language issue is a petty issue. If province want their languages to be National Languages, make their languages national languages of Pakistan.
4. We all are Pakistanis but we are also Punjabi Pushtun Baluch Sindi Kashmiri too. Make diversity your strength. Do not consider those who take pride on their ethnicity. He can be a Punjabi Pakistani, Afghan / Pushtun Pakistani etc etc etc
5. Learn to take things we do not agree with a pinch of salt.

After all Federation is most important, rather than language and other petty issues etc.
 

HAIDER

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A poster (@Baibars_1260) posted a thread for Pakistanis to discuss on How to beat the "1971Civil War " Psychological Syndrome ! here (https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/how-to-beat-the-1971civil-war-psychological-syndrome.702249/)
As usual the thread became a troll fest when certain Indian posters derailed the thread. I will pen my thoughts in this separate thread so that we Pakistanis can continue the debate about the lessons learned and our way forward.

Defeats or failures are nothing uncommon in either a person’s life or in the history of nations. The greatest were defeated and shiniest failed many a times. Alexander lost, Porus lost, Mughals lost, French lost, Spartans lost, Greeks lost and Germans lost like anyone else. In the words of Paulo Coelho, warriors of light views the life with tenderness and determination. Often, during combat, the warrior of light receives blows that he was not expecting. And he realizes that, during a war, his enemy is bound to win some of the battles. When this happens, the warrior of light weeps bitter tears and rests in order to recover his energies a little. But he immediately resumes the battle for his dreams.

There are two areas subdivided into further smaller areas where our lessons are present. My thoughts are based on my study of the events that led to 1971 and what happened in 1971 in east and West Pakistan.

  • Internal Areas
  • External Areas
Internal

Devolution of Power

This is no secret that different ethnic background with varying degree of cultural and linguistic differences came forward for a single idea of Pakistan. Each one of these ethnicity is proud owner of their history, their land and their traditions and wants to have an equal status in the eyes of constitution and state. The first seed of contention was sown between Bengalis and state of Pakistan in early 50s when simple demands of Bengalis were met with arrogance by no other than Muhammad Ali Bogra (Ironically a Bengali himself) and later by Iskandar Mirza (from Bengal) to a point where Bengalis felt betrayed by ruling elite and realized that they were nobody in their own land. (Further reading Prison Narratives by Akhtar Baluch and Conflict and Diplomacy by Maj. Gen SP Bhatia & Jaswant Singh)

It is simplistic to blame few characters for whatever happened, however the overall attitude of the ruling elite was full of arrogance and devoid of any empathy to fellow countrymen. The grievances could have been solved by simple devolution of power to the people of the land while central govt still had authority. 18th Amendment is a step in the right direction, where provincial governments hold most of the power over their people however there still remains areas of improvement and how to ensure accountability without snubbing the rights of the people. A successful state would devolve power (Albeit with accountability) to grass root level where people feel valued and equal.

Access to Justice

A state can only attain trust and loyalty from its inhabitants when state laws dispense justice to them and treat them equally. Any disparity in treatment of particular section of society (can be based on caste, creed and color) leads to grievances which if not addressed properly leads to hostility towards other people and state in the end. While urban areas of Pakistan have access to legal courts, the situation becomes worse for rural and tribal regions where infamous Jirgas and such settlements decide fate of people lives and property. Former FATA recently got rid of infamous FCR and is merging slowly with KPK now. State of Pakistan should by no means alienate her own citizens based on caste, creed and color to ensure that people can actually consider it a motherland.

Cheer the Diversity

Pakistan is blessed with diversity and it should be celebrated and protected. A person can be a Punjabi/Pashtun/Baluch/Sindhi/Shia/Ahmadi/Wahhabi/Sunni/Hindu/Jew but still a patriotic Pakistani. The sons and daughters of the soil are as much owners of the state as anyone else. We cannot/should not impose a single idea of patriotism to such diverse population. Bengalis were told that Bangla cannot be national language and a single language (Historically not the language of any major ethnicity of the land) will be national language. This may sound a rather harmless step to some however reader should keep this in mind that one problem compound another set of problems to a point where it becomes a snowball and destroys everything in the way.

