By Sajjad Shaukat
Recently a book titled, “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: The Unfinished Memoirs” written by the Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as his autobiography has been released. The book which was translated in English by Professor Dr. Fakrul Alam has opened a new debate about the separation of East Pakistan.
Besides, the launch ceremony of the publication was also attended by senior media anchor of Geo News, Hamid Mir, and Director of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. I. A. Rehman.
Without bothering that ‘The Unfinished Memoirs ’ has distorted Pakistan’s history, Hamid Mir, in his article, “Mujib’s Memoirs,” published in daily, ‘The News’ on November 24 reproduced the contents of the document which he read in the launching ceremony. While showing unilateral approach, Hamid Mir said, “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is a villain for many Pakistanis. One-sided history books tell us that Mujib was a traitor who broke up Pakistan with the help of India.”
In line of the book, and while indicating that Mujibur Rehaman was not opposing Pakistan, Hamid Mir stated, “This autobiography reveals that Mujib who joined the Muslim League, was actually an active worker of the Pakistan movement. He wrote the truth about himself in his memoirs…he was very disappointed when the prime minister of Pakistan declared that East Pakistan must accept Urdu as their state language. Young Mujib came out on the roads on March 11, 1948, against this declaration.”
He further explained that the fact is that it was not Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who wanted to break up Pakistan. He only demanded provincial autonomy in 1950s and 1960s. He was arrested and a military operation was started in East Pakistan. Bengalis were massacred and their women were raped.
Hamid Mir concluded, “The Unfinished Memoirs of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is historical evidence that Bengalis never broke up Pakistan, but actually created Pakistan. In fact, the political intrigues and blunders of military dictators broke up Pakistan.”
Let us now see other side of the coin because the book and the experienced media anchor Hamid Mir have concealed the real facts of history.
Majibur Rahman was already biased against West Pakistan, and started misguiding the people of East Pakistan by preparing their minds for separation of Bangladesh. In this respect, when in 1948, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah addressed Dhaka University; he declared that Urdu would be national language of the country. Majib stood up and said emotionally that Bengali should also be national language.
During 1970 election campaign, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of Awami League left no stone unturned in manipulating the situation by creating differences between East and West Pakistan. His six points also included that currency of East Pakistan should be different along with a separate military.
Before the 1971 war, he had announced a separate national flag for East Pakistan. He created prejudice among Bengali people especially against Punjabis. The famous slogan, during his addresses and rallies was, “Punjabi dogs go back.” It was due to instigation of Mujibur Rahman that besides Punjabis, Bengalis had also tortured and killed Biharis, Pashtoons, Balochis and Sindhis, while their women were raped.
Majib was already in connivance with India for separation of East Pakistan. Therefore, when East Pakistan was occupied by Indian Army in 1971, he stated with pleasure that his 24 years old dream of an independent Bangladesh had been fulfilled. This clearly proves that even in 1947, he had made a plan for separation of East Pakistan by exploiting and exaggerating the grievances of Bengalis against West Pakistan.
For the purpose, Mujib had earlier developed his contacts with Indian rulers and training camps of Mukti Bahini, established by Indian army and its secret agency RAW.
RAW’s well-paid agents had activated themselves in East Pakistan in 1960s to dismember Pakistan. For this aim, it funded Mujib-ur-Rehman’s general elections in 1970 and the members of the Awami Party. RAW initiated a civil war in East Pakistan. Meanwhile, India welcomed the refugees from East Pakistan, and provoked them against West Pakistan.
In this regard, Asoka Raina in his book, ‘Inside RAW: The Story of India’s Secret Service’, discloses, “Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan…its operatives were in touch with Sheikh Mujib as the possible ‘Father’ of a new nation-Bangladesh, who went to Agartala in 1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. Indian army officers and RAW officials used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian military sneaked deep into East Pakistan…the story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its creation and training is now well-known.”
So Majibur Rahman was just playing a double game by displaying his faithfulness during Pakistan movement, and as a true supporter for creation of Pakistan. All this provides solid evidence about the separation of East Pakistan and the negative role, played by Majib to fulfill sinister designs of India.
As regards the debacle of Dhaka, a renowned Bengali journalist Sarmila Bose authored a book, “Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War” after thorough investigation. Her book was published in 2011. While countering myths and exaggerations of the Indian and Bengali Journalists, Bose argues in her book that the number of Bengalis killed in 1971 was not three million but around 50,000. Her assertion is that Bengalis were equally involved in the bloodshed of non-Bengalis.
However, the main aim of Hamid Mir to accept the self-fabricated stories of ‘The Unfinished Memoirs’ is only to tarnish the image of Pakistan and its armed forces. In this context, some other developments also verify his misperceptions. On November 26, a bomb was found underneath Mir’s car and was defused by police. Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for it.
Particularly, Mir had met many Taliban militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan. When Afghanistan was attacked by the US-led allied forces, Osama Bin Laden secretly invited Hamid Mir for his interview. In fact, Mir was having close ties with the militants. It was the former president Musharaff who was also deceived by Mir who used him to get popularity in the field of journalism.
In the recent past, Mir, negatively, blamed that former chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Ahmed Shuja Pasha was also involved in the Memogate issue. Hamid Mir had taken shelter in America by spreading rumours that his life is at stake. Rather, he himself feels confusion over his previous covert links with the Al-Qaeda-related militants and Taliban.
Besides, some media anchors like Najam Sethi including human rights activist Asma Jahangir and I. A. Rehman have exploited every issue and case like the Memogate case, Mehrangate verdict, missing persons of Balochistan, law and order situation in Karachi, military operation in North Waziristan, the National Logistic Cell (NLC) scam, incident of Malala Yousafzai etc., especially to implicate Pak Army and ISI.
Notably, US, India and some western elements have launched a deliberate propaganda and blame game against Islamabad, its army and ISI in relation to cross-border insurgency in Afghanistan, missing persons of Balochistan and so on. Their aim is to ‘denuclearise’ or dismember Pakistan as CIA, RAW and Israeli Mossad have regularly been conducting subversisve acts in our country through their affilitated militants.
No doubt, in some different way, Hamid Mir, Najam Sethi and some media commentators including so-called human rights groups are speaking in the tone of these foreign enemies in maligning Pak Army and ISI. Thus they misguide the general masses by benefitting the external elements or they want ot get coverage on foreign media.
While taking note of the multiple crises of Pakistan, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said in their speeches on November 5 that all of us committed mistakes in the past, and should work for a better future.
Nevertheless, “The Unfinished Memoirs,” and in this context, Hamid Mir’s omissions has displayed his selective approach by distorting Pakistan’s history.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations