A Tribute to the Pakistani Army

As the Pakistani Army bravely fights terrorists intent on murdering civilians and destroying their state it is important to remember that we have been here before: The 16 December marks the anniversary of the end of the Pakistani army’s first war on terror: Against the Awami Nazileague and the forces of Bengali racist supremacism. Below are some articles which pay tribute to this brave army:

হিরো

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The 1971 war: breaking some shibboleths

The Pakistan army, though heavily outnumbered, with 34,000 troops combating 500,000 Indian troops, fought gallantly

The history of any conflict is normally inscribed by the victor while truth is the first casualty in the fog of war. Similarly, a number of myths and shibboleth spread by India, the victor in the 1971 Pak-India war, have come to be accepted as facts. The first hyperbole is India’s rationale for its assault on Pakistan. The general elections of 1970 and the delay by the military government in the transfer of power to the elected representatives was part of an internal democratic process and should not have been used as a pretext for India’s naked aggression to dismember Pakistan. The seeds of the secession of East Pakistan, however, were laid nearly a decade earlier.
A perception prevails that Sheikh Mujib, despite securing maximum seats in the 1970 elections, was denied power by conniving West Pakistani politicians. The truth can be gauged from APP correspondents interviewing Sheikh Mujib in Dhaka post-elections, congratulating him on his victory. They inquired of the Sheikh’s future plans after he would assume the mantle of premiership in Pakistan. His response was that he would rather be the “father of a nation (Bangladesh)” than just a prime minister of Pakistan. Indian involvement in the dismemberment of Pakistan was on various levels. Its parliament approved support for Bengali insurgents while its military and intelligence clandestinely trained Mukti Bahini insurgents. The Indian drama of hijacking and destroying its own Fokker aircraft, Ganga, in Lahore on January 30, 1971, was a ruse to deny overflight rights to Pakistani aircraft so that no logistical support could be provided to the troops stranded in East Pakistan.
Sheikh Mujib declared March 23, 1971, a Black Day instead of Pakistan Day. The military government of General Yahya Khan undertook army action on March 25, 1971. The insurgency operations gradually grew in intensity and the Mukti Bahini got bolder while the Pakistan army in the east became demoralised due to the onslaught. It got so widely dispersed and stretched in trying to contain the Mukti Bahini that when the Indian army launched its operations on November 22, 1971, beleaguered and handicapped by a shortage of weapons and provisions, its operations were badly hampered.
The Pakistan army, though heavily outnumbered, with 34,000 troops combating 500,000 Indian troops and 200,000 Mukti Bahini guerrillas, one squadron of fighter aircraft facing 11 squadrons of the Indian air force and a handful of naval vessels, which were blockaded by the Indian flotilla, fought gallantly. Indian Army Chief General S H F J Manekshaw, while talking to the Indian Express, on February 1, 1972, during a lunch reception by the Press Association in honour of the three services chiefs stated: “An impression has been created that the Pakistanis had not fought well. They fought extremely well; if they had not, India would not have suffered heavy casualties.”
Another false propagation by India is that 93,000 Pakistan army troops surrendered in 1971. In reality, there were never more than 34,000 troops in East Pakistan. The figure of 93,000 includes police, paramilitary and the pro-Pakistan civilian population. It has been widely proliferated that the Pakistan army killed over three million people in the military action. This has been challenged by Sarmila Bose in her book Dead Reckoning.
The Awami League is still pursuing alleged war crimes. On the one hand, it is seeking an apology from the Pakistan army for its genocide of Bengalis while, on the other, it is persecuting and meting out death sentences to the collaborators of the Pakistan army in 1971. In its obsession to pursue its whims, a Bangladesh court has found an award-winning UK journalist, David Bergman, guilty of contempt for questioning the official death toll of three million in the country’s 1971 independence war.
Unless the record is set straight, younger generations will continue to give credence to the myths and shibboleths of the 1971 Indo-Pak war and history will continue to be distorted.
The writer is a former group captain of PAF, who also served as air and naval attaché at Riyadh. Currently, he is a columnist, analyst and a television show host

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/16-Dec-2014/the-1971-war-breaking-some-shibboleths

NEW FACTS SURFACE ABOUT 1971 DEBACLE

Number of Pakistani soldiers made PoWs was 26,000; 40,000 West Pakistanis lost lives

Monday, December 15, 2014 – Islamabad—Every year, as 16 December approaches, misperceptions through propaganda stories, about dismemberment of east Pakistan starts appearing in media and social websites. A number of veterans who participated in the operations in East Pakistan and witnessed the episode have given their perspective on three accounts, number of Bengalis killed and who killed them, number of PoWs and what led to dismemberment.

A retired colonel, veteran of 1971, who resides now in Rawalpindi, speaking on condition of anonymity said after elections in 1970, delay in the transfer of power was internal matter and it provided no reason for India to attack and dismember Pakistan.

India committed a naked aggression against Pakistan. Indian Parliament approved the support for Bengali insurgents and India was actively involved in training of Mukti Bahni. Indian military, RAW, BSF, all initially took part in training and then actively supported Mukti Bahni actions against Pakistan Army much before start of war on 3 Dec, 1971.

Another highly decorated soldier who earned Sitara e Jurat for his valour said that “India is doing same in Balochistan, Kashmir and even Afghan today”. He said, Awami League led by Mujib ur Rehman was part of greater conspiracy. Much before Army’s action on 25 March 1971, Awami League workers had started violent activities. He said, they occupied government buildings, hoisted flag of Bangladesh and targeted pro-Pakistan population. Awami League declared 23 March as Black Day instead of Pakistan Day. Government ofPakistan and Army were left with little options than to tackle these anti state activities with forces.

Well informed sources said the period between March 26 and December 16, 1971 was marked by a war complex in many dimensions – politicaly, militarily, socially, and globally. For Pakistan certainly, it was a civil war waged by a section of society aided by a hostile neighbour. The Bengalis knew it as a liberation war conducted by Mukti Bahini and the Indian military.

For the most part, the war of 1971 has been viewed and analysed subjectively looking only at the subjugation of Bengalis by the state and its forces. This is but one side of the story. Nevertheless there have been other side of the stories.

The first exaggeration is the number of Bengalis killed in the conflict. India puts the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 at three million and some say one million, even though some Indian officials have been using the figures of 300,000 as well. Pakistan puts it as 26,000 based on the daily summaries submitted by units deployed in the field at the time. The famous Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report considers even 26,000 as an exaggerated figure.

Even Sarmila Bose argues in her 2011 book, Dead Reckoning expresses reservation about numbers.

The so-called Biharis and the West Pakistanis were killed, maimed, humiliated and looted by Mukti Bahini who were supported by, India.

There were a large number of West Pakistanis, especially Punjabis, Pathans and Kashmiris, living in East Pakistan. Between March 1 and March 25, thousands of West Pakistanis and Biharis were killed. There were thousands of civil servants, businessmen and their employees. When war broke out, it hit the unarmed West Pakistani community, including women and children, the most.

Most people, even in Pakistan, know that the war had perhaps started with the commencement of Operation Searchlight on March 26, 1971. In point of fact, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his lieutenants had already made a ‘rational’ choice for armed movement, and the early hours of Friday morning (March 26, 1971) were fixed for the armed uprising. Dhaka University had become one of the training centres for Mukti Bahini.

Bengali sources admitted to have killed 30,000 to 40,000 West Pakistanis during the conflict. International sources gave the estimates between 20,000 and 200,000. The US Consul estimated that up to 66,000 non-Bengalis were killed.

Some 15,000 West Pakistanis had been killed in Bogra alone, with 10,000-12,000 in Chittagong in late March, almost 5,000 in Jessore on March 29 and March 30, 5,000 in Dinajpur between March 28 and April 1, and 5,000 in Mymensingh in April.

According to some accounts, the strength of Pakistani soldiers in East Pakistan was initially about 20,000, which grew to 34,000 by December. So question arises if total number of troops was 34000 then how come the much-publicised figure of 93,000 prisoners is true.

Pakistani soldiers, though less in number and faced deadly situation fought valiantly.

After the war, Indian Lt. Gen JFR Jacob, in his book Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation, put the figures of Indian military casualties at 1,421 killed, with 4,058 wounded and 56 missing or presumed to be killed. Pakistan’s military casualties during the war were about 4,000. The actual number of soldiers who became prisoners of War does not exceed 26000 by any account. Analysts say 16 December is day of reckoning for Pakistanis.—INP

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=258183

Dhaka debacle

Myth and reality

Hasina Wajid, who has been ruling Bangladesh since 2008, regrettably has unleashed a relentless campaign to malign the Pakistan Army for committing atrocities during the 1971 war, accusing it of killing three million Bengalis and raping thousands of women, besides demanding an apology from Pakistan for the alleged crimes. Not only that, she also opened an inquiry into war crimes in 2010 and the tribunal set up for the purpose has carried out several high profile convictions, including a senior member of Jamaat-e-Islami Motiur Rahman Nizami who was hanged in the recent past. Her government had to face violent protests against these convictions. The opposition parties accuse Hasina of using the war tribunal for witch-hunt of her political rivals.

While the possibility of some excesses in a war-like situation cannot be ruled out, the figures quoted seem to be of mythical proportions. Another myth bandied around and also subscribed to by some intellectual and political circles in Pakistan is that it was not Mujib who orchestrated secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan but it were the politicians belonging to West Pakistan and the Pakistan Army which created Bangladesh; a conclusion that is based only on the events that followed after the 1970 elections.

Both myths need corroboration by independent sources. The independent sources, however, do not agree with the figures about the Bengalis killed during the military action and the number of rapes alleged to have been committed. Dr Sarmila Bose, a Bengali intellectual, in her book “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War”, argued that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million, but around 50,000 while Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of non-Bengalis.

In regards to the much trumpeted Jaysore massacre she maintained that it was engineered and conducted by Mukti Bahni wearing army uniforms and the charges of rapes are based on propaganda as no rape incident occurred at the hands of Pakistan Army personnel. The contentions of Dr Bose are endorsed by none other than General Manek shaw who in a book written by him claimed that he recruited 80,000 Hindus to create the Mukti Bahni. These recruits, dressed up in Pakistan Army uniform, raped and pillaged Bengalis. They also dressed up as civilians and carried out acts of sabotage against the civil and military personnel of government of Pakistan.

Mujib was harbouring the idea of an independent Bangladesh for more than two decades before the 1971 war which he publicly expressed when the Indian forces occupied East Pakistan by saying that his dream of 24 years for an independent Bangladesh had been fulfilled. He was a traitor by all definitions of the word. Agartala conspiracy case instituted by Ayub Khan had to be withdrawn under intense pressure from the agitation led by Mualan Abdul Hamid Bhashani in East Pakistan and supported by the politicians from the West Wing. The Deputy Speaker of Bangladesh Assembly Shawkat Ali, who was one of the accused of the Agartala conspiracy, on a point of order in the assembly in 2010 confessed that charges read out to them were true stating that they formed a Shangram Parishad under Sheikh Mujib for secession of East Pakistan.

These facts leave no doubt in drawing the inference that India, a staunch enemy of Pakistan, used Mujib to dismember Pakistan by providing training facilities to the Mukti Bahni, conducting murders and rapes to malign Pakistan Army and prepare ground for eventual assault. Tripura was actually the launching pad for offensive against the Pakistan Army for the Mukti Bahni and the Indian Army. When Hasina Wajid visited Tripura from 11-12 January in 2009, a Bangladeshi journalist Haroon Habib in an article published by The Hindu on 11th of January said that by visiting the state she was revisiting history as Tripura was the unofficial headquarter of the war of liberation.

The foregoing facts adequately explode the myths surrounding the Dhaka Debacle. It is regrettable to note, however, that despite these irrefutable ground realities a lobby in Pakistan, including some media stalwarts, have also been endorsing the demand by Bangladesh for an apology by Pakistan and trying to prove Mujib as a patriot based on the autobiography of Mujibur Rahman which is a deliberate and conscious effort to malign Pakistan and the Pakistan Army. The reality, as revealed by Manek Shaw, is that most of the killings and rapes were carried out by the Hindus recruited by him and the elements hostile to Pakistan. Mukti Bahni was on a killing spree during the turmoil and murdered thousands of pro-Pakistan elements including Bengalis, Punjabis, Pashtuns and even Balochis.

Pakistan has always looked forward to bury the past and have cordial and cooperative relationship with Bangladesh. Former President General Musharraf during his visit to Bangladesh expressed regrets over the tragic incidents and urged the need for moving forward and not allow the history to bedevil the relations between the two countries. In the backdrop of the realities unraveled by the independent sources and the circumstances surrounding Dhaka Debacle, there is no justification for Bangladesh to demand an apology from Pakistan.

Hasina Wajid, like her father, has strong links with the Indian leadership. In fact RAW assisted her in coming to power by engineering a judicial coup paving the way for her party to win the 2008 elections. The question is why after more than four decades a sudden need has been felt to propagate this issue. This belated undertaking ostensibly is a sequel to a well thought out international conspiracy to malign Pakistan and its army. The nexus between RAW, CIA and agencies of some Western countries in this regard is no more a secret. The CIA has persistently been running a smear campaign against ISI and Pakistan Army notwithstanding the cooperation extended and sacrifices that Pakistan and its army have made in the war on terror. Hollywood also released a movie on the Osama incident on 16 December, 2012, castigating the role of ISI and Pakistan Army.

These developments are not mere coincidences. In view of the strong evidences refuting the claims of atrocities by Bangladesh, it needs to revisit its policy of anti-Pakistan propaganda and respond to positive overtures by Pakistan to make a new beginning in the relations between the two countries, free of the bitterness of the past. And those Pakistani intellectuals and commentators who have been supportive of the stance taken by Hasina Wajid in regards to an apology by Pakistan, also need to open their eyes to these irrefutable realities. Pakistan is passing through a very difficult phase of its history and all segments of the society including intellectuals, media men, politicians and the government must show an impregnable solidarity to thwart the nefarious designs of the detractors of Pakistan.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/12/11/comment/dhaka-debacle/

A true Perspective – 1971 Dismemberment of Pakistan

By Lubna Ejaz Naqvi

Pakistan had a unique geographical feature. It consisted of two distinct blocks of territory. East Pakistan was not only separated geographically from West Pakistan by one thousand miles, but the departing land was India – a hostile neighbour, who from the day one did not recognise Pakistan’s existence. Hindu leaders gave statements at the time of Pakistan’s creation that it was a temporary division and very soon Pakistan will come into Indian fold again. For them, to execute their nefarious designs, keeping both sides divided and hostile, was the cornerstone of their hostile policy.

Every year, as the 16 December approaches, misperceptions through propaganda stories, about dismemberment of east Pakistan starts appearing in media and social websites. Back ground interviews and interactions with number of veterans who physically participated in the operations in east Pakistan and are witness to entire episode have given different perspective at least on three accounts, number of Bengalis killed and who killed them, number of PoW and what led to dismemberment. A retired colonel, vetran of 1971, who resides now in Rawalpindi, said after elections in 1970, delay in the transfer of power was part of an internal democratic process, and it provided no reason for India to attack and dismember Pakistan. India committed a naked aggression against Pakistan. Indian Parliament approved the support for Bengali insurgents and India was actively involved in training of Mukti Bahni. Indian military, RAW, BSF, all initially took part in training and then actively supported Mukti Bahni actions against Pakistan Army much before start of war on 3 Dec, 1971. Another highly decorated soldiers who earned Sitarae Jurrat for his valour said that India is doing same in Balochistan, Kashmir and even Afghan today. He said, Awami League led by Mujib ur Rehman was part of greater conspiracy. Much before Army’s action on 25 March 1971, Awami League workers had started violent activities. He said, they occupied government buildings, hoisted flag of Bangladesh and targeted pro-Pakistan population. Awami League declared 23 March as Black Day instead of Pakistan Day. Government of Pakistan and Army were left with little options than to tackle these anti state activities with forces.