Appropriate Use of Power

Every constitution has a provision of use of force against the own citizens if they fail to abide by the law and try to sabotage the law of the country by engaging in subversive activities in collaboration with hostile external elements. A Machiavellian state would be ruthless in her conduct to ensure that citizens are afraid of the state (king/Ruling Elite) however this should be understood by ruling elite that fear doesn’t work for eternity and people eventually revolt against excessive use of force.

In 1970 elections, Shaikh Mujib Ur Rehman achieved a clear victory in the country’s most transparent and fair elections and Bengalis were confident that a Bengali Prime Minister would be the best person to address their concerns. A general view among Pakistanis is that Shaikh Mujib presented his 6 points which were not acceptable to begin with and this is where the conflict started. However, many writers have pointed it out that 6 points only appeared when central government failed to transfer the power to Shaikh Mujib. Another truth which remains hidden from many Pakistanis is that Shaikh Mujib didn’t want a separate country until the very end and even mentioned it in front of US ambassador of that time. (Further reading: American Secret papers 1969-74)

The Bengali intellectuals and students staged country wise protests displaying their frustration and demanded their basic right to governance, while Gen Yahya was aware that India is closely monitoring this situation and would eventually utilize this opportunity to break Pakistan however failed to convince Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto for a workable solution and allowed an infamous crackdown on protestors. There were many military men who advised Yahya against use of military against Bengalis but Yahya wanted a quick closure of this situation and in his arrogance authorized brutal use of force. The infamous operation searchlight which resulted in deaths of students and Bangali intellectual was the last nail in the coffin. The excessive use of force resulted in a renowned layer of militancy where every person who held the idea of united Pakistan became a target. It was a full-fledged civil war in East Pakistan. (Further Reading: Hammod Ur Rehman Commission report, An Airman remembers by CAS Zafar Chaudhry, Battle of Hussainiwala and Qaiser I Hind by Col. Habib Ahmed, Maj Gen Tajjamal Hussain Malik (Interview) by Maj Agha Amin)

A state should use force when absolutely necessary and should avoid collateral damage at all costs. A state should apply force on her citizens as a mother does to her children. Bangladesh was going to be sovereign country one way or the other due to obvious factors and it was understood by Gen Yahya however he failed to solve this issue without unnecessary bloodshed.

Right Man for the Right Job

You would never go to a top chef, no matter how good of a chef he is, for the cure of your dental problems Likewise, states are ran by statesmen who have relevant expertise to run a country. A military man can be a successful soldier however can be a bad ruler, as it turned out in the case of Gen Yahya who was described as a simple yet very brave soldier. Yahya was well liked among his colleagues and even was liked by Americans for his straight forwardness and Brit praised him for his two failed attempts to escape from a prisoner camp in WWII however despite all this Yahya was not the right man to rule the country. A fine soldier otherwise, turned into an oblivious ruler who couldn’t do the needful until it was too late. From a military perspective, Yahya and Chief of Staff Abdul Hamid khan delayed the offensive against India to relieve pressure to troops in East Pakistan. The offensive against India from Western side started when East Pakistan already had slipped from Yahya’s hands. (Further Reading: Gen Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan: The Rise and Fall of a Soldier – 1947-1971 by retired Brig A.R. Siddiqui & Battle of Hussainiwala by Col. Habib Ahmed).

Self-Reliance

To fight a war with India, Pakistan was dependent on American weapons and it turned out that Americans were not ready to release much needed spares and weapons for Pakistan. The Chinese unwillingness to assist us in this crucial hour might be a reason why Yahya didn’t prolong the war and asked A.K Niazi to surrender.

This explains how self-reliance for defense needs is a must for Pakistan. Unfortunately, we are not there yet and we continue to look towards other to fulfil our critical needs.

External

Know Limits of Friend and/or Allies

Henry Kissinger in his famous statement “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests” explained American foreign policy toward the other countries in the world. This is simple yet powerful policy statement which almost every country realizes today however it seems we didn’t learn a lot from our past mistakes and continued to sacrifice our own interests for the others. In 1971, Pakistan had cordial relationships with both China and United states while most of the weapons were sourced from USA, Chinese were considered our true allies.

Gen Yahya knew about Indian plans in 1971 even when Indira categorically denied existence of any plan to dismember Pakistan in front of Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, however despite consistent pleas from Yahya, US reduced supply of critical spares and military weapons to Pakistan. The Americans had started to tell Yahya that independent Bangladesh was a matter of time and American public wouldn’t want us to be part of a civil war because we learned our lesson in civil war of Vietnam. Even the much touted American task force 74 deployment to showcase tilt towards Pakistan was given vague instructions and only entered in the intended area two days after Pakistan surrendered in Dhaka.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on a secret delegation sent by Gen Yahya, met with Chinese FM to secure help against potential Indian aggression in East Pakistan. While earlier, Chinese assured Pakistan of all help in case of war with India backed off from any military help and instead offered economic assistance. The Indian side was fearful of Chinese intervention in case of war and wanted to call off offensive if there was a slight chance that China would intervene however they found out this secret and went on with their original plan.

The important lesson for Pakistan here is to accept that all countries will act according to their interests and would not hesitate to move away or even act as an aggressors if their interests dictate so. In the end, Pakistan will have to fight her own wars be it internal or external and we would be better off if we can handle both without anyone’s help.

The battle in East Pakistan was lost not only because military failed but because the important pillars of the state like justice system, diplomats, Politicians, Police and common people failed to keep own citizens united. The only forward is our approach to our problems and our sincerity to resolve them.

May our flag flutter high, Pakistan Zindabad ! :pakistan:
One and only lesson ..... never trust big mouth and powerful " allies" .
 

niaz

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Most honorable Sir,

I am humbled that you desired to know my comments on your post. Except for an absence of about 20 months, I was in Pakistan when all of this happened. Here is what I think.

Looking at the map of Pakistan prior to 1971, an unbiased observer would at once notice that it was an unnatural union from the start. Rehmatullah’s proposal about Pakistan only referred to Punjab, NWFP, Kashmir, and Sind & Baluchistan with no mention of Bengal or Bengali Muslims. It is also a fact that despite Mr. Jinnah’s efforts, without the weight of the Bengali Muslims behind the partition (then East Bengali Muslims outnumber West wing Muslims by about 1.5:1); the partition of India would have not taken place.

The movement for the complete autonomy/self-government of the Eastern Wing was homegrown with very little effort on India’s part. The real reason for the perception by the Bengalis that East Pakistan was being treated as a 'Colony' of West Pakistan. Indians only jumped in because the millions of refugees who fled to India after the start of the military action provided a golden opportunity for India to cut Pakistan to half the size.

Civil War of 1971 was not an ‘Impromptu’ event but the tensions between the two wings had started as early as 1948 when Urdu was declared the national language of Pakistan.

Until 1970, Pakistan's exports consisted largely of Jute & cotton and its products and as much as 45% of the FE earning was generated from Jute. Whereas a major part of FE was spent in West Pakistan hence the majority of the factories were set up in the western wing. This was also a major cause of resentment among the East Pakistani intellectuals and political circles. Additionally, the Civil Service and the Military were dominated by the West Pakistani (mostly Punjabis). Regrettably, a large number of intellectuals & professors in the East were Hindus who were Bengali nationalists with no love for Pakistan.

All of this was exploited to the full by the wily Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose Awami League got 80% of the votes winning 167 out of 169 seats allocated to East Pakistan in the December 1970 elections. I am certain that despite all the resentment, the majority of the East Pakistani population did not want a complete break. However, the intransigence of ZA Bhutto was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back.’

Here are the infamous 6- points of Sheikh Mujib.

  1. The Constitution should provide for a Federation of Pakistan in its true sense based on the Lahore Resolution, and the parliamentary form of government with supremacy of a Legislature directly elected on the basis of universal adult franchise.[
  2. The federal government should deal with only two subjects: Defence and Foreign Affairs, and all other residual subjects should be vested in the federating states.
  3. Two separate, but freely convertible currencies for two wings should be introduced; or if this is not feasible, there should be one currency for the whole country, but effective constitutional provisions should be introduced to stop the flight of capital from East to West Pakistan. Furthermore, a separate Banking Reserve should be established and separate fiscal and monetary policy be adopted for East Pakistan.
  4. The power of taxation and revenue collection should be vested in the federating units and the federal centre would have no such power. The federation would be entitled to a share in the state taxes to meet its expenditures.
  5. There should be two separate accounts for the foreign exchange earnings of the two wings; the foreign exchange requirements of the federal government should be met by the two wings equally or in a ratio to be fixed; indigenous products should move free of duty between the two wings, and the constitution should empower the units to establish trade links with foreign countries.
  6. East Pakistan should have a separate military or paramilitary force, and Navy headquarters should be in East Pakistan.
It is clear that Mujib was aiming for a ‘Confederation’ instead of a Federation, however since this was what the overwhelming East Pakistanis wanted, why not?