The period between March 26 and December 16, 1971 was marked by a war is complex in many dimensions – politicaly, militarily, socially, and globally. For Pakistan certainly, it was a civil war waged by a section of society aided by a hostile neighbour. The Bengalis knew it as a liberation war conducted by Mukti Bahini and the Indian military.
For the most part, the war of 1971 has been viewed and analysed subjectively looking only at the subjugation of Bengalis by the state and its forces. This is but one side of the story. Nevertheless there have been other side of the stories.

The first exaggeration is the number of Bengalis killed in the conflict. India puts the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 at three million and some say one million, even though some Indian officials have been using the figures of 300,000 as well. Pakistan puts it as 26,000 based on the daily summaries submitted by units deployed in the field at the time. The famous Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report considers even 26,000 as an exaggerated figure.
Even Sarmila Bose argues in her 2011 book, Dead Reckoning and term the number a a gigantic rumour.

Nobody looks into other side of the story and highlight the number of people from non-Bengali ethnicities – the Biharis and the West Pakistanis – who were killed, maimed, humiliated and looted by Mukti Bahini openly supported by its ‘ally’, India.
There were a large number of West Pakistanis, especially Punjabis, Pathans and Kashmiris, living in East Pakistan.. Between March 1 and March 25, thousands of West Pakistanis and Biharis were killed;
There were thousands of civil servants, businessmen and their employees. When war broke out, it hit the unarmed West Pakistani community, including women and children, the most.
Most people, even in Pakistan, know that the war had perhaps started with the commencement of Operation Searchlight on March 26, 1971. In point of fact, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his lieutenants had already made a ‘rational’ choice for armed movement, and the early hours of Friday morning (March 26, 1971) were fixed for the armed uprising. Dhaka University had become one of the training centres for Mukti Bahini.

Bengali sources admitted to have killed 30,000 to 40,000 West Pakistanis during the conflict. International sources gave the estimates between 20,000 and 200,000. The US Consul estimated that up to 66,000 non-Bengalis were killed.

Some 15,000 West Pakistanis had been killed in Bogra alone, with 10,000-12,000 in Chittagong in late March, almost 5,000 in Jessore on March 29 and March 30, 5,000 in Dinajpur between March 28 and April 1, and 5,000 in Mymensingh in April.

According to some accounts, the strength of Pakistani soldiers in East Pakistan was initially about 20,000, which grew to 34,000 by December. So question arises if total number of troops was 34000 then how come the
he much-publicised figure of 93,000 prisoners is true.

Pakistani soldiers, though less in number and facing adverserly much bigger in number fought valiantly.
After the war, Indian Lt. Gen JFR Jacob, in his book Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation, put the figures of Indian military casualties at 1,421 killed, with 4,058 wounded and 56 missing or presumed to be killed. Pakistan’s military casualties during the war were about 4,000. The actual number of soldiers who became prisoners of War does not exceed 26000 by any account.

http://www.dnd.com.pk/true-perspective-dismemberment-pakistan-1971/

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One Response to A Tribute to the Pakistani Army

  1. Bengali Chicks 4 Pakistani Dicks says:

    THANK you so much for this post. We Bengali women are eternally grateful to the Pakistani army and all the amazing sexual pleasure it gave us during the 1971 war.

    Like

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