Saner voices such as that of the Governor & Martial Law administrator of East Pakistan; Admiral Mohammed Ahsan realized the situation and resigned in protest when the military action started.

I know that everyone has 20/20 Hindsight and would agree that had this been accepted, even though eventually Bangla Dash would have been independent, the bloodshed and the bad blood between Pakistanis and Bangladeshis would have been avoided.

All of the above is water under the bridge and can’t be undone. As someone who known & loved Pakistan from the very beginning, my worry is that Pakistanis have learned nothing from the 1971 debacle. I come across quite a few Sindhis, Baluchis & Pashtoons who carry a deep resentment against the Punjabis and their ' Perceived' domination in the country’s affairs and hence the opposition to the Kalabagh Dam.

I am neither a judge nor do I have a clear idea about the solution to this problem except that perhaps Punjab being up broken into 2 or smaller units, may reduce this resentment.
 
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Hakikat ve Hikmet

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They are the friends of our enemies - Jinnah seeing the treachery amongst the students in Dacca Univetsiry on the question of Urdu being the state language of Pak, keeping in line with the Muslim execeptionalism (two nation theory), in 1948

Pak will get broken within 25 years - Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of the British India, in 1947

I don’t give a rat’s a$$ to any Arabs, my concern is Pak - Ben Gurion, the 1st Israeli PM

BD is the most successful RAW ops - B Raman, former Deputy Chief of RAW in his autobigraphy

BD is the product of the relentless Mujadele between Iman and Kufr in this Alem-i Hikmet, where the Ga'libiyet and Ma'lubiyet of Iman with respect to Kufr occur in cycles. In the next Alem-i kudret both the Ga'libiyet of Iman and Ma'lubiyet of Kufr are Ebedi....

The rest are all details.....
 
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Silverblaze

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@Vapnope
Thanks for tagging.

You have put it very well. However, let me share my thoughts. Pakistan was defeated politically and militarily in 71. This fact should be faced bravely. There are many lessons to be learnt

The foremost lesson imo to be learned is being proactive. There were many signs before the 71 tragedy that something calamitous might happen. These were conveniently ignored.

When you sense danger, immediate remedial measures should be taken. It could be holding people accountable or starting a dialogue etc.

Pakistani bureaucracy both civil and military is renowned for being extremely incompetent in being proactive.

Just an example. In 1947, india sent hindu forces the next day after hindu tyrant acceded to them in a fraudulent way. Pakistan sent a political representative after 15 days in response to the request by gilgit scouts interim govt on Nov 1st.

I see many signs today. The rise of PTM and others along with PML-N's narrative shows you many things. No punitive action is being taken against them.

East Pakistan's well founded grievances aside, what if Mujeeb was hanged according to the Agartala conspiracy tribunal decision? History could have been different. What if West Pakistan had decided to make a confederation or come up with some formula with East Pakistan prior to 71?

Wasting time, needlessly prolonging debate, lack of coordination basically simple incompetence is the reason for this great tragedy of 71.
 

peagle

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then East Bengali Muslims outnumber West wing Muslims by about 1.5:1
Sorry to say, but I think you are mistaken at least with regards to this assumption. The East Pakistan population in the 1951 census was 42 million and in West Pakistan 34 million.

East Pakistan
42 million with a Muslim percentage of just under 80% gives you a Muslim population of 33.6 million.

West Pakistan
34 million with a Muslim percentage of about 97% gives you a Muslim population of 33 million. An even ratio.

If you were referring to the pre-1947 figures, even then, there was an exodus of nearly 6 million non-muslims and an influx of nearly 7 million Muslims, so the pre-1947 population of West Pakistan would have been at 33 million. out of which 26 million were Muslims.

There was also an immediate population transfer in East Pakistan, Muslims coming in and non-muslim going out, although at a lesser scale than West Pakistan. But, the figures are a bit muddles regarding the East Pakistan situation pre/post-1947. We can safely assume a Muslim population of 31 million in East Pakistan pre-1947, that is merely a ratio of 1.2 at most.

I think such things are important, so felt it need to be clarified.

But I do agree with the gist of your discussion that without East Pakistan and the Bengali people, it would have been a much harder task,

However, I will add one thing, that much of history is about storytelling and conjuring of arguments around which the story rotates. We have been, and still are very poor at retelling our side of the story, and find comfort in repeating a story that has been created out of half-truths.


I would request for all Indians to stay out of this thread, it has already been pointed out by the OP, that the previous thread was derailed by the Indians.

This matter does not concern you, so have the decency to observe, read and learn. but stop contributing and stay out.
 
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niaz

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Sorry to say, but I think you are mistaken at least with regards to this assumption. The East Pakistan population in the 1951 census was 42 million and in West Pakistan 34 million.

East Pakistan
42 million with a Muslim percentage of just under 80% gives you a Muslim population of 33.6 million.

West Pakistan
34 million with a Muslim percentage of about 97% gives you a Muslim population of 33 million. An even ratio.

If you were referring to the pre-1947 figures, even then, there was an exodus of nearly 6 million non-muslims and an influx of nearly 7 million Muslims, so the pre-1947 population of West Pakistan would have been at 33 million. out of which 26 million were Muslims.

There was also an immediate population transfer in East Pakistan, Muslims coming in and non-muslim going out, although at a lesser scale than West Pakistan. But, the figures are a bit muddles regarding the East Pakistan situation pre/post-1947. We can safely assume a Muslim population of 31 million in East Pakistan pre-1947, that is merely a ratio of 1.2 at most.

I think such things are important, so felt it need to be clarified.

But I do agree with the gist of your discussion that without East Pakistan and the Bengali people, it would have been a much harder task,

However, I will add one thing, that much of history is about storytelling and conjuring of arguments around which the story rotates. We have been, and still are very poor at retelling our side of the story, and find comfort in repeating a story that has been created out of half-truths.


I would request for all Indians to stay out of this thread, it has already been pointed out by the OP, that the previous thread was derailed by the Indians.

This matter does not concern you, so have the decency to observe, read and learn. but stop contributing and stay out.
Sir,

However, assuming I made a mistake, one would agree that had the 42-million Bengali Muslim not joined forces with the 34-million West Pakistani Muslims, it would have been difficult for the British to overcome the Congress demand of independent United India.

I was referring to the time just before the March 1940 Pakistan resolution. At that time it was not clear which areas would be allotted to which country. The estimate of 1.5:1 was only a ballpark number based upon all the Bengali Muslims versus compared with the estimated Muslim population of Punjab, Sind, NWFP, and Baluchistan. Your objection is however valid.
 

peagle

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Sir,

However, assuming I made a mistake, one would agree that had the 42-million Bengali Muslim not joined forces with the 34-million West Pakistani Muslims, it would have been difficult for the British to overcome the Congress demand of independent United India.

I was referring to the time just before the March 1940 Pakistan resolution. At that time it was not clear which areas would be allotted to which country. The estimate of 1.5:1 was only a ballpark number based upon all the Bengali Muslims versus compared with the estimated Muslim population of Punjab, Sind, NWFP, and Baluchistan. Your objection is however valid.
I did acknowledge that the essence of your point was correct, we all know that the Muslim league was founded in the East Pakistan region, as a nation we owe a debt of gratitude to our Bengali brothers and sisters, it a shame full of sorrow how we parted.

But, the point I was labouring to make was that we continually lose the battle of narratives by passing sweeping statements that have the potential to hurt our core arguments.

For instance, the statement that India has more Muslims than Pakistan is repeated constantly, even now, by respected individual, its nothing but BS, totally incorrect, and such statements are really harmful to Pakistan, but we seem not to realise.

Only today I was watching a panel discussion on YouTube of over an hour-long, in-depth discussion, about the Arab response to the new Kashmir situation. One Pakistani, one Indian, one Turk, and one Saudi with the host being an Arab, I do not remember his origin.

The Indian guest, in the course of the discussion, claimed that India has the second-largest Shia population in the world, another BS statement, but it sticks in the minds of people unaware, and even those who are perhaps aware start to doubt their own knowledge, because the statement is being made on a respectable panel. India has at most 3rd or 4th largest Shia population, but by always making tall claims, even incorrect ones, it sets nuances in its arguments that give it strength, we seem not to realise the importance of such matters. but they matter.
 

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It is also a fact that despite Mr. Jinnah’s efforts, without the weight of the Bengali Muslims behind the partition (then East Bengali Muslims outnumber West wing Muslims by about 1.5:1); the partition of India would have not taken place.
According to 1941 all India census, British India had 75 million Muslims (another 25 millions were in the Princely states, but they had no political suffrage). Out of 75 million Muslims of British India, a whopping 33 million or 44% of all Muslims were the inhabitants of Bengal. And this 33 million Bengali Muslims overwhelmingly put their weight behind the agitation for a separate Muslim state/Pakistan whole heartedly. It should be noted that, Muslim league was in power in Bengal since 1937 election, at first as a coalition partner with AK Fazlul Haque's KP Party and then unilaterally formed govt. under Khawza Nazimuddin and Hussain Shahid Suhrawardy in 1942-1947 period. Muslim league govt. in pre-partition Bengal( the biggest British Indian province) helped Muslim League cause tremendously. Congress and the British rulers were forced to accept the Muslim League as the sole representative of Indian Muslims and to treat it as equal.

It should be noted that, for a long time, Muslim League could not make inroad in Punjab, which frustrated Mr. Jinnah and he lamented many times for it. It was the whole hearted support of Majority Bengali Muslims and minority Bihari and UP Muslims for Muslim League which finally convinced the Punjabi Muslims to accept Muslim League over Unionist Party. Muslim League found success among Punjabi Muslims in 1946 election although could not form any govt. Congress and Unionist party formed govt., Only Bengal and Sindh has a Muslim League govt. after 1946 election. All other province had Congress govt. including Muslim majority Punjab and NWFP.
There was also an immediate population transfer in East Pakistan, Muslims coming in and non-muslim going out, although at a lesser scale than West Pakistan. But, the figures are a bit muddles regarding the East Pakistan situation pre/post-1947. We can safely assume a Muslim population of 31 million in East Pakistan pre-1947, that is merely a ratio of 1.2 at most.
Whether Bengali Muslims were 1.5 or 1.2 times of West Pakistani Muslims is less important. The more important thing was Bengali Muslims(44% of all British Indian Muslims) in pre-partition era overwhelmingly voted for Muslim League and Muslim League was continuously in power in Bengal in 1937-1947 period. While West Pakistani Muslims were not united under Muslim League. Congress, Unionist Party and Khudai Khidmatgar(Congress ally) hold sway over majority of western Pakistani Muslim before partition. It was only very late in 1946 when finally Muslim League was able to win majority of hearts of West Pakistani muslims.
 
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peagle

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Whether Bengali Muslims were 1.5 or 1.2 times of West Pakistani Muslims is less important. The more important thing was Bengali Muslims(44% of all British Indian Muslims) in pre-partition era overwhelmingly voted for Muslim League and Muslim League was continuously in power in Bengal since 1937 up to partition in 1947. While West Pakistani Muslims were not united under Muslim League. Congress, Unionist Party and Khudai Khidmatgar(Congress ally) hold sway over majority of western Pakistani Muslim before partition. It was only very late in 1946 when finally Muslim League was able to win majority of hearts of West Pakistani muslims.
Facts are important, and especially so if used in support of an argument. I assume the purpose of a discussion is to seek clarity, so unless it is a minor difference, then it is not just fine but imperative that the shortcoming should be highlighted. If it were myself, I would welcome highlighting of any such shortcoming on my side, of course with reason, which I did provide.

Regarding the contribution of areas other than the West Pakistan region prior to 1947, especially Bengal, I have already acknowledged it, we indeed owe a debt of gratitude to our Bengali Muslim brothers and sisters.

I just read the first portion of your reply, and yes, according to your description, you are right regarding the population, excluding the princely states. Except that the princely states did play a role in the independence movement for Pakistan, although not to the same degree, and mainly just the ruling classes. Still, it's important we do not ignore their contributions by saying they did not play a role.
 
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